Many consider the pommel horse to be one of the most difficult of the men’s gymnastics events. It requires enormous amount of practice to master even the most basic skills. Pommel horse routines consist of continuous circular movements interrupted only by the required scissor elements. The hands are the only part of the body that should touch the apparatus and the entire exercise should flow with steady, controlled rhythm. the hand placements should be quick, quiet, and rhythmic.

Pommel horse is the only event in which gymnasts do not get to stop or pause during the routine. If a gymnast gets in trouble, he must continue moving through the routine while making corrections. The constant movement makes this very difficult to do. Mastering basic skills on this apparatus often takes twice the time.