• John Kyle Thanks @OCEquestrian @dpequestrian @lizhalliday @sinead_c_Halpin @ColemanEventing Gina, Shannon & Zara for joining me on @USEFNetwork #R Retweeted by USEFNetwork 4/26/2015 9:42:32 PM
  • USEF Network Watch: Laura Sumrall's "Let it Go" Wins World Freestyle Reining Title http://t.co/nyxH9ygoPc 4/26/2015 4:45:06 PM
  • Brenda Sparks And just like that, it's empty. Until next year! #RK3DE @KyHorsePark @RolexKentucky @USEFNetwork @USEventing http://t.co/Wl9o4blbvr Retweeted by USEFNetwork 4/26/2015 4:42:37 PM
  • USEF Network Thank you all for watching our live coverage from #rk3de. We hope you all enjoyed it! 4/26/2015 3:34:49 PM
  • USEF Network Michael Jung & Fischerroncana FST win the 2015 @RolexKentucky Three-Day Event presented by @LandRover! http://t.co/KNtzRQ0vpP 4/26/2015 3:18:42 PM
  • USEF Network Tim Price & Wesko have one rail, so they will finish 2nd at #rk3de 2015 on 40.3. http://t.co/b3jHKBvTfi 4/26/2015 3:17:13 PM
  • USEF Network Michael Jung & Sam have a couple rails and 8 faults. They will finish top 3 with a 44.7 #rk3de http://t.co/iHUnmsPWZh 4/26/2015 3:13:33 PM
  • USEF Network The defending champs, @foxpitteventing & Bay My Hero, are clear! at 46.9, they guarantee a top 4 finish. #rk3de http://t.co/q9brszhmgl 4/26/2015 3:10:36 PM
  • USEF Network With all the U.S. riders done, @DuttonEventing & Fernhill Cubalawn will be the @USEquestrian 4* National Champions! #rk3de 4/26/2015 3:07:38 PM
  • USEF Network Improvise & @billlevett have 12 faults, so they'll finish on 60.6. #rk3de http://t.co/ScsbvupnNC 4/26/2015 3:06:35 PM

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Western

The discipline of Western is as broad in spectrum as the vast plains of the Old West from which it originates. There are a multitude of classes from which to choose, from Western pleasure to trail to working cow horse; yet all classes share the same heritage in the working ranch horse of America’s past. Horses are shown in Western stock saddles, often trimmed in silver, and riders don familiar-looking Western attire (although it can be somewhat more reminiscent of the cowboys and cowgirls of TV fame than that of the working ranch hand’s simple and plain clothing). Still, the roots are there. The leather chaps originally designed to protect a cowboy’s legs while riding and working and also to keep his clothing from tangling with the tumbleweed, bramble and other brush encountered on the trail, are still worn in today’s show ring. And, of course, the iconic broad-brimmed cowboy hat remains relatively unchanged from its 1800s predecessor.

The duties of the modern competition Western horse also remind us of the daily tasks required of a working ranch horse. From picking his way through a timber-covered or thickly-brushed countryside— as demonstrated today by the modern trail horse’s precise maneuvering through an intricately-structured course of obstacles— to swiftly maneuvering and corralling a wayward steer or calf at branding time— as demonstrated by the modern day working cow horse as he deftly sorts a steer from the herd and then drives it through several compulsory moves in a timed run. Although the American stock breeds (Quarter Horses, Paints, etc.) have long been considered favorites for this discipline, there are Western classes custom-tailored for virtually every breed. And, since there’s a little cowboy in all of us, no one will have any trouble finding a class suited to his or her specific interests or level of riding. The thrill of the Old West is alive and well in the equestrian discipline of Western. To learn more, visit the United States Equestrian Federation at usef.org.