Ranch Rules

242. Ranch Pleasure

  1. Mules to be shown at walk, jog and lope both directions of arena. The Judge must ask for an extended jog and lope in at least one direction.
  2. A mule will be given credit for travelling with its head held in a normal position, ears alert, and moving a natural speed for the gait requested
  3. The purpose of Ranch Mule Pleasure should reflect the versatility, attitude, and movement of a working mule.
    1. The mule’s performance should simulate a mule riding outside the confines of an arena and that of a working ranch mule.
    2. This class should show the mule’s ability to work at a forward, working speed while under control by the rider.
    3. Light contact should be rewarded, and mule should not be shown on a loose draping rein.
  4. The overall manners and responsiveness of the mule while performing and the mule’s quality of movement are the primary considerations.

243. Ranch Riding – Ranch Riding consists of pattern work only which is ridden individually. The Ranch Riding patterns are designed to evaluate the rider’s ability to execute, in concert with their mule, a set of maneuvers with precision and smoothness while exhibiting poise and confidence, and maintaining a balanced, functional and fundamentally correct body position.

  1. The pattern is extremely precise with the rider and mule working in complete unison, executing each maneuver with subtle aids and cues.
  2. The mule’s head and neck should be carried in a relaxed, natural position, with the poll level with or slightly above the withers.
  3. The rider should maintain light contact with the reins.
  4. The mule/rider team will be judged on the different elements of the patterns and for performing the patterns precisely and in the correct order.
  5. The required maneuvers will include the walk, jog, and lope both directions: and the extended jog and lope at least one direction; as well as stops, turn to change directions, and back.
  6. Optional maneuvers include turn on forehand or haunches, side pass, lead change (simple or flying) and jog or lope over poles.
  7. No time limit.
  8. One of the suggested 4 patterns may be used, however a judge may utilize a different pattern as long as all required maneuvers are included plus 2 or more optional maneuvers are included.

244. Scoring

  • 1 Point Penalties: – Over-bridled per maneuver- Out of frame per maneuver- Too slow per maneuver- Gapping mouth- Break of gait at walk or trot for two (2) strides or less.
  • 3 Point Penalties: – Wrong lead or out of lead- Draped reins- Break of gait at lope- Break of gait at walk or trot for more than two (2) strides.
  • 5 Point Penalties: – Blatant disobedience- Use of either hand to instill fear/praise – More than one finger between split reins or any fingers between romal reins per maneuver- 1st or 2nd cumulative refusal. – Off-pattern or breaking pattern- (Cannot place above others who complete pattern correctly.)
  • DQ: – Lameness- Abuse- Illegal equipment- Fall of mule/rider – Use of two hands (except in snaffle bit or hackamore) – 3rd cumulative refusal. – Spurring in front of cinch.

Ranch Riding Patterns