Ranch Division

  1. Reining Patterns

All Classes must be shown in appropriate western equipment and attire.

Ranch type tack is preferred and should be clean and in good repair. Silver on saddles and bridles is highly discouraged. A back cinch is preferred but not mandatory. AMA rules apply for bridled and green mules regarding bits and reins. Hoof polish and braided or banded manes are not allowed. Clipped animals are permitted but not required. A clean ranch look is preferred; western shirt, jeans, western boots, belt and a hat are required. Chinks, shotgun chaps and scarves are optional. Bling and pleasure horse type show shirts are highly discouraged; judges may impose penalty points for this type of apparel.

231. Reining

  1. Any of the approved patterns may be used.
    1. Pattern shall be selected by the judge and posted at least one hour prior to start of class.
  2. Each contestant will be required to perform the pattern individually.
  3. Western hat, belt, western boots, long sleeve shirt with sleeves down and fastened. Authentic suspender pants shall be worn with suspenders. Shirts shall be tucked in; unless they are designed to be worn out. No bare midriffs to show. Long pants are required.

232. The NRHA(National Reining Horse Association) has granted the American Mule Association permission to adopt its judging rules for reining competition. NRHA rules have been modified to comply with existing AMA rules where conflicts occurred. References to “NRHA” have been changed to “AMA” as needed.

    1. General – To rein a mule is not only to guide him, but also to control his every movement. The best reined mule should be willingly guided or controlled with little or no apparent resistance and dictated to completely. Any movement on his own must be considered a lack of control. All deviations from the exact written pattern must be considered a lack of/or temporary loss of control and, therefore, a fault that must be marked down according to severity of deviation. After deducting all faults, set here within, against execution of the pattern and the mule’s overall performance, credit should be given for smoothness, finesse, attitude, quickness and authority of performing various maneuvers, while using controlled speed which raises the difficulty level and makes him, more exciting and pleasing to watch to an audience.
    2. Scoring
      1. The scoring will be on a basis of 0 – infinity, with 70 denoting an average performance.
        1. The individual maneuvers are scored in .5 point increments from a low of -1.5 to a high of +1.5 with a score of 0 denoting a maneuver that is correct with no degree of difficulty.
        2. Scores will be announced after each mule works.
      2. Any ties for 1st place will be worked off, using the same pattern and order of go as was used during the event; however, there will not be more than one run off. If a tie occurs after the run-off, the entrants will be named co-champions; will evenly split 1st and 2nd prize money, but must determine the winner of the awards by a flip of a coin.
      3. All bits must be free of any mechanical device. The mouth piece bar space shall be constructed only of round material with a minimum diameter of no less than 3/8″. The port shall not extend or protrude below the bars and shall not exceed 3 1/2″ in height. See Appendix A.
      4. Curb chains are permissible provided that:
        1. They are at least 1/2 an inch in width.
        2. They are free of barbs, wire and/or twists.
        3. They lay flat against the mule’s jaw.
      5. The following will result in a no score:
        1. Infraction of any state or federal law which exists pertaining to the exhibition, care, and custody of horses (mules) within the state or county where an AMA event is being held.
        2. Abuse of an animal in the show arena and/or evidence that an act of abuse has occurred prior to or during the exhibition of a mule in competition.
        3. Use of illegal equipment including wire on bits, bosals or curb chains.
        4. Use of illegal bits, bosals or curb chains.
        5. Use of tack collars, tie downs or nose bands.
        6. Use of whips or bats.
        7. Use of any attachment which alters the movement of or circulation to the tail.
        8. Failure to dismount and/or present the mule and equipment to the appropriate judge for inspection.
        9. Disrespect or misconduct by the exhibitor.
        10. The judge (s) may excuse a mule at any time while in the arena for unsafe conditions or improper exhibition pertaining to both the mule and/or rider.
      6. Excess rein may be straightened at any place a mule is allowed to be completely stopped during the pattern.
        1. When using a romal (or other joined reins) no fingers between the reins are allowed.
        2. The free hand may be used to hold the romal or ends of joined reins, provided it is held at least 16″ from the reining hand and is in a relaxed position.
        3. Use of the free hand while holding the romal to alter the tension or length of the reins from the bridle to the reining hand is considered to be the use of two hands and a score of (0) will be applied.
        4. If finger is used between split reins, excess rein must fall on reining hand side of mule.
      7. The following will result in a score of zero (0):
        1. Use of more than index or first finger between reins.
        2. Use of two hands (except in Green Mules) or changing hands.
        3. Use of romal other than as outlined above in 6.
        4. Failure to complete pattern as written.
        5. Performing the maneuvers other than in specified order.
        6. The inclusion of maneuvers not specified, including, but not limited to:
          • Backing more than 2 strides.
          • Turning more than 90 degrees.
          • (Exception: A complete stop in the 1st quarter of a circle after a canter departure is not to be considered an inclusion of maneuver; a 2 point break of gait penalty will apply.)
        7. Equipment failure that delays completion of pattern.
        8. Balking or refusal of command where pattern is delayed.
        9. Running away or failing to guide where it becomes impossible to discern whether the entry is on pattern.
        10. Jogging in excess of one-half circle or one-half the length of the arena.
        11. Overspins of more than 1/4 turn.
        12. Fall to the ground by mule or rider.

