There are 6 main types of classes in western riding and showing. Have a read and see what appeals to you and your horse!!!
Reining is a test of agility, finesse, speed, control and attitude. There are various maneuvers within this class - spins, stops, roll backs, circles, flying changes and a backup. To rein a horse is not only to guide them, but to control their every movement. The best reined horse should be willfully guided or controlled with little or no apparent resistance and dictated to completely.
Showmanship is an in-hand class. The handler is being judge although the turnout of the horse can be taken into account but not its conformation.
In horsemanship riders are judged on seat, hands, ability to control and show the horse. The control the rider shows over the horses performance are taken into account.
Western Riding tests the skill of both horse and rider .The class is designed to show the calm, easy paces of the horse and its ability to be correctly balanced at all times.
In trail horse and rider must negotiate a series of obstacles. These obsatcles will be a gate, bridge, poles and cones. All 3 gaits can be expected, 360 degree turns and back-up. Horse and rider must work in complete harmony.
Western pleasure is primarily about the horse's ability to deliver a pleasurable ride through his responsiveness, attitude, and way of moving. Your horse will need to respond readily and willingly to your subtle cues. He should have smooth, steady, relaxed gaits and a natural, relaxed head position. Transitions from one gait to another should be smooth and accurate, and your horse should be easily maneuvered around and through groups of other horses in the ring without fussing or changing gaits. In a pleaseure class all riders as a group will be asked to walk, jog (slow, sitting trot), and lope (on the correct lead) in both directions of the ring, after which you will be asked to line up in the center of the ring and back-up one at a time as the judge addresses you.