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Calmwaters 09-08-2011 01:55 PM

Competitive Trail Riding...
Does anyone do it? What can you tell me about it?

QOS 09-08-2011 07:41 PM

I am going to my first one Saturday to help. Barry and I are safety riders. One of the ladies in our group is hosting and my friends are judges. We are going to have a blast!

Brighteyes 09-08-2011 08:06 PM

It's fun. :D

What it entails depends on what you mean by competitive trail ride (CTR). ACTHA hosts rides called trail challenges. These are eight mile courses that take around two and a half hours to complete. You are judge on your horse's performance across natural(ish) obstacles along the trail. It's like a trail class on an actual outdoor trail. :wink: These types of rides are good for pleasure type distance riders who just want to have some fun once in a while. Since the courses are so short, it doesn't require much conditioning.

On the more endurancey end of things are NATRC rides. I do these, so I can tell you more about them than ACTHA. On a NATRC ride, you are given a map of about 20 miles of trail, a pace (3 or 4 mph), and a time (e.g. 5 to 5 and a half hours). Along the trail are points (A, B, etc.) to guide you along and to use as milestones to make sure you're on time. The aim is to ride 20 miles of trail in the allotted amount of time -- neither too fast nor too slow.

As you're fighting with time, judges are hiding along the trail, watching and waiting. You have two cards: horse and horsemanship. Each is judged separately. The vet judge has power over your horse card. This judge is looking for a well conditioned (checks out sound and has good P and Rs)and well mannered trail mount. The horsemanship judge has power over your horsemanship card. This judge will look for a safe campsite, good equitation, and your trail manners, along other things.

The basic aim is to survive two 20 mile days and check out at the end with a horse who could turn around and do 20 more.

... Questions? :D

Calmwaters 09-08-2011 08:26 PM

I like the way the ACTHA trial sounds, is there jumping or anything like that involved?

Brighteyes 09-08-2011 08:36 PM

They might ask you to pop over a tiny log here and there, but nothing serious. Basically, to do 90% of obstacles, you need these skills: turn on the forehand, turn on the haunches, back, and sidepass. You also need a horse that will stand perfectly (to mount especially), cross creeks and logs, and transition up and down smoothly through his gaits. A good, solid canter/stop trot/stop transition is a real asset as well.

Calmwaters 09-08-2011 08:47 PM

My horse is a Paso Fino and I can not trot due to a back injury on my part so I guess that would knock us out. Oh well guess I will just stick to pleasure riding.

Brighteyes 09-08-2011 08:51 PM

No! My horse is gaited too. By "trot", I mean middle gait. I just say trot because most people have normal horses.

Calmwaters 09-08-2011 08:56 PM

Oh thats good to know now next question, Tequila is 20 yrs young is that to old? Shes in good shape and healthy. Also, can you tell me what these terms are I have never had lessons but have been riding since I was 6 so I am not exactly sure what you mean by these movements turn on the forehand, turn on the haunches, and sidepass.

Brighteyes 09-08-2011 09:05 PM

On the forehand. You move the horse's back end without moving the front.

Sidepass. Moving your whole horse sideways without going forwards.

I can't find one for turn on the haunches... I would google it and try to find some more clips. These are just examples I pull off youtube in two minutes.

20 is not too old. I get my butt kicked by 20 year old horses every day of the week. ;) If the horse is healthy and conditioned well enough, anything is possible regardness of age.

Hidalgo13 09-08-2011 09:05 PM

subscribing because I really want to do this when I'm older! :))

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