Arabian Halter horses are shown at halter in a light headstall or halter with a throat latch. The handler is allowed to carry a whip or crop, but it is not mandatory. Handlers may also use enticements such as carrots or grass to maintain the horse’s attention. If a whip is used, it can be no longer than 6′ in length including the snapper or lash. Excessive use of the whip will result in penalty or elimination.
The horses are presented to the judge in hand at a walk and trot. In colt-stallion and filly-mare classes, the horses are judged on the following criteria, presented here in order of importance:
- Type, which are the standards of the breed that define the Arabian horse and set it apart from other breeds.
- Conformation, which is how the horse is put together, the relationship of form to function.
- Suitability as a breeding animal, for example, a stallion 2 years and older must have both testicles descended. Any transmissible weakness will be considered a fault in a breeding animal.
- Quality, such as condition of skin and coat, weight and fitness, grooming.
- Movement, which includes freedom of stride, style and way of going.
- Substance, such as density of bone and muscle.
- Manners, or the horse’s behavior in the ring.
- Presence, an awake and aware attitude.
Additional halter classes include:
Get of Sire or Produce of Dam – an entry is made up of at least two horses entered under the name of the sire or the dam. These classes are judged on reproductive likeness, uniformity, quality of breed characteristics, conformation and similarity.
Most Classic Arabian – open to mares, stallions and geldings over two years of age. This class is judged on Type, presence, animation, carriage and conformation.
Classic Head – open to mares, stallions and geldings over two years of age. The horses are shown in a plain, unmarked sheet or cooler. They line up in the center of the ring and are judged on entirely on the breed type of the head. Correctness of the bite is also considered.