Training and Showing the Versatility Ranch Horse
by Laren Sellers
The Versatility Ranch Horse (sometimes known as Working Ranch Horse or Stock Horse) competition is the Western horse showing equivalent of the pentathlon, demonstrating a stock horse's athletic ability in five categories: Working Ranch Horse, Ranch Riding, Ranch Trail, Ranch Cutting, and Ranch Conformation.

Versatility Ranch Horse combines reining ability and "cow sense" as the horse is judged first in a reining pattern and then as it handles a cow. Ranch Riding shows the horse's ability to move at the walk, trot and lope. Ranch Trail shows a horse's ability and willingness to perform over a course of logs, gates, and other obstacles that simulate what might be found during the course of a normal day's ranch work. Ranch Cutting judges the horse's ability first to cut a cow from the herd, then work the animal, and finally to pen the cow at the far end of the arena. Ranch Conformation assesses the horse's balance, structural correctness, and breed standard. Overall placings are awarded based on total credits earned in the five classes.

Although first preparing for and then competing in so many diverse disciplines may seem an impossible task for the novice rider or trainer, help is readily at hand in the form of Training and Showing the Versatility Ranch Horse. Using the expertise of well-known trainers and exhibitors and examples from actual competitive experiences, Laren Sellers shares advice on how to select the Versatility Ranch Horse prospect, develop and enhance the animal's natural abilities, and then show the horse to best advantage in the arena. Sellers provides insight to the experts in the industry, their approach to horses and horse shows. 

Especially valuable are the many references to rules and judging standards of the American Quarter Horse Association and other organizations that offer Versatility Ranch Horse and similar classes.

Along with a good cow horse, this book is the best first step you can have to winning big-time in the Versatility Ranch Horse division.

Training and Showing the Versatility Ranch Horse
by Laren Sellers
Routledge, 2005
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