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  1. #1
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    Default Obstacles on judged pleasure/trail rides

    What obstacles are acceptable for these types of casual competitions? I've seen photo's of umbrellas (???) and the usual mailboxes, bridges, water crossings, etc. Is there a governing organization or any specs for the courses and obstacles? Do you go out in pairs or alone? Thanks!



  2. #2
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    Here are pics from an Extreme Trail Challenge - this is not really what I am looking for; I would like something a little more typical of every day trail riding. When did you last see inflatables or noodles on a trail ride????

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=coHgZfgQWJ8



  3. #3
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    Oct. 25, 2008
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    I think the noodles are supposed to simulate walking through bushes, etc. Just shows that your horse will go through anything.

    The obstacles depend on the organization. I've done ETI Trail Trials and they're more casual, pretty much what you'd encounter on a trail. Mount/dismount, go through water, cross a bridge, side-pass, etc. They did have a birthday party set up once, I've passed many birthdays on trail rides. The inflatable doesn't surprise me, I think I've seen everything possible on the trails, include LARP'ing, and lots of movie filming (I had one encounter with a film crew that was filming a shooting scene. Thank God the horses didn't spoke when the pistols fired!). Horses encounter everything these days.



  4. #4
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    Sep. 26, 2010
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    Not to hijack the thread, but I did some X-C schooling recently at a very well-known venue and some folks on neighboring properties were target shooting. Fortunately for me, my horse didn't seem to care!!



  5. #5
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    Apr. 8, 2010
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    South-Central PA
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    I did my first judged trrail/pleasure ride this year. It was listed as being six miles, but my friend and I think it was shorter than that.

    Obstacles-
    1. Ride up, stop, dismount, walk over to table, pick up spray bottle (water), spray your horse 3 times on each shoulder, hand walk on (mounting back up wasn't judged)

    2. A "jump"- ride up at a walk/trot (no cantering allowed at any point in this obstacle), go over a log on the ground nicely at whichever pace (it was really small, more like a limb), jumping would get you the most points but no one had to jump

    3. Ride through at a trot weaving left and right between cones on the ground at an even pace

    4. Water crossing- ride down into the water (it's a huge lake), go parallel across from the shore and come back onto land at a different spot, they had fake ducks in the water, stopping to splash or drink was not allowed (you could go back in after the obstacle), this lake has boats that creates noises and little waves on the shore

    5. Back your horse through an "L" shaped area (created by ground poles), many, many horses couldn't complete this

    6. Walk up to a "maibox" (real mailbox on a pole planted in a bucket-it was a little taller than the average real mailbox), open mailbox, pull out a completion ribbon, close mailbox and walk on

    I'd love to do another competition. My horse and I got 5th out of like 35 people (tied for 4th really but they used one of the obstacles as a tie-breaker for 4th place) in the novice/1st timers group.



  6. #6
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    Jun. 18, 2011
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    Not gonna lie, "trail riding" in an arena baffles me.

    Have you considered getting involved with an organization like ATTA or ACTHA?

    http://www.attatrailtrials.com/
    https://www.actha.us/

    ACTHA has a list of obstacles on their website with suggestions on how to set them up and how they should be judged.

    https://www.actha.us/obstacles



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan. 10, 2008
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    Western NY
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    Various obstacles I've seen in a trail class (in an arena):
    --Always the gate opening (I hate gates)
    --Piles of brush to walk through
    --Walking over a parachute
    --Backing through the L
    --Sidepassing over a pole
    --Carrying something to somewhere else (usually a bucket or something, carried from one barrel to another)
    --Pick up a milk jug on a rope out of one trash can, carry it to another trash can, lower it in (my horse, evidently tired of this BS, picked up the second trash can and flung it at the judge; that is a no-no)
    --Mailbox (usually removing a piece of paper from it)
    --Jumping logs/other wee small jumps
    --An old guy sitting in a lawnchair who popped an umbrella up when you rode by (my horse tried to bite the umbrella)



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug. 22, 2002
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    Joppa, Md------USA
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    callidorre, did the same ride as you. fun fun.
    here are a few things that i have done.

    pass chickens in cage
    walk on mattress
    walk past a campfire and people playing cards
    walk past fake deer -(my horse was terrified of fake deer,but pays no attention to real ones)
    drag stuff
    stand quietly while pretend construction people stopped traffic
    mount on wrong side
    walk by tent with people suddenly coming out
    carried a raw egg the entire ride and then toss it into a water bucket at end of ride



  9. #9
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    Apr. 8, 2010
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    South-Central PA
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    Sonata- Yep, it was a fun ride! I realized that I didn't answer all of the OP's questions. We got sent out in groups of 4-6 people I believe every 15 minutes. Once we were out on the trail, we could seperate from that group. My one friend and I ended up all alone since our horses were walking much faster than the rest of the group. It turned out great because it was just like a normal trail ride for them, and they weren't feeding off the energy and attitudes of other horses.



