trail competition/practice course - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 10 Old 12-11-2012, 04:53 PM Thread Starter
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trail competition/practice course

I am wanting to set up a trail course to start training my mare for spring/summer trail classes. What kinda things should I include? Poles, bridge, barrels, tarps and rain slicker, ice chest, gate, umbrella... just some things that popped in my head. What else can I include?
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post #2 of 10 Old 12-11-2012, 05:08 PM
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Ive seen mailboxes on a trail class and it spooked almost every horse lol. Ive also seen raising a flag, i havent seen it much but a couple times. Ive also seen white chalk on the sand to showing where a horse should pivot or stop and that scared alot of the horses too. I hope that helps :)
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post #3 of 10 Old 12-11-2012, 05:12 PM
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Look up ACTHA's website for ideas: www.actha.us

Check YouTube for trail class videos
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post #4 of 10 Old 12-11-2012, 06:15 PM
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I have a one mile cardio trail at my house that i use to train my endurance horses and me, when I run. It would make a newbie and even some ACTHA seasoned competitors cringe! But it will give you ideas - up and down steep ravines (switchbacks), figure 8 BACKWARDS around two trees, water crossings, jump narrow ravines, reach down and drag huge limbs out of the way without dismounting - forwards, and dragging backwards - walk backwards UP a hill and stop, then pivot 180 to go the other direction (while still on a slope). Sidepass the length of a small fallen tree. Back in the shape of an "L" without veering off course. Walk down, thru and up ravine banks in a calm, quiet and efficient manner (pushing with the rear, not pulling with the front legs).... can you tell I prefer the wild woods to the arena with poles and manmade obstacles? LOL! Oh and then let's not forget the occasional wildlife...sometimes they can be an obstacle, too!

watch some ACTHA obstacles on Youtube - great ideas. Some are really educational and some are just too darn funny!

Clippityclop is finally getting to spend some time in the saddle!
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post #5 of 10 Old 12-11-2012, 06:32 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clippityclop View Post
I have a one mile cardio trail at my house that i use to train my endurance horses and me, when I run. It would make a newbie and even some ACTHA seasoned competitors cringe! But it will give you ideas - up and down steep ravines (switchbacks), figure 8 BACKWARDS around two trees, water crossings, jump narrow ravines, reach down and drag huge limbs out of the way without dismounting - forwards, and dragging backwards - walk backwards UP a hill and stop, then pivot 180 to go the other direction (while still on a slope). Sidepass the length of a small fallen tree. Back in the shape of an "L" without veering off course. Walk down, thru and up ravine banks in a calm, quiet and efficient manner (pushing with the rear, not pulling with the front legs).... can you tell I prefer the wild woods to the arena with poles and manmade obstacles? LOL! Oh and then let's not forget the occasional wildlife...sometimes they can be an obstacle, too!

watch some ACTHA obstacles on Youtube - great ideas. Some are really educational and some are just too darn funny!
Wow your course sounds scary at times but sooo much fun :)

Thanks for the advice everyone! Im off to the YouTube land of trail courses :)
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post #6 of 10 Old 12-11-2012, 09:30 PM
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If you find any funny ones, post them so we can see them too! One of the ACTHA shows I saw on TV had several competitors that did the course and then they had a section where they could do a freestyle maneuver. One lady came in on her big warmblood, completed the course perfectly and when she got to the marker for freestyle, she did a very lovely canter pirouette. I love ACTHA, even just watching from the sidelines.

Clippityclop is finally getting to spend some time in the saddle!
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post #7 of 10 Old 12-12-2012, 09:32 PM
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Show ring trail and competitive trail riding are very different.

You can find the list of approved obstacles for each breed in their respective rulebooks.
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post #8 of 10 Old 12-12-2012, 11:35 PM Thread Starter
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I would like to do both aspects of trail competitions. I don't have a registered horse so my shows are limited.
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post #9 of 10 Old 12-13-2012, 08:04 PM
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Your horse doesn't have to be registered to compete. In the western show type trail classes, AQHA guidelines are usually followed - but that doesn't mean you need a QH....any horse can go! Especially to local shows around your area.

And competitions like ACTHA, why any horse can do those! It's all about skill, not conformation or breed when it comes to trails. You will do great and no doubt will have a blast!

Clippityclop is finally getting to spend some time in the saddle!
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post #10 of 10 Old 12-13-2012, 08:16 PM Thread Starter
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Good to know :) I've always trail rode but never competed in anything. I did parade too and all I've ever needed was a good steady horse. Papers mean nothing when your out on the trails for 10-12 hours at a time or following a firetruck with lights and sirens on in the local lighted Xmas parade
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