        NOTE: Neither a no score or a zero (0) are eligible to place in a go round or class, but a zero (0) may advance in a multi-go event, while a no score may not. In the event not enough mules qualify for total purse distribution the undistributed portion of the purse will be retained by show management.

      8. The following will result in a penalty of five 5 points:
        1. Spurring in front of cinch.
        2. Use of the free hand to instill fear or praise.
        3. Holding saddle with free hand.
        4. Blatant disobedience including kicking, biting, bucking, rearing, and striking.
      9. The following will result in a 2 point penalty:
        1. Break of gait.
        2. Freezing up in spins or rollbacks.
        3. On walk in patterns, failure to stop or walk before executing a canter departure.
        4. On run in patterns, failure to be in a canter prior to reaching the first marker.
        5. If a mule does not completely pass the specified marker before initiating a stop position.
      10. Starting or performing circles or eights out of lead will be judged as follows;
        1. Each time a mule is out of lead, a judge is required to penalize by one 1 point.
        2. The penalty for being out of lead is cumulative, the judge will add 1 point penalty for each 1/4 of the circumference of a circle or any part thereof that a mule is out of lead.
        3. A judge is required to penalize a mule 1/4 of a point for a delayed change of lead by one stride.
      11. Deduct 1/2 point for starting circle at a jog or exiting rollbacks at a jog up to 2 strides. Jogging beyond 2 strides but less than 1/2 circle or half the length of the arena, deduct 2 points.
      12. Deduct 1/2 point for over or under spinning up to 1/8 of a turn; deduct 1 point for over or under spinning up to 1/4 of a turn.
      13. Where a change of lead is specified immediately prior to a run to the end of the arena, failure to change lead will be penalized as follows:
        1. Failure to change leads by 1 stride, a 1/2 point penalty.
        2. Failure to change leads beyond 1 stride but where lead change is completed prior to the next maneuver, 1 point penalty.
        3. If the lead is not changed prior to the next maneuver, a 2 point penalty.
        4. In patterns requiring a run-around, failure to be on the correct lead when rounding the end of the arena will be penalized as follows: for 1/2 the turn or less, 1 point; for more than 1/2 the turn, 2 points.
      14. There will be a 1/2 point penalty for failure to remain a minimum of 20 feet from wall or fence when approaching a stop and/or rollback.
      15. The judge shall have the authority to remove any contestant from a show he is judging, should said contestant show any disrespect or misconduct as to render himself or the show in an unprofessional manner.
      16. All riders must dismount and drop the bridle immediately after performance.
        1. Bridle must be dropped by the rider or a designated representative.
        2. The bridle must be checked by the designated judge in the arena or in close proximity to the arena.
        3. Failure to comply will result in a no score.
      17. Judges are responsible for determining if mule follows correct course, pattern spotters will not be used.
      18. AMA permits the judge the option of awarding a re-ride to any contestant who, in the judges’ opinion, is unable to complete a pattern for reasons that are out of the rider’s control. In the instance where a re-ride is warranted in the judges’ opinion, the judge should advise the show management of such as soon as possible.
    3. Reining Patterns
      1. The following patterns are to be worked as stated, not as drawn. The drawn pattern is just to give the general idea of what the pattern will look like in the arena.
      2. Mandatory markers will be placed on the wall or fence of the arena as follows:
        1. At the center of the arena.
        2. At least 50′ from each end wall.
      3. Where designated in the pattern for stops to be beyond a marker, the mule should begin his stop after he passes the specified marker.
      4. Each pattern is drawn so that the bottom of the page represents the end of the arena entered by contestants and must be run as such. In the event that an arena has only one gate and it is in the middle of the side, that side shall represent the right side of the page the pattern is drawn on.
      5. All mules will be judged immediately upon entering the arena and judging will cease after the last maneuver. Any fault incurred prior to the commencement of a pattern will be scored accordingly.
      6. All judges’ decisions are final.

    Reining Patterns