RCS2014#39 – Break in Gaits – Cantering in ring classes

2014 RCS #
Break in Gaits – Cantering in ring classes
Date Received
Eve Dexter
Change Date
Next Rulebook
Closed for comments – 01Sep13
Initial Posting: 01Jun13
PDC- not recommended: 31July13

Current Wording – Article 28A – Break in Gaits

  1. In a multiple turnout all horses must break for a penalty to be assessed.

Suggested Wording – Article 28A – Break in Gaits

  1. In ring classes, in a multiple turnout all horses must break for a penalty to be assessed.
  2. In obstacle classes, in a multiple turnout one or more horses must break to canter or gallop for a penalty to be assessed. A break will consist of 3 or more full strides with advantage gained or 6 or more short strides, no advantage gained.

Reason for change

Too often, at Pleasure Shows, I have seen cones classes where one of a pair or multiple canters the entire course. I do not believe that this is the intention of the gait to be used in this class nor do I think it shows good reinsmanship to have one or more horses in the turnout in such poor control. I also have concerns as the designer set up the course for trot speed not canter and sometimes I worry about safety as well.

7 Response(s)

  1. katie whaley says :

    August 2, 2013


  2. MikeRider says :

    August 5, 2013

    I don’t agree with the proposal for a number of reasons. #1. In a ring class, with subjective judging, a break from the requested gait should be penalized (the same way if when the judge calls for a “slow trot” and one horse of the pair slow trots and the other walks), #2. When driving tandems, unicorns, four-in-hands and negotiating turns and corners at speed, the leader(s) sometimes need to cover more ground rather quickly and cantering seems like a reasonable thing as long as the wheeler(s) continue at a trot. #3. Not being a judge myself, I can’t speak with great authority here, but I know when watching a pair drive from one side, it can be sometimes hard to pick up the horse on the other side breaking gait, let alone count the number of strides very accurately. #4. I think it could get confusing if (let’s say hypothetically) the near leader canters two strides and then the off leader canters three strides. I recall when the ADS went to the whole “all horses of a multiple must break gait to be considered a break of pace” and things got a whole lot simpler then. Let’s not make it more confusing and difficult to judge.

    1. RhinehartM says :

      August 30, 2013

      Absolutely. I think it is great reinsmanship if you can get one horse to follow along at a canter while the others trot! In our VSE tandem, our wheeler sometimes has to canter to keep up with the leader’s incredible forward trot in obstacles. Should they be allowed to canter in the ring when the call is for the trot? Absolutely not.

  3. BMR says :

    August 7, 2013

    Too confusing. I disagree.

  4. bakers says :

    August 23, 2013

    I disagree. As I recall, at Walnut Hill, there were several cones courses set up specifically for speed from one set of cones to the next. There were several multiples that had one pony/horse cantering the entire time. This would have eliminated those entries from placing in those classes. I even recall a very nice pair of chestnut minis that had a canter in one or more of these cones classes. It’s just the nature of the beast and the adrenaline of competing that we urge our horses to go faster. I say leave the wording as is ~ in a multiple, all horses must break for a penalty to be assessed.

  5. cepinwv says :

    August 26, 2013

    Disagree. One horse cantering in a pair or multiple does not speed up the competitor.

  6. CaroleSweet says :

    August 27, 2013

    I would expect a penalty for any break in gait, whether in a single, or one in a multiple turnout. It is not necessarily only reinsmanship….it could just be the equine that has the issue. If all but one in a multiple breaks gait, but the one holds it, there should be a penalty. Otherwise, there needs to be exceptions listed as to what break in gaits is acceptable amongst multiples, while not incurring penalties. The rule already allows for many variations of unspoken “acceptable” break in gaits prior to penalties. If it is a matter of pure physics that requires cantering amongst multiples while “maintaining” the trot….that should be addressed. Maybe this proposal needs even more in depth exploration, to make breaks of gait into the canter more consistent with the intent of allowing cantering as it now reads.

Comments are closed.