In the interest of promoting VERSATILITY in the Quarter Horse,
and EQUALITY between exhibitors, NFQHA was the first to adopt the following rules and standards, which differed substantially from other associations.

ONLY THE HORSE IS JUDGED – Our judges are instructed to judge only the horse, and not the handler, or rider.

NO PENALTY FOR SCARS & BLEMISHES – NFQHA promotes using horses which naturally pick up their share of scars and blemishes, as the result of injuries. These are not to be penalized.

NO SILVER – In the interest of equality for competitors, no silver plate is allowed.

WORKING WESTERN WEAR FOR EXHIBITORS – Exhibitors are encouraged to dress in plain, neat, western clothing suitable for working, or riding. Hats, boots, jeans, and long sleeve shirts are required. Sequins, glitter, and other “fancy” dress are to be avoided.

NO BANDED MANES, NO HOOF POLISH, NO SHAVING OF EARS – To promote versatility, NFQHA expects the conformation horse to look like the performance horse, and vice versa. Also, NFQHA cannot condone practices which limit the horse’s natural protection against dust and insects, such as shaving the inside of the ears, and nostrils. Horses are required to be shown with natural length tails. A bridle path the length of the ear is acceptable, as is clipping excessive facial hair, hair outside the ears, and excessive leg hair.

EXCESSIVELY SLOW GAITS TO BE PENALIZED – Horses are to be shown at natural gaits, suitable for a working horse. Excessively slow gaits, depression or dejected expression, and poll lower than withers, will disqualify the horse from the class.

BREED AND COLOR CLASSES – New in 2006 are classes celebrating the various colors of the Foundation Quarter Horse and the Bulldog breed standard. The color classes for Duns/Grullos, Palominos, and Roans judge not only the color but also the horse’s conformation. The Breed classes judge the Bulldog traits and working condition. Horses must also enter a performance class.

SNAFFLE OR RAWHIDE BOSAL – Horses of any age may be ridden in a snaffle, or rawhide bosal. Some restrictions will apply as to when one or two hands can be used. (No twisted wire snaffles.)

NO WEANLING CONFORMATION, NO HORSEMANSHIP, NO ENGLISH EVENTS – In-hand trail classes will be offered for yearlings and two year olds. NFQHA encourages members to let their babies be babies to develop important social skills. We greatly discourage isolation and overfeeding of babies.