Challenge Guidelines

We are so glad to see you're interested in Empowered Equines Challenges!

Empowered Equines has been inspired by FairHorsemanship to host a collection of Positive Reinforcement challenges. We aspire to provide an ethical alternative to mainstream equestrian competitions, based on the use of aversives, with these horse-friendly, reward-based tasks. These challenges include a list of unmounted tasks to do with your horse with the use of positive reinforcement. These challenges are designed to be done by anyone, with any equine, and submitted privately online. My favorite aspect of these challenges is the benefits for equines of all abilities, these are empowering goals for the horses themselves, without needing to be ridden or pushed physically. These challenges also provide us steps, goals, useful feedback and the motivation to explore new directions with our positive reinforcement training!

Who Can Enter?

  • International entries are welcomed and encouraged.
  • People under 18 can enter the competitions with their legal guardians permission.
  • A handler may enter the same challenge more than once if it is with a different equine.
  • Any equine can be entered this includes ponies, horses, mules and donkeys.
  • An equine may enter the same test or different tests with different handlers.


  • A target stick (handheld target) can be used at any time during the starter level tests to direct the horse. However sticks and whips that aren’t used as targets are not allowed. 
  • A flat head collar or a neck rope may be used in starter tests but the lead must remain loose at all time. Rope halters, dually halters and bitted bridles are not allowed.
  • A mechanical clicker can be used but is not mandatory. Verbal bridges can also be used.
  • Food rewards can be used at anytime during the test however they are not mandatory. Scratches may be used instead or in combination with. 

Every challenge will be scored by Jessica Gonzalez (owner and operator of Empowered Equines) and one other guest judge.
Each task can receive a maximum of 20pts. Each task is evaluated using the following 5 categories: accuracy, cues and responses, reinforcement and horse’s well being. 

All levels receive a digital certificate of completion

Foundation Level:
+90% - An EE Clicker

Starter Level:
+90% - A Treat Pouch and 2 mane/tail clips
+80% - 2 Mane/Tail Clips

Intermediate Level:
+90% - An EE Treat Pouch and a custom painting by one of our rescues
+80% - 3 mane/tail clips

Advanced Level:
+90% An EE Treat Pouch and EE T-shirt
+80% A custom painting by one of our rescues and 2 mane/tail clips


  • Each entry must be filmed in one time with audio.
  • No part of the video should be edited out.
  • Do not add music or voice over commentary.
  • The horse and the handler must be in the same shot at all time.
  • The quality of the video should not be lower than 360p (Upload as 720p HD if possible)
  • Judges may refuse your entry or deduct point if the above guidelines are not followed: If we can’t see it, we can’t score it.


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