AQHA Equipment Rules

Read up on AQHA equipment rules, including prohibited equipment, fines and penalties, and how to report violations and misuse at AQHA shows.
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A dedication to putting the American Quarter Horse first has led the AQHA Executive Committee to make changes in AQHA rules regarding equipment use at all AQHA-approved shows and approve a structure of fines and penalties that will be assessed to violators of these rules.

All of these changes are based on recommendations from the AQHA Animal Welfare Commission, which was appointed in 2012 by the Executive Committee to ensure the welfare of the American Quarter Horse. The Executive Committee also approved the Animal Welfare Commission’s definition of abuse: Any excessive and/or repetitive action to cause obvious distress or discomfort to a horse.

New equipment policies were ushered in November 1, 2012, and have been added as needed. 

View Permitted Equipment

View Not Permitted Equipment

AQHA Animal Welfare Grievance Committee

The Animal Welfare Grievance Committee reviews violations that involve a judge’s disqualification for abuse or the issuance of a steward warning card. The review consists of all evidence gathered in the investigation of the violation. Evidence includes, but is not limited to, steward warning cards, photographs, videos, witness statements, judge’s cards, judge’s score sheets, etc.

Once the members of the AWGC review the case and determine a disciplinary action is appropriate, they will recommend a fine and/or penalty to the AQHA Executive Committee. The fine and penalty will be based on the Level of Violation (see AQHA rules VIO200-VIO204.19) and the AQHA Fine and Penalty Chart.

The Animal Welfare Grievance Committee is made-up of industry professionals who include AQHA judges, AQHA Professional Horsemen, university professors, veterinarians and association professionals.

How the Fines and Penalties Process Works

Fines & Penalties Chart