American Quarter Horse Association Limited Rider Program


YOUR NEW ADVENTURE HAS ARRIVED! Reining sounds exciting with all the spins and stops, but you’ve only shown in western horsemanship. English sounds interesting but you consider yourself a western rider. Is there a way to try a different event, gain experience and still feel competitive? The American Quarter Horse Association now offers the limited rider program just for AQHA members wanting to try something new. Limited rider is a “class within a class” and allows you the chance to compete in a different event and learn new skills.


The limited rider program is available to youth, amateur or open competitors. The AQHA skill sets, listed to the right, are designed to help you and your horse grow in a new event at your pace. To be eligible, you must not have earned 25 open, amateur or youth combined lifetime points in that skill set.


Limited rider is a step between novice and regular competition. You show with your peers and earn points in youth, amateur or open competition, but your points also count toward limited rider year-end awards!

As a limited rider, you continue to build your skills while competing. Points earned in limited rider count toward your permanent record. When you earn 25 lifetime points in a skill set as a limited rider - congratulations! Now, use that experience and compete in youth, amateur or open competition - or try a new skill set!

Limited rider points are awarded for an exhibitor’s lifetime points in that skill set and do not accumulate until you have received written notice of eligibility from AQHA.


If you want to become a limited rider, you must first have a current AQHA membership. Then, simply complete the enrollment form inside this brochure designating you want to participate in AQHA shows as a limited rider. Once your enrollment is received, we will review your show record to determine your skill set eligibility.


You can enroll into the limited rider program anytime throughout the year. When you enroll, you will receive a letter from us with your skill set eligibility. You can now compete in those skill sets as a limited rider at any AQHA-approved show until you earn 25 or more lifetime points. When you achieve 25 or more AQHA points in a skill set – Congratulations, you’ve graduated out of limited rider in that skill set!

After completing that skill set, find another set in which you are eligible and try your hand at something else. Limited Rider is a fun, rewarding way to gain experience in classes you’ve always wanted to try. So, go ahead – give it a try!


You can earn many awards as a limited rider. Awards are determined by your points earned January through December. Points are based on the standard AQHA point scale found in the AQHA Handbook of Rules & Regulations. The points you earn are also recorded on your permanent show record for that class.

At year end, a high-point winner will be recognized in each skill set. The high-point limited rider in each skill set as of December 31 will win a specially designed Montana Silversmiths belt buckle. The top-10 point earners in each skill set will be awarded certificates. Year-end points are determined from your time of enrollment through December 31 each year so return the form inside this brochure as soon as possible!

Get experience, try something new, get prizes – AQHA shows are rewarding and fun!
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