Complete Horse Test

In Brazil there are many shows and competitions culminating in a national championship show.  At this time we cannot match that process because we are too few in too large a country.

Taking one of the 2 jumps in the test

We have chosen to hold an annual clinic which combines Brazilian instruction and judged competition using The Complete Horse Test and holding a Sela de Ouro.   We will again have the two certified Brazilian trainers and judges that have helped us for the past two years.

Competition is open to all USMMA members.   For those who cannot bring their horse to the event, local MM owners make Marchadors in the area available.  The outstanding horse and rider are named our Champions for the year.  We move the event around the country to allow as many horses and riders as possible to participate.  We also encourage our members to teach their horses to do the Complete Horse Test so that prospective buyers can have a measure of comparison when they are trying to select a MM for purchase.

We will give awards to for the top 3 Riders and Horses as well as an award for the Best Groomed Horse and Rider.  To be eligible the horse must be registered and the rider a member.

MM Show Rules: The Complete Horse Test

Course Diagram and Setup

Course Measurements in Meters
Course Layout for Gait

Course set-up diagram (pdf file for download or print – in feet)


1. Horse and rider will begin behind the start line. The rider will hold a tennis ball in their hand which they will drop as their horse steps over the start line. This helps our judges determine when to begin their timer.

2. Horse and rider will WALK to the gate and open and close the gate with their LEFT hand.  The rider may not at any time touch the gate their right hand.

3. Horse and rider will WALK TO and ALL THE WAY THROUGH the “back up box”. Once they have passed all the way through the box, they will then begin to back up through the box (simply retracing their steps backwards) until they’ve exited the box once again. Once the horse has backed all the way through the box and its entire body is out of the box, it may begin forward again (this time in the Marcha).

4. Horse and rider will now GAIT (Marcha) through the box and to the bending poles. Horse and rider will begin by KEEPING THE FIRST BENDING POLE ON THE LEFT SIDE OF THE HORSE.  They will continue weaving through the poles all the way down the line, do a half-circle to reverse direction, and then weave back through the poles to the beginning without going over the white chalk line and without breaking GAIT.

5. As the horse and rider leave the last bending pole they will turn sharply to the left and the horse will pick up a LEFT LEAD CANTER. Horse and rider will continue to canter through the rest of the obstacles.

6. Horse and rider will CANTER through the barrels in an “S” pattern with the horse changing leads each time he changes direction around a barrel.

7. Horse and rider will continue to CANTER and jump each jump in succession without breaking the canter gait.

8. Horse and rider will come to an abrupt halt (from canter to halt) in the center of the circle.  Here the horse must stand still (without moving its feet) for a full 4 seconds while his reins are loose and resting on the horse’s neck. The judge will stop his timer when the horse has stood still on a loose rein for the full 4 seconds after the reins have been rested on the horse’s neck.

Test Judging

Our judge will begin an independent timer when you cross the start line and will stop their timer when you have successfully completed the final obstacle.

Because this is a timed event, time faults will be added to your score in the following way:

  • Incorrect gait from one obstacle to another: 5 sec time fault for each occurrence
  • Refusal: 5 sec time fault for each refusal
  • Improper execution of an obstacle: 5 sec time fault for each occurrence
  • Knock over of a bending pole, barrel or jump pole: 5 sec time fault for each occurrence
  • Skipping an obstacle: 25 sec time fault for each occurrence

4. Disqualifications

  • An excessive show of poor horsemanship or abusive behavior will be grounds for immediate disqualification and removal from the class.
  • The judges decisions are final.