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America's Favorite Trail Horse

This is a discussion on America's Favorite Trail Horse within the Trail Riding forums, part of the Riding Horses category
  • Actha obstacles defined
  • Why should my horse be america's favorite trail horse

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    11-03-2011, 10:16 AM
  #1
Weanling
America's Favorite Trail Horse

Just wondering if anyone here has been watching the show "America's Favorite Trail Horse" on HRTV?

I can't say it's inspired me to want to shell out any money to participate in ACTHA rides, especially considering that even the "experts/judges" seem to know next to nothing about gaited horses or how they're supposed to move. A couple of times, I've heard them comment that they thought a gaited horse was "rushing" a bit, or should have a lower and more relaxed headset.

Uhhh. . .maybe it would be "rushing" if it was a stock horse, but that's the way the gaited horse is supposed to move.

But it is entertaining. . .in a frightening accident-waiting-to-happen kind of way. Maybe they've never taken a riding lesson in their lives, and maybe they don't think they need to, but bad riding is still bad riding whether you're in a flat arena or the open trail.
     
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    11-03-2011, 10:28 AM
  #2
Green Broke
Participate and change it, When you join express your thoughts to the national organization. Make sure they get the word out that you as a member DONOT want to be judged by western pleasure judges, If I wanted a stiff legged slow motion nose dragging the dirt horse I would be at a WP show not a trail ride event.
     
    11-03-2011, 06:22 PM
  #3
Foal
I only have basic cable. 13 channels. Can't watch it.
     
    11-03-2011, 08:15 PM
  #4
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jolly Badger    
Just wondering if anyone here has been watching the show "America's Favorite Trail Horse" on HRTV?

I can't say it's inspired me to want to shell out any money to participate in ACTHA rides, especially considering that even the "experts/judges" seem to know next to nothing about gaited horses or how they're supposed to move. A couple of times, I've heard them comment that they thought a gaited horse was "rushing" a bit, or should have a lower and more relaxed headset.

I don't have cable, so haven't been able to watch it either. If they think gaited horses are rushing and high-headed, I cannot imagine they would be impressed with my endurance ayrab. ;)

While ACTHA doesn't appeal to me personally, I am always happy to see any reasonable horsey activity get good publicity and interest from the non-horsey public, as that is the best way to help keep trail access, etc.
     
    11-04-2011, 11:33 PM
  #5
Green Broke
Unfortunatly I don't get HRTV from my cable provider.

I used to go watch shows and it drove me nuts to have QH judges judging TWH competitions. If you can't find a judge that knows the breed, call off the show. If in ACTHA you have judges judging by their breed preferance toss them out.
     
    11-05-2011, 12:08 AM
  #6
Green Broke
At one ACTHA ride, I almost got points off for riding in an English saddle because "it wasn't proper trail attire." My friend was assistant and called the judge out on my behalf.

I was also called down by a judge for my horse being "hyper" and "prancing". My horse was doing a very collected, high stepping rack. Her head was in the air because that's how she gaits. We got points off for "rushing" several times.


ACTHA rubs me wrong a few ways... But let's not get into that.
     
    11-05-2011, 02:09 AM
  #7
Foal
My daughter and I participate in ACTHA and we love it. We have had great judges and we have had poor judges. Such is life in any equine competition.

I have seen all types of saddles, bridles, gaited and nongaited horses compete. I have not heard one rider complain that they were docked points for equipment or for their mounts natural gaits.

Riders lose points for interfering too much with their horse, horses lose points for not listening to their riders, both loose points for not paying attention and doing the obstacle correctly. ACTHA clearly defines what judges are suppose to look for when judging, so we practice using those guidelines and we do extremly well.

My daughter rides a WP/showmanship trained mare. I ride a HUS mare in western saddle with a Myler D ring. I ride with loose reins but short enough to communicate effectively.

In regards to America's Favorite Trail Horse, I have competed against Amanda Innerman who is on the show, I don't believe her episode has been shown yet. At our last competition together we were only 10 points below her.
     
    11-05-2011, 08:58 AM
  #8
Green Broke
This is realy disturbing if ACTHA is going that direction Judges that don't follow the guidlines issued by the association need to be reported immediately. I would expect the national organization to clamp down on this immediately. I have seen other sports ruined by local rules and officials making up there own standards. But if you run into a judge like that, and don't report them, and keep going to that event then you only have yourself to blame. I ride walkers and if I dinged in points by something like this I would inform national organization, I would also tell the local organizer that I would not participate in any future rides with this judge present. Nor would I encourage my friends to return.
Yes I know I come across as a butt head and may be a bit harsh but you really have to nip this in the bud quick.
I loved the sport of IDPA ( a shooting game) when it came out, The sport has been ruined and is nothing but a lesson in frustration by this same type of BS. With local officials making up there own rules and allowing personal opinions and bias ruin things. Every single match you went to seemed to be judged with a different mindset. When it was supposed to be a national standard to get people traveling and enjoying different events.
     
    11-05-2011, 10:08 AM
  #9
QOS
Green Broke
A friend of ours held an ACTHA ride and everyone in our riding group participated as judges/safety riders/etc. We did have one judge that has a gaited horse and we had a number of gaited horses. We all ride with gaited horses (geez...we ride with Arabians, QH, Paints, TW, Rocky Mountains, Morgan/Friesan) on a regular basis so we didn't have anyone say that they weren't fairly judged, thank God.

National rules should be followed at the local level - otherwise what is the point?
     
    11-06-2011, 11:44 AM
  #10
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brighteyes    
At one ACTHA ride, I almost got points off for riding in an English saddle because "it wasn't proper trail attire." My friend was assistant and called the judge out on my behalf.

I was also called down by a judge for my horse being "hyper" and "prancing". My horse was doing a very collected, high stepping rack. Her head was in the air because that's how she gaits. We got points off for "rushing" several times.

Yeah, the tack issue you described very similar to what I've heard as well. Someone on another horse forum mentioned that they were riding in an ACTHA competition with a neck rope on their horse, and were informed (by a judge) that they were not allowed to use a "tie down."

Really, if the judge can't tell the difference between a neck rope and a tie-down, why are they judging at all?

Same goes for the breed thing. If someone is on a low-headed, slower-moving breed that plods along and picks its way through obstacles, and that's what they're happy to ride, that's fine.

But that shouldn't mean penalizing or deducting points from a gaited horse/rider team that can move confidently, safely and swiftly through the same obstacles.

Not all horse/rider teams need to stop and "look" at every obstacle in order to get through it safely. In fact, some horses can get so used to being made to "stop and look" at everything that they end up more agitated and nervous than if they were simply asked to continue through the obstacle. That's all part of the rider giving the horse confidence, and the horse trusting that its rider will not put it into a dangerous situation.

Of course, that's JMHO.
     

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