Youth Performance Division

  1. General Youth Rules(Rule 261)
  2. Youth Showmanship(Rule 262)
  3. Youth Pleasure(Rule 263)
  4. Youth Equitation(Rule 264)
  5. Youth Trail (Rule 265)
  6. Hunter Hack(Rule 266)

261. General Youth Rules – Open to youths 6 years old and over that have not reached their 18th birthday as of January 1st of that year.

  1. Classes may be held as 6 years through 17 years or split as 6-13 and 14-17.
  2. Youth may ride or drive mules or donkeys, either female or castrated male only.
  3. Mules (or donkeys) must be gentle and be able to be controlled by youth contestants at all times.
  4. Youth contestants, in the youth division, shall show only one animal for year-end points. To receive year end points, animal must be registered, and both owner and youth current members.
    1. Points shall be for the youth/mule combination. If another mule is used, points will begin accumulating from time of change.
    2. AMA will allow hardship clause; in case of injury or sickness another mule may be substituted upon approval by the AMA Executive Board.
  5. Youth contestants shall wear appropriate attire for equipment being used. (Western attire: safety helmet, belt, western boots, long sleeve shirt with sleeves down and fastened. Shirts shall be tucked in; unless they are designed to be worn out. No bare midriffs are to show. Long pants are required. Authentic suspender pants shall be worn with suspenders, with western saddle. English attire : Exhibitors shall dress in attire suitable for type of English equipment being used with English saddle.
    1. Hunt seat: Hunt coat, breeches, high English boots or jodhpurs.
    2. Saddle Seat: Suit or coat.
    3. Youth are required to wear properly fastened protective headgear which meets or exceeds ASTM standards for equestrian use and carries the SEI tag, whenever mounted or riding in wagon or cart at an AMA approved event. This is NOT limited to classes. Youth are encouraged, but not required, to wear an approved safety helmet in all non riding or driving classes (halter, showmanship, packing).
    4. Saddle should fit the youth as well as the mule.
  6. Each contestant must have an adult waiting outside the arena so that when class is dismissed, the adult handler may help the contestant exit or, if contestant should lose control, adult may help to prevent accidents.
  7. Green mules (or donkeys) shown in snaffles or bosal hackamore by a youth shall be ridden with two hands.
    1. No tie-downs, martingales, cavessons or draw reins permitted unless otherwise stated in specific division rules. Cavessons are allowed with English tack and attire.
  8. Classes shall compete at the walk, jog (trot), and lope (canter) at the judges’ discretion in the appropriate classes. Youth may be asked to back up.

262. Youth Showmanship – Only the exhibitor shall be judged. The mule/donkey is only a prop to show the ability of the exhibitor. To be judged strictly on the contestant’s ability to fit and show in a halter class.

  1. Appearance Of Animal – 40%
    1. Grooming – Hair should be clean, brushed and trimmed if needed. Tail should be combed with no tangles. Hooves should be trimmed and clean.
    2. Cleanliness – Animal should be clean and free of stains. Hide, ears, nostrils, and dock should be clean and free of dirt and dead skin. Feet and legs should be clean with no manure, bot eggs, etc., present.
    3. Tack – Should be neat, clean, workmanlike, and fit properly.
      1. Western – Halter with leather or rope lead.
      2. English – English bridle may be used with English attire.
  2. Appearance of Exhibitor – 10%
    1. Clothes and person should be neat and clean. Dress should be according to division, Western or English.
  3. Showing Animal in the Ring – 50% Total
    1. Moving or leading – 15%
      1. Contestants shall enter the arena leading the animal at an alert walk in a counter-clockwise direction, unless directed otherwise by the judge.
      2. Lead animal from the left side, holding the lead in the right hand near the halter (around 18 inches from snap at halter). Remaining portion of lead is held in left hand neatly and safely.
      3. End should NOT be tightly coiled or rolled around hand. This is a severe and dangerous fault and will be penalized.
      4. Animal should lead readily at a walk and/or trot.
      5. When turning the animal, always turn animal away from you, even if it means making 3/4 of a circle. Do not pull animal into you.
      6. Judge may work each contestant individually. If a pattern is used, must be posted at least one hour before class.
    2. Posing – 15%
      1. When posing and showing your animal, face at an angle where you can see position of feet and top line.
      2. Pose animal with its feet placed as squarely under him as possible. Do not step on mule’s feet to move them. Move mule forward and backward by a slight pull on the lead strap. Do not wrestle your mule to move him. It is preferred that you use the quarter system. Scroll down to see diagrams below.
      3. Do not crowd the exhibitor next to you. Leave room for the judge to walk between mules.
      4. When judge is observing your mule, let mule stand if he is posed reasonably well.
    3. Show animal to best advantage – 10%
      1. Quickly recognize the conformation faults of the animal you are leading and show him in a manner to overcome them.
    4. Poise, Alertness and Attitude – 10%
      1. Be aware of your animal’s position while being alert to the position of the judge at all times.
      2. Show animal at all times and not yourself. Any over showing or “trendy” style of showing shall be penalized.
      3. Respond rapidly to requests from the judge and officials.
      4. Be courteous and sportsmanlike at all times.
      5. Keep showing until entire class has been placed and the judge has finished his work.

