Information

The International Liberty Horse Association (ILHA) is dedicated to promoting the discipline of Liberty training and celebrating Liberty horses, trainers, and competitors everywhere.

ILHA Competition Rules

Flaggers

(Optional use of flaggers)

  • Each competitor will have the option of using flaggers.
  • The flaggers will be provided by the event and the same flaggers will be used for the duration of each class.
  • No more or less than 4 flaggers will be seated or standing just outside each of the 4 corners of the arena and are able to help upon request by the competitor or if horse crosses leaves or runs off during the pattern.
  • Flaggers can only assist if the competitor waves them in.
  • Flaggers can only flag within a 15ft radius of their arena corner.
  • Once the horse joins back up flaggers must exit the arena.
  • Flaggers can ONLY enter the arena when flagging. They may not stand on the
    arena floor unless they have been called in by the competitor to actively flag the horse and must leave immediately after the horse has joined up.
  • The use of flaggers is entirely optional and every competitor can make the
    decision to use flaggers at any point of their pattern.
  • Flaggers must be available for any class where at least one horse is at Liberty
    except the Freestyle classes (no flaggers will be available in any Freestyle class).

Scoring: Any time a horse goes off pattern that maneuver will be scored as a 0. If flaggers are used to assist the horse in joining back up to continue the pattern it will result in an automatic 2 point deduction on the overall score (not per judge). Each time flaggers are called in to assist it is an automatic 2 point deduction on the overall score (not per judge). Scoring will resume when horse is joined back up and the trainer will pick up at the next movement.

Pattern

If a horse goes off pattern (does not adhere to the pattern) the movement that it went off pattern during will be scored as a 0. Once the horse joins back up and the competitor returns to center the pattern scoring will automatically resume.

Time allowed

The maximum time allowed to complete the Liberty pattern during a competition is 6 minutes.

Tack

Horses cannot wear any tack while competing in an ILHA class. The only exceptions are the Lead Line classes or any Bridleless or Bareback & Bridleless class where the horse is being ridden.
o In Lead Line classes horses the only tack permitted is a halter and lead rope. The halter and lead rope can be of any material and the lead rope can be any length.
o In Bridleless classes the only tack permitted is a saddle, a saddle pad, and a neck rope. Neck ropes or collars can be made of any material but must be free of any added elements. Tack collars or neck ropes with tacks or similar components are not allowed and will result in the horse being disqualified.
o In Bareback & Bridleless classes the only tack permitted is a bareback pad and a neck rope. Neck ropes or collars can be made of any material but must be free of any added elements. Tack collars or neck ropes with tacks or similar components are not allowed and will result in the horse being disqualified.

Equipment

  • The use of carrot sticks, liberty sticks, and whips of any length is permitted. Whips and other equipment used may never to be used in an inhumane manner or abusive way. This will be governed by Judges and/or officials of the event. Violation of this will result in a score of 0 for the pattern and a disqualification of the trainer from the remainder of the show.
  • Clickers are allowed in the competition arena and may be used in any pattern.
  • Treats and/or food of any type are not permitted in the competition arena The use of treats will result in a score of 0 for the pattern.

Callers

Competitors have the option of having a caller during a pattern to help them remember the pattern. Callers are to call the pattern but are not allowed to coach the competitor in any way. If the caller coaches the competitor in any way they will receive a score of 0 for the pattern. The use of callers will not be reflected in the scoring.

Attire

Competitors are required to wear a long sleeve shirt with a collar (any style) and pants. Footwear can be any style but must be equine appropriate and safe (open-toed shoes are prohibited). Any competitors 17 or under must wear a helmet for any ridden work.