Empowered Riding shows are not traditional horse shows. Shows offer a way for riders and horses to show others that they can communicate well enough with one another and/or complete specific skill levels. I believe that the true success comes from completing the skill safely and correctly, not by being the fastest, slowest, most stylish or flashiest. This removes the need for unnatural or enhanced gaits and headsets, fancy tack, or excessive speed. Each horse and rider combination competes against themselves to complete the skill correctly at a natural gait and speed. If the skill is completed properly, the horse and rider win first place. If there is a mistake, and the horse and rider team loses 1-3 points, they get 2nd place, and if they lose 4 or more points, they get third. In Empowered Riding shows, no one can win less than 3rd place. In fact, many people can win first, second, or third place in the same class! So that means no more fretting about another horse and rider being "better" than you and taking your chance of winning away. If you do the skill correctly, you win. It's as simple as that. Empowered Riding is all about encouragement and success. God did not make any person better or worse than any other person. Therefore, each person (and horse) should be rewarded for their own hard work and good communication skills between horse and rider.
A typical Empowered Riding show has classes for many different levels and styles of riding. For instance, there may be groundwork classes for horses of all ages, trail/obstacle classes (easy and challenging), rail classes, pattern classes, and games classes. There is never a penalty for a rider having a coach in the ring with them or being on a leadline (regardless of age), and all humane bits and equipment are welcome without penalty. Riders can compete in most any style of saddle and attire, as long as it is reasonably well-fitting to horse and rider, neat in presentation, and safe to ride in.