  10. #10
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    Aug. 10, 2008
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    Statesboro, GA
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    One of the best "Trail Class in a Ring" obstacles that I ever saw was a dude on a pretty loud motorbike. He was about 10 feet from the rail, sitting still. The horse had to walk between the rail and the bike, while the bike rider revved the motor a bit.

    I DO NOT LIKE extremely artificial obstacles. AQHA has gone insane with the way they need 50 - 75 poles to set up a trail class.

    Judged trail or pleasure trail RIDES, where you go up and down hills, cross a stream, etc., sound like fun.



  11. #11
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    Oct. 5, 1999
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    Thanks! We carry mail, the newspaper and the plastic blue recycling containers up the driveway on horseback, so the carrying stuff should not be difficult. Never thought about chickens in a cage! And maybe I'll go onto craigslist to get a fake deer. We see lots of real ones, but I can see the horses thinking a fake one just doesn't belong...



  12. #12
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    Aug. 22, 2002
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    Joppa, Md------USA
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    All the rides that I have been on have been on a regular trail. even the mattress. Part of that ride included going around the edge of a sports field with kids playing soccer. While waiting for my friend to finish the obstacle that she was doing, a kid kicked his ball and missed the goal. My horse's legs became the goal. that sweet gelding just stood and watched the ball come, let it go through his legs and into the woods on his other side



  13. #13
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    Sonesta - I'm in MD also. I was thinking of doing the TROT ride next weekend:

    http://trot-md.org/



  14. #14
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    Aug. 22, 2002
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    Joppa, Md------USA
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    flash 44

    go and enjoy it. I think some friends of mine are going. I won't be doing this one. I have a greenie that I'm working on and she hasn't trailered much. this is about an hour and a half from me. I want to get her out on some short hauls first before I do the big one



  15. #15
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    Apr. 24, 2003
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    Tehachapi, Ca
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    We had an extreme horsemans challenge in a large field at our equestrian center a couple of weeks ago. In addition to the regular - steps up and down, walking through branches on the ground, they had some obsticals I thought would give my horse some issues. When we schooled it later, he went right along and did them so Im happy about that.

    They had a carpet in front of a wooden bridge. A LOT of the horses stopped and looked really hard at the carpet (regular white shag) and then a number of them jumped it - which meant they landed on the bridge. Not my choice!

    There was an oversized stuffed dog (about 4 ft tall ) with a noose around his neck and a rope attached to the tree. The rider had to ride up, pull on the rope and the large dog would rise in the air.They had to raise it about 10 feet off the ground. Surprisingly to me none of the horses had any issues with this - including my greenie.

    At one point, the riders had to pick up a rope that was set up to rope a cow, swing it over their head and throw it at a set of cow horns sitting on a bale of hay. There were a number of horses that, when the rope was being swung over their heads, got scared, spun and tried to run off.

    And of course,there was the tarp that had a rope tied to the tree. The riders had to pull the tarp behind their horse. All did it.

    But the real test was in the "ride off" for the top 5 Time played a part in the scoring so the riders came in the ring and GALLOPED up a hill. Part way up, was a large bridge with a railroad tie under it so it tipped. The bridge was set up so that the riders approached the high - or up - side of the bridge.(it was about 3 feet high on the up side. The riders approached this carefully, lettng the horses see it and check it out.. The horses then sat back and put a foot up on the bridge at which point it tipped towards them. Every one of them stood their ground and then put another foot on. As they got to the mid point, the bridge tipped back the other way (again a 3 ft drop) . Amazingly all of them stayed on and walked off. wow.

