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NCHA Membership - Something For Everyone

Free Ride Member

If you have never been a member, this membership is perfect for you.  As a free rider, you can get your feet wet and try out cutting without the usual annual membership fee. 

This membership allows you to ride to herd and compete. You will have access to our online version of the Cutting Horse Chatter magazine and the NCHA Rulebook. 


Regular Membership

Renewing members (except Youth) have experienced cutting and are all in! 

Annual memberships give you access to NCHA membership discounts with select NCHA  Sponsors, a printed, mailed subscription to the official NCHA Publication - The Cutting Horse Chatter.  

Youth Membership

Youth memberships are available to individuals 18-years-old and younger as of June 30 of the current point year. 

Not only does this membership allow to compete in our youth classes at the weekend level shows but it also makes you a member of the  National Youth Cutting Horse Association (NYCHA). Through the NYCHA, members can receive scholarships, serve in leadership roles, and compete for year-end awards.

Are you a Non-Professional or an Amateur?

Not sure which boxes to check?  Not sure how you fit into the NCHA eligibility categories? Your current (and past) activities in the equine industry will determine your status. The NCHA Rulebook outlines the differences.  The FAQ section of this website also has some examples of activities and how they help determine your status.  We recommend answering the questions on the Non Pro / Amateur application and let the appropriate committee assign your status.

These basic definitions might help:

Non-Professional Definition

A Non-Professional in this association is a person who has not received direct or indirect remuneration to work in any manner in the following activities on the premises of a cutting horse operation: showing, training or assisting in training a cutting horse or cutting horse riders. For purposes of this rule, a cutting horse training operation is any facility where cutting horses are trained. Any person who has trained horses astride in any equine discipline for direct or indirect remuneration shall be considered a professional by this association, with the exception of those who have been granted a change of status since January 1, 1997, from professional to non-professional. 

Amateur Exclusions

Non-Pros may also qualify as an Amateur.  To qualify as an Amateur, you can not have done any of the following activities / circumstances:

  1. Ridden or trained horses or horse riders in ANY equine discipline astride for remuneration, directly or indirectly
  2. Assisted in training horses or horse riders astride for remuneration, directly or indirectly
  3. Are you married to, have been married to, are in or have been in a cohabitational relationship with a person who is currently or previously engaged in activities that would require that person to be classified as a professional according to Rule 51.a.3
  4. Within the last 5 years has resided either a) on a premises where a training operation (any horse discipline) was operating OR b) with any person who was engaged in activities that would require the person to be classified as a professional according to Rule 51.a.3
  5. Has been an apprentice cutting horse trainer at any time, or ever in their life been a trainer or assistant trainer of cutting horses; (h) the member has received more than $100,000 ($50,000 Limited Age/$50,000 Weekend) in eligibility lifetime NCHA cutting horse earnings. See Amateur Rules for details. 

Still confused?  The membership department at NCHA can help you determine what is right for you.
Julie Davis – Director of Member Services
Linda Welborn – Manager of Member Services

Get Started by Joining Now



  • Get your Hat, Boots, Western Gear and attend the Level 1 Western Workshop
  • Get your Horse & Attend a Western Workshop Level 2 and up
  • Find a Trainer & Learn everything from the basics to advanced showing techniques
  • Find a Show & "Enter Up" - show off your acquired skills in the show pen
  • Check your Standings and congratulate yourself on much deserved success
  • Wear your Achievement Buckle with pride. Wins $2,000 in lifetime NCHA weekend earnings and automatically receive a Gist trophy buckle compliments of NCHA.


We Are Here To Help

Visit Us

National Cutting Horse Association
260 Bailey Ave.
Fort Worth, TX 76107

Office Hours

Monday thru Friday 8:30am - 5:00pm CST
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