Save the Date Twenty Fifteen
October 31 & November 1, 2015
Santa Ynez Valley, California
For additional information contact: Kathy Stegman at firstname.lastname@example.org
2015 Entry Form will be available in JulyDownload the 2014 Entry Form
What is a competitive trail ride?
A competitive trail ride is not a race.
It’s a timed, competition on a natural trail usually on a private ranch. There are different divisions and each goes at a different speed or pace and you are given a certain amount of time to complete the ride each day. If you complete your mileage too soon (meaning you rode to fast or raced) you get deducted points for each minute that you came in to soon on your score cards. Novice is timed at a walk going 3.1 to 4.0 miles per hour depending on terrain. To give you an idea, my Arabian walks about 3.6 mph and will average about 3.3 mph over a 24 miles distance at the walk. Open is timed with some trotting at 4.1 to 5.5 miles per hour. You are judged on your ability to work as a team with your horse, and the physical condition of your horse. All obstacles used for judging must be natural and not created (like tarps, jackets or ropes). It is a great way to build a partnership with your horse through training and conditioning. It educates horse and rider to continually advance their skills and horsemanship. Competitive trail riding is a great family activity. Children aged 10 or over can compete. Parents may ride with their competing children. There is also an Introductory Ride for those people that want to see what competitive trail riding is about but do not want to go the longer miles. These rides are 10 – 14 miles and are at a walk. These riders are paced the same as novice, but do not get scored.
Competitive Trail Riding encourages a true partnership between horse and rider. It focuses on the health and safety of the horse while helping riders learn to care for the horse without artificial aides. The rider is judged by a horsemanship judge on stabling and care of horse, how you ride in the saddle, helping your horse through obstacles and how you handle your horse on the ground. Your horse’s condition, soundness and performance are judged by a veterinarian judge. Your horse will get a Vet check the day before the ride and each day after the ride. There will also be Vet checks along the trail to insure that your horse is remaining sound through the ride. P&R teams take the pulse and respiration of horses on the trail to make sure that they are capable to continue to do the ride. If at any time a horse or rider is not able to continue we will trailer out the both the rider and horse to camp (or vet clinic if needed).
A competitive trail ride tries to:
- Encourages a true partnership between horse and rider
- Educates horse and rider to help achieve higher skill levels
- Promotes the performance of horses over the long term
- Focuses on the health and safety of the horse
- Helps train competent, happy, and willing horses
- Is a great for both young and older horses to get them out of the arena
A competitive trail ride includes:
- 35 miles of trail for novice riders
- 52 miles of trail for open rider
- Novice and Open riders can use the same trails, but you do not want to have riders coming at each other from different directions.
- There must be elevations (climbs) that can challenge a horse’s condition.
- P&R teams and Vets will be at 3 different spots throughout the ride to perform vet checks on horses.
- Accommodations – will have from 20 to 50 horse trailers that will need to be parked in the same area. Horses will be tied to trailer or highlined unless there is enough stalls or corrals to accommodate all horses.
- Riders will arrive on Friday and most will pull out on Sunday – there maybe a few that will want to pull out on Monday.
- Set up for the ride will be done on Thursday
- Trails will be marked the weekend before the ride so maps can be finalized and printed
- A spot will be available for general meetings of groups for pre-ride and awards.
- Electricity will be available.