Home  |  Stallions  |  Studbook Mares  |  Inspection Tour  |  Newsletter  |  My Account  |   | 

The Quality Test
The Quality Test is an assessment of dressage and jumping talents, consisting of the 4-year-old division and the open division for horses from 5 to 10 years of age. Horses that have been inspected before are welcome to return into the Quality Test.

For the 4-year-old division, mares that were bred at age four may enroll in the Quality Test as five-year-olds. Horses in this division are eligible for diplomas.

The New Open division of the Quality Test is for horses from 5 to 10 years of age. Horses in this division receive an excellence award if they score in the top of the class. Mares who are attempting to enter the studbook may show their riding performance in this division.Participants in the Open class may opt out of the jumping phase. This needs to be stated in the entry.

Horses are tested and evaluated at three stations. These three areas are health, exterior and gaits, and the choice of free jumping or jumping under saddle. If the assessment is interrupted by the judge, the horse will receive a rating based on the stations completed.


  • Identity verification
  • Registration verification
  • Health check
  • Riding test
  • Conformation evaluation
  • Jumping test (Owner chooses between free or under saddle.)
Health Check
  • Horse must be presented in a bridle with reins.
  • No shoes with pads.
  • No studs.
  • Handler must wear appropriate attire for showing horse in hand.
Judges will examine the horse’s eyes, ears, mouth, hooves, and palpation of the legs. The handler will be asked to present the horse at a walk and trot on a straight line, shown in hand. The horse should be prepared to have a stranger touch its eyes, ears, and legs and must be comfortable lifting up its feet. The horse will be measured on hard level surface.

Conformation & Gaits
Test is ridden in a 20 x 60 meter arena. Horse and rider are given a few minutes to get acquainted with the arena. The judge will give directions and the following work will be expected:

  • Working trot (posting), following the track in both directions.
  • 20 meter circles in both directions, showing transitions to the walk.
  • Show variations of lengthening the stride and tempo of the trot, down the long side or across the diagonal.
  • Walk in both directions on a long rein and with light contact, then back to a working trot, making the transitions to canter.
  • Working canter on 20 meter circles, showing the canter in a two point position (light seat).
  • On the 20 meter circles, the reins must be given for 2-3 strides to show proof of self-carriage.
  • On the middle circle, during posting trot, stretch the horse (long and low) while maintaining the trot rhythm.
  • Free walk.
  • Dismount and remove saddle. Line up on the centerline for conformation judging.

Jumping Under Saddle
Owner chooses between free or under saddle.


  • The horse will trot around the arena prior to the beginning of the jumping test.
  • The horse will warm-up over a set of jumps
    • Jump number 2 on the diagonal line must be jumped twice - 70 cm.
    • Jump once over the combination 1A + 1B with 2 canter stride.
    • Jump obstacle 1A - 70cm & obstacle 1B - 90cm without the back pole on the oxer.
Set 1
Combination Obstacle 1A
Obstacle 1B
90cm + 1m at the back pole
Length 90cm
Vertical Obstacle 290cm
Set 2a — Jumping this set of obstacles is worth a score of 5.
Combination Obstacle 1A
Obstacle 1B
90cm + 1m at the back pole
Length 1.1m
Set 2b
Combination Obstacle 1A
Obstacle 1B
90cm + 1m at the back pole
Length 1.1m
Vertical Obstacle 2 90cm
Oxer Obstacle 3 80cm + 90cm at the back pole. Length 1m
Vertical Obstacle 4 1m
Set 3
Combination Obstacle 1A
Obstacle 1B
90cm + 1.1m at the back pole
Length 1.1m
Vertical Obstacle 2 1m
Oxer Obstacle 3 90cm + 1m at the back pole. Length 1m
Vertical Obstacle 4 1.1m
The judge may ask to see the horse jump over a few more jumps to see the horse take off spot in both canter leads. The judges will score the horse’s technical ability and temperament/rideability and overall impression.

Free Jumping
Owner chooses between free or under saddle.

The ground pole in the corner has to be a cut white pole, preferably two since the diagonal distance is longer in the corner. One more cut pole should be available if the judge wants to use one in between the jumps.

Help fence 1 should have a pole 60 cm (23.6 inches) in height above ground with a ground pole 30 cm (11.8 inches) in front of it. Fence is placed 3 m (9 feet 8 inches) after center point of ground pole in corner. Corner pole is on a diagonal.