263. Youth Pleasure – Open to both English and Western riders.

  1. To be judged as a pleasure class with emphasis on manners, disposition, and responsiveness to rider’s cues. (See General Performance Rules and Western Pleasure – Rule 211 and English General Rules.)
  2. Mules are to be shown at a walk, jog/trot, and lope/canter both ways of the arena on a reasonably loose rein for Western and light contact for English, and be under control at all times.
    1. Animals will be asked to reverse to the inside of the arena.
    2. Judge may ask contestants to back their mules.
  3. To be shown in appropriate tack and attire.
    1. Western mules in western tack and attire, one hand on the reins (unless in a snaffle or bosal.)
    2. English mules in English or hunt seat tack and attire, both hands must be on reins.

264. Youth Equitation – Open to both Western and English riders (See Youth General Rules 261.E)

  1. Riders judged on seat, hands, and ability to control and show mule at the walk, jog/trot, and lope/canter and while backing.
  2. Performance of the mule is NOT considered more important than the method used by rider.
  3. Basic position of the rider should be eyes forward, shoulders back, and sitting alert in the center of the saddle.
    1. An imaginary straight vertical line should be from the ear, down through the center of the shoulder and hip, to the back of the heel.
    2. Slight bend in knees with heels lower than toes.
    3. Should appear alert, comfortable, and supple with a straight back.
    4. Hands and arms relaxed with shoulders back and down.
      1. Upper arm in a straight line with body, lower arm with reins forming a straight line from the elbow to hand to mule’s bit.
      2. Wrist is straight but relaxed, with fingers closed around reins.
    5. Reins are to be held over or slightly in front of saddle horn.
      1. One hand only if showing in a curb bit.
      2. Two hands allowed with snaffles, bosals, and English bridles.
      3. If riding two handed, reins are to be held evenly apart slightly forward of the saddle.
    6. Light contact with the mule’s mouth shall be maintained; excessively loose reins shall be penalized.
  4. Saddle should fit the rider and the animal. All tack clean, workmanlike and fit properly.
  5. Both rider and animal shall be neat and clean, and properly attired in appropriate clothing and tack.

265. Youth Trail – Same General Rules as Western Trail (Rules 215-217.)

  1. To be judged on the mule’s performance, manners and responsiveness to rider’s cues over obstacles, with safety to their rider.
    1. Rider’s manner of cueing and negotiating obstacles, and overall attitude shall be taken into consideration and given credit or penalized at judge’s discretion.
  2. To be shown at a walk, jog, and lope at the judge’s discretion.
  3. Contestants who go off course will be faulted with a penalty, not necessarily disqualification, at the judge discretion.
  4. Mandatory obstacles are: Logs, bridge and markers set in a pattern.
  5. Optional obstacles may include: Gate, side-pass, backing.
  6. Course to be a minimum of three obstacles and a maximum of six.

266. Hunter Hack – See Hunter Hack Rule-304.

  1. Maximum jumps 18 inches.