Looking for a challenge to add spark to their horse lives, more and more riders are facing tough competition in ranch-horse-versatility classes and loving it. The thrill of competing on one horse in five exacting events is just the challenge many riders seek. And added to that is the continuing fascination with the Old West and the romanticized cowboy life, where a person's worth was measured in a job well-done from the back of a fine horse.
Training for ranch-horse-versatility classes is tough, because all five components of the event are equally important. To help readers understand what judges look for, we turn to trainer and judge Peter Campbell, Wheatland, Wyoming, for advice. Born in Alberta, Canada, Peter began cowboy life at age 12, going on to work for some of the largest cattle ranches in the United States and Canada. Today, he shares his decades of experience in training horses as one of America's most popular clinicians. In this article, he'll take you step-by-step through each part of the ranch-horse versatility class as seen through the eyes of a judge.