    I talked to one of the trainers there and said I would want my horse to figure out if he thought that being on a moving bridge was a good thing for him .....and I would not think it would be. But the trainer pointed out that in this sport, the horse needs to have total trust in the rider. So if the rider asks them to do something they might not have done on their own, that the horse will trust them and do it.
    So it was interesting and a lot of fun to watch. Later when we schooled the course, my horse did everything Except for the tippy bridge. I didnt ask him. Too scarey for me so Im sure he would think so too!



  16. #16
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    Mar. 10, 2007
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    They walk on and ride horse trailers all the time-I'm sure that helps! There are suspended pack bridges that swing in the air and move and most horses handle it pretty well. Some of the bridge systems we've been on will move and bounce as the whole string of horses passes over it. I don't think it's as uncommon to the horse as it would seem to a person, even if it is sitting in the middle of a perfectly good solid field! LOL

    Trust is good but blind trust isn't, IMO. I always take my experienced horse's opinion into consideration.

    I know real trail experiences and have passed many a test out in the wilds but I don't know much about the competitions. I don't even know if one of our horses would do the obstacles in the ring without a fuss; out in the wilderness they never miss a beat but that is in context. Different in an arena.



  17. #17
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    Apr. 24, 2003
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    Wow - a suspended bridge that moves when the horses go over it. Think Im not ready for that either.... Im perfectly happy to ask my horse to leave the ground and jump over a fence, but the idea of riding him on something that moves is a whole different story...........



  18. #18
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    Jan. 18, 2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by Linda View Post
    Wow - a suspended bridge that moves when the horses go over it. Think Im not ready for that either.... Im perfectly happy to ask my horse to leave the ground and jump over a fence, but the idea of riding him on something that moves is a whole different story...........
    They learn pretty quick, even my scardy cat TB walks over them.....

    I posted this before, but here's what my horse thinks of the suspended bridge..... (apologies to those that have seen this too many times)

    http://youtu.be/WJbs6qg_wNI

    The teeter totter bridge is also a standard. I have actually played teeter totter with two horses. One horse stands on each end of the bridge. You ask the horse to shift balance jsut enough to raise or lower the bridge as the other horse stays on the other side. You can go back and for like a regular teeter totter. Fun exercise!
    Turn off the computer and go ride!



  19. #19
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    I "tortured" my eventer on a competitive trail ride. I was surprised by the obstacles she did well as much as I was the ones she failed.

    Some of the challenges were simple such as cantering up a hill. However, riders lost points if they didn't first check their girth before going up.

    The challenge I thought my horse would fail was where there was a bucket full of water on the ground, with a rope tied to the handle and hung over a tree branch. We had to back up and raise the bucket all the way up, then slowly walk forward and lower it to the ground. My horse did it like a pro.

    The obstacle we failed: a spray painted circle in the dirt. The horse was supposed to put two front legs in the circle and side pass all the way around without leaving the circle. I couldn't even get my mare to cross the painted line to even it try it, she wanted nothing to do with that pained line!

    It was a lot of fun and I would do one again.
    Last edited by jenm; Sep. 16, 2012 at 07:56 PM. Reason: typo
    Proud owner of a Slaughter-Bound TB from a feedlot, and her surprise baby...!
    http://i42.photobucket.com/albums/e350/Jen4USC/fave.jpg
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by jenm View Post
    I "tortured" my eventer on a competitive trail ride. I was surprised by the obstacles she did well as much as I was the ones she failed.

    Some of the challenges were simple such as cantering up a hill. However, riders lost points if they didn't first check their girth before going up.

    The challenge I thought my horse would fail was where there was a bucket full of water on the ground, with a rope tied to the handle and hung over a tree branch. We had to back up and raise the bucket all the way up, then slowly walk forward and lower it to the ground. My horse did it like a pro.

    The obstacle we failed: a spray painted circle in the dirt. The horse was supposed to put two front legs in the circle and side pass all the way around without leaving the circle. I couldn't even get my mare to cross the painted line to even it try it, she wanted nothing to do with that pained line!

    It was a lot of fun and I would do one again.
    At the Northwest trail Championship, they had a white chalk circle on the ground for a ground tying obstacle. the Judged giggled as my horse, who had completed every other scary thing on the course, looked down at the circle like it was going to eat her... She did cross....on tip toes...

    But, acording to horses, white lines can become mosnters without warning.....
    Turn off the computer and go ride!



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