Frequently Asked Questions
- Why should I try Versatility Ranch Horse in this association?
You will enjoy educational and social opportunities in a supportive environment. You can improve your horsemanship skills over time while having fun. People have started with little knowledge of the skills necessary for ranch horse and moved up in competence. There is no pressure to move anywhere. You can progress at the level you feel comfortable.
- What is the general feeling and atmosphere at these events?
You will find people to be very friendly and congenial. You are there to learn new skills and horsemanship but also to have fun! The evenings are about socializing, laughing, and relaxing!
- What do you do at an event?
The first day of an event is typically a clinic day where you will ride with others of similar ability in morning and afternoon sessions with the clinicians practicing the maneuvers you will execute during the Schooling Competition; i.e. herd work, trail, reining, cow work, ranch riding, etc. After having a fun clinic, get to know your fellow members and enjoy at the dinner social in the evening. The final day is a Schooling Competition. The Novices are coached through the classes by the judge/clinician. All riders will be given their score sheets to take home to review the judges’ comments!
- What do I have to wear to compete?
Not too fancy - but a long sleeved collared western shirt and cowboy hat and boots are required. Riding helmets are permissible.
- What about tack?
Traditional ranch work saddles and bridles (not too much silver) are most often used. Split reins or a romal are acceptable. Horses six years and older must be ridden one handed and with a bridle bit. Horses five years and younger may be ridden two handed with a snaffle bit.
- What level rider do you need to be to compete in National Versatility Ranch Horse events?
Events are designed for all levels of riding skills and broken into divisions to fit those skills: Novice, Limited, Amateur and Open.
- What kind of horse do I need to compete?
Principal attributes of a versatility horse are a good mind, a balanced body and athletic ability.
- What are the classes in Versatility Ranch Horse?
There are five: Ranch Riding, Ranch Trail, Ranch Cutting, Working Cow Horse, and Conformation.
- What is Ranch Riding?
This is an individual pattern that shows the horse’s ability to move at a working speed with a rider at three gaits; walk, trot and lope, with the emphasis on smooth transitions.
- What is Ranch Trail?
This class contains a course with a minimum of seven obstacles where the horse will be judged on willingness and correctness at a walk, trot, and lope. Three mandatory obstacles include a gate, log drag, and ground tying.
- What is Working Cow Horse?
This class combines a reining pattern, boxing a cow and taking it down the fence to turn it both ways, and then roping it and bringing it to a stop. Fencing and roping are not included in Novice and Limited.
- What is Ranch Cutting?
This class is judged on the ability of the horse to separate a cow from the herd, hold it away from the herd in the middle of the arena and then, depending on your division, pen the cow or cut a second cow.
- Is VRH scoring the same or similar as AQHA?
There are many similarities, however NRVHA has their own Rules and Regulations handbook. One major difference is there is no DQ (Disqualification). Our “major penalty” is a -10 instead.