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So... I've done the trail classes in the ring but I've never done a competitive trail ride. I just found a series that looks really cool and I think I want to give it a shot. I was browsing the pictures not he site and while the obstacles look a little scary, they don't look dreadful.

Since I've never done one before I was wondering how they work. I remember when I did the combined training events I would get a start time and be sent out of the shoot alone. Of course those were timed and the obstacles were jumps.... So I'm wondering, are these timed? I know the obstacles are timed but I wasn't sure about the entire course? It's a judged pleasure ride so I feel like you have as long as you need to get through the trail but only specific times for the obstacles?

I don't know if I can find anyone to go with me so when I get there, can I ask them to pair me with a group? And can I be a wuss and ask them to pair me with a "tried and true" group?

Just looking for how it works. My baby is a coming 4 year old and has only been on a couple trail rides. He's been in the ring and done trail courses, he crosses the teeter totter bridge and climbs the tractor tires, he has pulled a log and crossed a tarp. I'm not sure about a gate, I have a rope gate like in the ring courses but I haven't tried a real gate. I haven't thrown a rope from him either...

Just looking for... information? Thoughts?
 
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I don't know what region you are in. And it has been 15 years since I did any NATRC CTR.
But I found the folks at the rides to be very helpful.

Most of the time they would assign a mentor to help you thru your first ride. But even if they don't assign a mentor. I'm sure you will have no problem buddying up with somebody in your same class to ride with.

I was new to horses when I started doing CTR. I would show up and the judge would ask me to do something. Often times it was something totally new to me and my horse. And to be honest I failed a lot of the obstacles during my first year. But if I failed during the ride, I would go home and practice, and I would never fail that obstacle a second time. Failing a hard obstacle was just challenge for me to go home and conquer

I think you will have a great time and enjoy the sport. Your horse and you will both grow and become a better partner. Don't be timid about going. just show up and tell them you are novice and they will bend over to help you.
 

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I've asked a few friends to go with me but they are saying these are really competitive and the obstacles are very tricky but I still think I want to do it...

https://www.crystalcrownseries.com/
 

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Maybe see if you can find a more "casual" event to try first. We had a group of trainers get together as "judges" and put their students through a course for fun. Prizes were a new halter, a $25 gift certificate, a free lesson etc.

I think you and your horse will either like it or you won't. Like with many things, your attitude and expectations will have a lot to do with it. It exposes weaknesses and strengths and is a good way to find out which areas your training needs to go next.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I can't find any "beginner" rides.
 

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I've asked a few friends to go with me but they are saying these are really competitive and the obstacles are very tricky but I still think I want to do it...

https://www.crystalcrownseries.com/
That is not a "competitive trail ride" or CTR (which is what @Painted Horse was talking about in his post), but instead its a "judged pleasure ride." I know that seems very picky over semantics, but when asking for help it really does make a difference. CTR is a specific sport with very different rules and expectations (and sanctioning bodies) than JPRs or CTCs (competitive trail challenges) or endurance/limited distance.

After glancing over that website, I would suggest contacting the organizing group of the specific event you want to attend and asking your questions. I would also ask if they offer a newbie/greenie section or would at least be willing to let you start at the end so you aren't delaying the more competitive people. Just because some people are very competitive doesn't mean everyone will be, so management may be able to pair you up with someone more experienced willing to mentor new riders.
 

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That looks a lot like the ACTHA that I did a while back. I would contact them to ask questions but the format that I did was a 6 to 7 mile trail ride with 6 obstacles along the way. They sent us out in groups of 4 staggered so that you didn't have to wait as long at each obstacle. I enjoyed trying them but never planned on winning as I would do one a year. Typically safety is the first concern so if you have to leave an obstacle leave the obstacle. I was really surprised that tires that had been buried in the ground standing upright upset so many horses.
 

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I've asked a few friends to go with me but they are saying these are really competitive and the obstacles are very tricky but I still think I want to do it...

https://www.crystalcrownseries.com/
Some of those are near me!
Wish they would post a picture of each obstacle so I could attempt to make it at home to practice....There's a lot of things my guy would tell me off at, lol. I don't feel like getting royally embarrassed...

The website kinda makes it look like the fun obstacle courses barn's make and then charge a small fee for people to try it out.

If you do go, get pictures to share with us!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
@secuono If I go you can come join me!

