Under USEF rules, Arabian and half Arabian costume classes call for three gaits: the walk, the canter and the hand gallop. Trotting is neither requested nor permitted.
This poses a dilemma for model horse performance showers: How do you show a trotting Arabian in costume when costume classes prohibit trotting?Conventional wisdom offers two solutions. If it's an authentic desert style costume, you can say it's being used in the desert, where horses do, in fact, trot. Or, if it's a show ring costume, you can specify that the costume class is being run under British rules, which also require horses to trot.
I'd like to add a third possibility to that list: Document your entry as performing in a Horse Expo Breed Exhibition.
The Arabian entry at the Rocky Mountain Horse Expo's Mane Event was up of five costumed horses, and all of them trotted.
Granted, this is not a true show ring entry, but in my opinion, it's still a totally legitimate way to get around the "no trotting" rule.
And that's it for this topic. We'll get back to regular coverage of the Mane Event with the next post.