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Basic Guidlines & Thoughts For Proper Judging

In an effort to improve the judging system of the TWH industry the NHSC would like to offer the following suggestions for our Judges and we would like your comments.

As the show season progresses, there will be more suggestions to enhance our Judges’ performance.






When acting in the capacity as a judge, you are always being watched!


1)      Judge must look at all horses in a class at least once each round, more when possible.


2)      If looking at the card – hold up & in front of you where you can still see the horses.


3)      Do not work the class too long.


4)      When judging make decisions in a timely manner.


5)      Any breed can pick up their front feet – TWH is the only breed that strides with a gliding motion – we have too much emphasis on the high step & not the stride for which the TWH has been so famous.  Reaching is a characteristic of the TWH; however, slapping the ground with the front feet is not a normal characteristic & should be penalized.


6)      Head shake is very important.


7)      All four legs going in unison is very important (timing, level, even, etc).


8)      “Feeling for a trot” or too square horse should be penalized.


9)      Performing all 3 gaits means: a horse must flat walk, running walk, & canter on both leads all to the best of his/her ability – the ones that are performing their gaits to the best of their ability & the one that does it the best in that class in your opinion is the winner.


10)  Be sure that you read the rule book & thoroughly familiarize yourself with the rules regarding all divisions & regardless of who they are or what they are, apply the rules to all entries equally.


11)  No matter what division you are judging, it is the most important class to that exhibitor - we ask that you judge each division attentively & to the best of your ability.


12)  Horses that are disrupting a class and/or create a danger to other exhibitors, or deviates from the natural gait MUST BE EXCUSED.


13)  When acting in the capacity as a Judge, you are being watched, your reputation is being judged by the people who are watching you.  Always act in a professional manner.


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