Western Pleasure is a western style competition at horse shows that evaluates horses on manners and suitability of the horse for a relaxed but collected gait cadence and relatively slow speed of gait, along with calm and responsive disposition. The horse is to appear to be a "pleasure" to ride and very comfortable, while being very smooth. Most light horse breeds in the United States and Canada may compete in western pleasure classes, either in open competition or at shows limited to a single breed. However, horse conformation and temperament play a role in this event, and hence animals that are calm, quiet, have collected, soft gaits and the strong muscling required to sustain slow, controlled movement are the most competitive.
Horses and riders show in western tack and attire. The horse carries a western saddle, and wears an open-faced bridle without a noseband. The rider wears a long-sleeved shirt, sometimes with a vest or jacket, chaps, a cowboy hat, and cowboy boots. Gloves and spurs are optional. Shirts and vests or jackets are often brightly colored and sometimes elaborately decorated to mimic popular styles in western wear. Riders at smaller shows usually wear denim jeans under their chaps, while at regional and national competitions, western-styled polyester dress pants that match the rider's shirt or chaps are worn by women, while men tend to stick to jeans. Men usually wear a neck scarf, often of silk, and women may too wear a neck scarf, but in recent years as rules have been relaxed, brooches and necklaces are now also seen on female riders.