Limited Rider Program

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 offers the limited rider program for AQHA members wanting to try something new. The limited rider program 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 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 lifetime points in that skill set.


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.  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 rewards are awarded for an exhibitor’s lifetime points in that skill set.


When you start out the show year with less than 25 points in a skill set you will automatically be enrolled into the program. You can now compete in those skill sets and earn points as a limited rider at any AQHA-approved show.

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 those that are 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.