This is direct from the AQHA judging manual on showmanship.
"The exhibitor should not look back while leading the
horse away from the judge."
While it may say this in an older copy of the judging manual, it is no where specified in the Official AQHA Rule Book.. It is not a minor, major, nor severe fault and it is not means for a DQ...So again, it seems as it's a judges preference..and really, if someone wanted to throw the book at the judge for faulting the competitor, they could..and then who looks stupid? The judge not following the rule book or the girl who looked back? AQHA Handbook
These are direct quotes for the faults in a AQHA showmanship class.
" (3) Faults: Faults can be classified as minor,major or severe. The judge will determine the appropriate classification of a fault based upon the degree and/or frequency of the infraction.
(A) Minor faults
Break of gait at walk or jog/trot for 1 stride Sliding a pivot foot or lifting foot and replacing in same place
(B) Major faults
Not performing gait or not stopping within 5 feet of designated area Break of gait at walk or jog/trot for more than 1 stride Splitting the cone Picking up a pivot foot Picking up a foot after presentation Over/under turning 1/8 to 1/4 of designated turn
(C) Severe Faults (avoids disqualification but should be placed below other exhibitors that do not incur a severe fault) include:
Out of position during presentation exhibitor touching the horse or kicking or pointing their feet at the horse’s feet during set up standing directly in front of the horse Loss of lead shank or holding chain or two hands on shank. severe disobedience including rearing or pawing; horse kicking at other horses,exhibitors or judge; or horse continuously circling the exhibitor
(D) Disqualifications (should not be placed) include:
loss of control of horse that endangers exhibitor,other horses or exhibitors,or judge including the horse escaping from the exhibitor failure of exhibitor to wear correct number in a visible manner willful abuse excessive schooling or training,or use of artificial aids knocking over the cone or going off pattern Never performing specific gait Over turning more than 1/4 turn of designated turn In Novice Classes Only: Exhibitor's going off pattern,knocking over or on wrong side of cone,never performing specified gait,or overturning more than 1/4 turn than designated,shall not be disqualified, but must always place below exhibitors not incurring a disqualifying fault."