Help fence 2 should have a pole 60 cm (23.6 inches) in height above ground with a ground pole 30 cm (11.8 inches) in front of it. This fence is placed 7 m (22 feet 9 inches) in front of help fence 1 and 17, 5 m (57 feet 4 inches) from short end of arena.

Main fence starts as a vertical with two poles 80 cm (2 feet 6 inches) above ground with a ground pole 10 cm (3.9 inches) in front. When the actual judging starts the fence should be an oxer. The main jump is placed 7, 30 m (23 feet 9 inches) in front of help fence 2. The back pole should be 10 cm (3.9 inches) higher than the front pole and rest on safety cups.

The heights 110 cm (3 feet 6 inches), 120 cm (3 feet 9 inches) and 130 cm (4 feet 2 inches) are marked on the stands and the length 110 cm (3 feet 6 inches) and 120 cm (3 feet 9 inches) is marked on the wall. Depending on footing and size of horse the judge has the right to move the main jump +/- 20 cm (7.9 inches)..

WARM UP (Practice jumps)
The horse is shown free cantering on the track, both directions. Thereafter all poles are laid down on the ground and the horse is waiting at the starting point directed by the judge. All three jumps are built at above mentioned heights and the horse is allowed one round as warm up. Thereafter another pole at 80 cm (31.5 inches) is coming up on help fence 2 and the back pole on the main jump is now at height 90 cm (35.4 inches) and the length 90 cm (35.4 inches). The ground poles are the same. This is when the actual judging starts.

After about three rounds the main fence should be at 39.3 inches (100 cm) in height and the length 100 cm (39.3 inches). If this size of fence is jumped ok according to the judge the score 5 (sufficient) is given. A horse is not guaranteed a score of 5 just because the fence is cleared. The owner of the horse can before the judging starts let the judge know that, if horse jumps sufficient, that will be plenty. Increasing the height of the fence can be done to a maximum of 130 cm (51.2 inches) for horses that are capable but the length of the fence can only be 120 cm ( 47.2 inches) and has to be a normal oxer with the front pole 5 cm (2 inches) lower than the back pole. Judging should be done when about six jumps over the main jump is completed.

The horse must wear a bridle with a cavason and reins at all times. A regular snaffle bit, single or double jointed, is recommended. Soft rubber bits or shanks are not permitted.

An English saddle must be used.

Boots for the jumping part are allowed for the front legs only, no hind boots or wraps.

The rider must wear formal attire with an approved helmet; whips and spurs are optional. Stallion riders must carry a whip.

The arena is 20 by 60 meters. (65’ 7” by 196’ 10”)

1. Health Check Station (V)
2. Exterior (E) & Gaits (G)
3. Jumping Under Saddle (H) or Free Jumping (LH)

Two ASVH-approved judges authorized to judge the elements of the test, will evaluate conformation, jumping and rideability. When a special judge is used for the riding test, he/she must be a gaits judge and approved beforehand by ASVH.

Horses participating in the Quality Test must not be doped (drugged) with prohibited substances or other disallowed means that can affect performance or temperament.

Pregnant mares that are 5 or more months into the pregnancy may not participate in the quality test.

Individual elements scoring
Health Check (V)1 – 10 (Scores above 8 count as 8)
Conformation (E) (Type+ HNB+ Legs)/3
Gaits (G)Median score for Walk, Trot, and Canter
Temperament/Rideability/Gaits (TG) 1 – 10
Jumping Under Saddle Technique & Ability (H) 1 – 10
Jumping under saddle jumping temperament and general impression (TH)1 – 10
Free jumping technique and ability (LH) 1 – 10
Free jumping temperament and general impression (TLH) 1 – 10
Combined scoring
Two different scores are then calculated …
Score as a promising dressage horse(V+E+2G=TG)/5
Score as a promising jumping horse(V+E+2LH+TLH)/5 or (V+E+2H+TH)/5

Ribbons are awarded to all horses that successfully complete the test.

Class I is awarded to horses with a minimum of 7.4 as a promising dressage horse or 7.5 as a promising jumping horse.

Diplomas are awarded to horses with a minimum of 7.8 as a promising dressage horse or 8.0 as a promising jumping horse and with no point lower than 7 on conformation.

Last updated on: 8/18/2014