The parade horse must be a beautiful, stylish animal, displaying refinement and personality and presenting eye-appeal of horse and rider.
The show parade horse may be of any color or combination of colors, of any breed or combination of breeds, stallions, mares or geldings. Good manners are essential, both in executing gaits and while lined up in the ring. Horses must be serviceably sound and in good condition. Since beauty is important, blemishes will be considered. The minimum height is 14.2 hands. However, separate classes for ponies may be offered for junior exhibitors and judged under the same rules.
Parade horses are shown with a full mane, braided if desired, and a tail that may be set prior to showing. An inconspicuously applied tail switch or top is permitted and a brace may be used.
Horses perform at an animated walk and at a parade gait. The animated walk should be a graceful, four-beat, straight, brisk movement, but not a jog-trot. It should be slow enough to differentiate between the animated walk and the parade gait. The parade gait is a straight, high-prancing movement–square, collected and balanced, with hocks well under. The maximum speed is five mph.
The gear for parade horses is stock saddles with silver, Mexican or other appropriate equipment. The rider’s attire should be colorful but also typical of the Old West–of American, Mexican or Spanish origin, with spurs, guns or serapes optional.
Information provided by the United States Equestrian Federation.