A halter class is defined as a class where the horse is judged based upon its conformation.
One of the most popular show classes. The purpose of the class is to preserve American Quarter Horse type by selecting well-mannered individuals in the order of their resemblance to the breed ideal and that are the most positive combination of balance, structural correctness, and movement with appropriate breed and sex characteristics and adequate muscling.
The ideal American Quarter Horse shown at halter is a horse that is generally considered to be solid in color and possesses the following characteristics: the horse should possess eye appeal that is the result of a harmonious blending of an attractive head; refined throat latch; well-proportioned, trim neck; long, sloping shoulder; deep heart girth; short back; strong loin and coupling; long hip and croup; and well-defined and muscular stifle, gaskin, forearm and chest. These characteristics should be coupled with straight and structurally correct legs and feet that are free of blemishes. The horse should be a balanced athlete that is muscled uniformly throughout.
One of the most important criteria in selecting a horse is conformation, or its physical appearance. While it could be assumed that most horses with several years’ seasoning and past performance have acceptable conformation, the goal in selection should always be to find the best conformed horse possible.
Rating conformation depends upon objective evaluation of the following four traits: balance, structural correctness, breed and sex characteristics, and degree of muscling.
Of the four, balance is the single most important, and refers to the structural and aesthetic blending of body parts. Balance is influenced almost entirely by skeletal structure.
- Lip chains: The following horses may not be shown with any chain through the mouth including but not limited to lip chains:
- (A) Mares
- (B) Geldings
- (C) Weanling stallions
- Stallions 1 year of age and older may not be shown with any chain through the mouth with the sole exception that they may be shown with lip chains with unsecured keepers so long as at least two links of the chain remain outside of halter before attachment of keeper or leather part of lead shank.