If you’re in the western show world, chances are you’ve become well acquainted with the class known as ranch pleasure. If you’re scratching your head, wondering what in the world ranch pleasure is, read on!

Still relatively new, ranch pleasure is known for being low maintenance, thus, making it highly attractive to those athletes who like to steer clear of the more “blingy” classes like western pleasure.

Here is some key information you should know about ranch pleasure:

1) In this class, a horse is shown individually. The rider will receive a pattern, and will be judged on pattern maneuvers. However, judges are not only looking for superb pattern placement, but they are also watching the movement of the horse. It’s important to ride the pattern correctly, but it’s also important to ride the pattern with a certain level of finesse.

2) Horses should move the way a horse would out on a ranch. This isn’t a western pleasure class, and the goal is to cover ground.

3) Competitors are expected to dress the part of a working cowgirl or cowboy. Many riders opt to ride in chinks or chaps for a more authentic look, but some choose to only wear their cowboy hat, western shirt, belt, and jeans. The type of show that you’re attending will largely dictate what you should wear.

If you’re interested in competing in ranch pleasure, talk to your trainer. If your trainer doesn’t specialize in this discipline, or if you do not yet have a trainer, search for ranch horse pleasure instructors in your area.