I did e-mail them and they sent back a quick e-mail that said they could buddy me up with someone. They didn't seem to mind that I'm a "beginner". It sounds weird calling myself a beginner but obviously from looking at @phantomhorse13 response to me... I am a beginner! I don't even know what it's called! OK... shhh don't tell anyone... turn your heads or witness a slight use of mod powers as I change the title of this thread..

PS - not really abuse - anyone can request a title change if their thread would be better suited with a different title...
 

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Terminology will get you different responses. "Competitive Trail Rides" were originally those put on by NATRC which are typically NOT what people mean by "competitive trail rides" today. The NATRC rides are typically timed & pretty long over varying terrain (many times they were run with an endurance race & just went out after the endurance riders went out) and you judged not only on the obstacles but the condition of your horse and how you horsekeep at camp.

We have in CA an organization that does "Trail Trials" which sound more of what you may be doing. These were typical easy trail rides that were NOT timed where you would do obstacles at various points in the ride. The obstacles were fairly easy. You could go out on the trail when ever you wanted within a specific time (8 am - 10 am), so that they would get finished by a certain time in the afternoon. I did a number of these, many times on my own and sometimes would ask people if I could ride with them. They were always very nice and let me do it.

"Competitive Trail Rides" today could be any where in between the two above. I would get the rule book for the ones you want to do to see exactly what they entail. You can usually down load them from the website (or ask a venue to send it to you). It looks fun! I'd do it with you if I was in the area!!
 

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I did e-mail them and they sent back a quick e-mail that said they could buddy me up with someone. They didn't seem to mind that I'm a "beginner". It sounds weird calling myself a beginner but obviously from looking at @phantomhorse13 response to me... I am a beginner!
Oh jeez, I hope you didn't see my response as negative towards beginners - because without those no sport would ever get new members!! I just wanted to make sure you got correct information in your search.

I hope you take management up on the offer to pair you with an experienced member and that gives you the nudge to actually take your horse to the event. I think its looks like a lot of fun and would be a great experience for you both. [I wish there were such things at a reasonable price near me, as I would love to try it myself.]
 

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I actually DID the JPR at Manassas National Battlefield Park a few years ago! I had a blast! The obstacles weren't TOO tricky in my opinion its just a matter of you and your horse having good body control and trust.

One obstacle that I thought was great was "rescue the wild animal"
We came across a hurt stuffed animal, had to dismount, then remount with the stuffed animal on the horse and carry it to safety.

The main obstacle I struggled with was doing the perfect circle while holding the rope...I didn't have enough body control and my horse didn't know how to neck rein...we got a 1 for effort on that one LOL!

Try it out, go in with an open mind. I still have quite a few friends that live in Clifton VA and do the JPR at the battlefield. I moved to Ohio so I don't get to do it anymore :(
 

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Just a few of the obstacles that I've seen at CTR

back your horse thru two barrels
Open gate from horseback
Mount with out your horse moving
Mount pretending you have a broken arm
side pass over and pick up a coat off a tree
Side pass over and tie a ribbon to a tree branch
Crossing logs in the trail
Crossing water on the trail
Steep descents or Ascents

For the most part, The judges always tried to find natural obstacles, so they would vary from ride to ride depending on the terrain and what was available. Nothing was terribly scary or tricky. Just some horses didn't like some obstacles. Some horses are calm and take new challenges in stride.

I found most of the folks at NATRC rides almost became family. I still have contact with folks from 20 years that mentored me on my early rides.
 

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So... Husband and son have both said they'll do this ride with me. I need to order them new helmets. Husband never had one that fit right and my son has outgrown his I think... Looking at the troxels. The leather covered ones, they look manly-ish.
 

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Is there somewhere your DH and DS could go to try on the helmets (even if you buy them online)? Having one that is the wrong shape for your head is miserable. My DH rides in a Tipperary as the Troxel was the wrong shape. So exciting that they are willing to do the ride with you!!
 

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Is there somewhere your DH and DS could go to try on the helmets (even if you buy them online)? Having one that is the wrong shape for your head is miserable. My DH rides in a Tipperary as the Troxel was the wrong shape. So exciting that they are willing to do the ride with you!!
I already made husband try one on a tractor supply. The large Troxel fit (assuming all troxels will fit the same) I think I have a white one that will fit my son (my moms) but I'm going to order him a new one anyway. He needs to try one on first though. He outgrew his a long time ago and was wearing my old one but it's too small for him now.

And I just ordered myself this one (I do have my traditional black velvet one - but this is way cool!)
https://www.statelinetack.com/item/troxel-cheyenne-western-helmet/E015726/
 
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