Horses should be
sparkling clean, healthy, and sound for the inspection. They are to
be presented in clean, appropriate tack (check with your
division/registry requirements). ALL horses, except suckling foals
under 6 months of age, must have a valid Coggins test upon arrival
at the inspection location, plus provide any other proofs required
by the individual barn, unless it is noted on the locations page
that a Coggins is not required. Suckling foals do not need to have a
Coggins but their dams must have valid Coggins tests, where Coggins
Injuries and scars, of the horse, are not considered in the
inspection as long as it does not interfere with the horse’s
movement, contours or health of the horse. The judge reserves the
right to determine if a horse is lame or ill, and when so deemed by
the judge, the horse will be excused from the inspection and no
score will be given. The judges’ decisions on these matters are
horses training is not judged during the In-hand inspection, but you
must be able to get the horse to stand long enough for the
conformation to be judged and move at walk trot and canter. Young
foals may be released at the judges request to perform the rest of
Horses are first
presented standing while the judge evaluates conformation. This
will require the horse to stand still while the judge walks around
for several minutes. The judge may touch the horse. At the judge’s
instruction, the runner then walks the
horse in a clockwise
direction around a triangle whose sides measure approximately 75’,
100’ and 75’. Most
horses will go around the triangle twice, at the judge’s request.
The runner’s goal is to show off the horse’s best stride
in as straight of a line as possible.
The horse is then trotted around the same triangle in the same
direction, usually twice. At the judge’s request, the horse is then
turned loose, in an enclosed arena, to trot and canter at liberty.
The runner(s) may encourage the horse. Lunge whips are allowed and
you may use a "chaser person" in addition to the runner/handler. At
the judge’s request, the runner re-attaches the lead shank and takes
the horse from the arena. Inspection is then completed. Horses
will be measured, photographed, and a required hair sample will
be taken from the mane or tail, just prior to entering the arena or
just after leaving the arena. You should not
return to your stall until these procedures have been completed.
All photos and hair samples taken by FEIT become the property of
Will there be runners available?
Are they required?
Do I need to contact the runners
in advance? How do I do that?
Who will be the runner at
You may use a handler as well as a runner if you feel
this will enhance your horse’s performance, but it is not necessary
and in some cases it is detrimental to the horse’s performance. It
is perfectly acceptable to show your horse yourself. The judge is
evaluating the horse, not the presenter(s). You should call the
coordinator, at the site you are interested in, to find out the
details of what they are offering at that particular site. FEIT
does not, at this time, provide runners, but an individual site
might have runners arranged and available for hire.
you would like to hire a runner/handler, you will be responsible for
independently contacting these people prior to the start of the
inspection and making arrangements with them. We make no guaranties
as to the credentials of the individuals available for hire at the
inspection sites. They may be younger adults that have little prior
show experience, but are younger and more capable of keeping up with
the gaits of the horses. The fee for the runner/handler varies from
location to location and has no connection whatsoever to FEIT or
its’ registry affiliates.
What is the appropriate attire
for the runners/handlers?
Please dress neatly and respectfully
for the judge. White or tan colored pants and a
white shirt are usually inspection standards. However, if you happen
to have a light colored horse, you may wish to show your horse in
dark colored clothing. Please keep in mind that the idea is for the
judge to see the outline of the horse, not your brightly colored
clothing. Solid clothing is preferred: white or tan and black or
dark blue. Please wear shoes suitable for running.
What is the
appropriate grooming for the horse?
You may want to bath and groom your horse prior to the inspection,
to show him in his best condition. With the exception of some
registries that specifically forbid it, you may braid the mane and
clip a bridle path, but braiding and clipping are not required. You
may use CLEAR hoof polish, but hoof-black or colored hoof polish,
glitter, etc. is not allowed. If
you are being inspected for recognition by a particular registry,
please be sure to check with your registry for any specific
requirements they enforce.
What is the
appropriate equipment for the horse?
Horses are allowed to wear basic shoes or be unshod. Horses must be
in a halter or bridle for In-hand presentation, depending on age and
division rules. All halters and bridles MUST be well fitting and
not have any gaps large enough for a horse to put a foot through.
If the judge or a FEIT official considers a horse’s equipment to be
dangerous, ill fitting, or inappropriate, the owner will be asked to
leave the ring and find a way to correct the problem, before being
allowed to continue with the inspection process. Brightly colored or
heavily decorated halters, leads, or bridles are not allowed, nor
are rope halters. It is recommended to have the bridles, halters &
leads match with the tones of the horses base color so that it does
not stand out and distract from judging the horse.
Please DO NOT use WHITE halters or
bridles. Foals, yearlings and two year olds will
have to be brought into the arena with a halter.
Horses three years of age and older
must be shown in a bridle with a snaffle bit.
the liberty portion, for horses
wearing bridles, standard reins take too long to
remove, and they are not safe to leave
attached during liberty. Clip-on reins or a lead-rope attached to
the bit rings are recommended for ease and saving time. If you think there is any possibility that your horse may
be hard to catch after liberty, please have a grain bucket or treats
What is Ster
At most FEIT inspections, "Ster" or "Star" Status can be earned,
when a horse performs an optional under saddle test, roughly
equivalent to USDF Training Level, test 3, or a driving test of
similar level, with a qualifying score. Both riding and driving
horses are also asked to back up. For driving tests, the canter is
eliminated. The judge asks for the movements one at a time, in no
particular order. There is nothing for the rider/driver to memorize
ahead of time.
In order to be eligible to test for Ster, the horse must first earn
an in-hand inspection score of 7.0, or higher, with no individual
score below a 6.5. If a horse is inspected and earns an overall
score lower than a 7.0, or an individual score below 6.5, then they
are not eligible to try for Ster Status at that time. However, they
may try again, at a later date, by being re-inspected in-hand and
earning qualifying scores.
Ster Status is awarded on a pass/fail standard - a riding or driving
score of 65% or higher is awarded Ster. If a horse scores below 65%
during Ster testing, Ster Status is not awarded. However, the horse
may re-test for Ster Status again, at a later date, and is not
required to be re-inspected in hand in order to re-ster test.
The purpose of Ster testing is to acknowledge horses that
demonstrate basic trainability, a willingness to work with a
pleasant attitude, and the ability to perform basic, good movement
and form under saddle or in harness. Additionally, many of our
affiliate registries recognize Ster Status and will record such
status on the horse's registration certificate.
For ease of planning and scheduling, horses should be signed up for
Ster testing in advance of the inspection, on the inspection entry
form. If the horse's in-hand inspection score ends up not being high
enough to qualify for Ster testing, the fee paid for the Ster test
is simply refunded, and the actual testing will be skipped.
Ster testing is available at most locations, whenever scheduling and
arena size (for driving) permits.