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Discussion Starter #1
I definately want to do some type of compeptitive trail. I've looked at ACHTA and NRTHCA and was wondering wh else there is. I'd like there to be NO jumping or optional jumping, calm, and natural. I'd also like to stay at a trot or lower. Cantering on trails seems a little dangerous to me and he has a pretty fast canter, no lope. And he's unshod, and has to remain unshod.

Whatever you'd suggest would be great. I'm just looking for ideas. And he's a 9 year old QH.

Thanks!
 

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Where are you located? Different organization have stronger presence in various areas.

www.NATRC.org Has a great program and I would encourage anybody that lives in an area where they have a strong organization to try them. Go to their website and look at their calendar and see if they have rides close to you.

there rides will be mostly Weekend events. Arrive Friday night, ride Saturday and Sunday morning, Awards Sunday afternoon and you be heading home late Sunday afternoon.

they focuus on excellence in a trail horse. So walking, trotting are the speeds. Obsticles will include, Standing while mountaing, crossing logs, steep hills, opening gates etc. But the focus on natural obsticles vs man made,
 

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I definately want to do some type of competitive trail... Cantering on trails seems a little dangerous to me and he has a pretty fast canter, no lope. ...he's a 9 year old QH.
From somebody who has been trail-riding off and on for over 40 years--I used to rent horses at a local stable LONG before I took Hunter lessons and bought my own horses--your trail riding horse needs to be in CONTROL at all gaits on the trail. Yes, the ideal trail horse IMHO should be calm and maybe, a little on the lazy side. Yet, my 2 KMSHA horses eat up the trail at the amble and the canter and people buy them for that very reason.
Competitive Trail Riding is a type of showing. Maybe some CA or other training methods can help you to handle your QH's canter? I am preparing my two 5 yo's to help me when we trail ride by learning to push open the gates at home, and I school so that they know running back towards the barn is NEVER an option. Is that your fear with your horse?
At 9yo he really should be a finished horse as you look for things to do with him.
 

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From somebody who has been trail-riding off and on for over 40 years--I used to rent horses at a local stable LONG before I took Hunter lessons and bought my own horses--your trail riding horse needs to be in CONTROL at all gaits on the trail. Yes, the ideal trail horse IMHO should be calm and maybe, a little on the lazy side. Yet, my 2 KMSHA horses eat up the trail at the amble and the canter and people buy them for that very reason.
Competitive Trail Riding is a type of showing. Maybe some CA or other training methods can help you to handle your QH's canter? I am preparing my two 5 yo's to help me when we trail ride by learning to push open the gates at home, and I school so that they know running back towards the barn is NEVER an option. Is that your fear with your horse?
At 9yo he really should be a finished horse as you look for things to do with him.
Corporal, I ride trails and dont canter or like cantering for the very same reason. I was WALKING DOWN THE TRAIL the other day and two holes were covered by leaves, Horse went down to his knees and got back up. In one place, there was a board with nails on the trail. If we had encountered either of those faster than a walk/trot it would have been very different.
The horse should be in control, and if you are on a really safe trail, or open land, go for it. But there is too much unknown on a trail to just be running down the trail.
 

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LetAGirlShowYou, it's been a very long time since I just took off full tilt down the trail. (I'll be 54yo this December.) There are some trails where it is safe and it can be fun. Remember, I suggested, "...the ideal trail horse IMHO should be calm and maybe, a little on the lazy side." I am schooling my 3 horses this winter for trail riding next summer to slow down and be obedient at the walk or slow trot.
Last time DH and were riding in the Black Hills, SD, the trail merged with a back road (with private residences) and virtually no traffic. Our 2 KMSHA's took off at a fast amble, and we decided to see just how far and long they would keep the pace. (Our Garmin said they were travelling 9 mph.) Often there is a well-travelled trail wide as a single laned road, and I will let my horse canter it uphill, if it makes him happy.
MY POINT is that you shouldn't consider competing at trail riding, where there is no arena and no fences UNLESS you are in complete control of your horse. The OP said she is not in control at the canter, and THAT is a recipe for her to have a wreck and maybe somebody Else in the competition to get hurt, too. THAT's all.
BTW, if you are riding where there is garbage, I would reconsider that trail.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I can control him completely in and out of the arena, just as LetAGurlShowU said it can be dangerous and I hate the idea. And his canter I believe is affected by how he is built, so there's no changing that. I'll get some pics up for opinions.
 

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Cantering on trails is only safe if it is a trail that is safe for cantering.
Holes, cliffs, rough footing...... these are all prescriptions for disaster. I like to walk if the footing is rough and then open up and canter in places that I know are safe. A horse will fall out from under you if you canter in an area with poor footing.
 
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