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View Full Version : Extreme Trail Horse OBSTACLE CHALLENGE -- Cash PRIZES



MuleLady1
Jan. 5, 2009, 09:59 AM
:D Check out Forum Calendar for April 18th, 2009. Extreme trail horse obstacle challenge with BIG Cash PRIZES. :winkgrin:

$50 entry fee

Limited to 100 participants

Walk course 8:30; starts promptly at 9:00 a.m.

If 91 - 100 participants:

:yes: $750 FIRST Place, $350 Second Place, $200 Third. Non-monetary prizes 4th through 10th.

CONTACT: Bess Wall
howlingpl@msn.com
(3860 437-3472

jeano
Jan. 5, 2009, 10:13 AM
so, would mine qualify? They've done rednecks on ATVs, wild and domestic turkeys, deer, coyotes, rogue propane tanks, idle and moving road graders, bulldozers and locomotives, creeks,swamps, bullbriers, copperheads, giant tree trimming saws on cherrypickers, people carrying long flapping pieces of vinyl siding, armadillos, cows in the road, slaughtered pigs in the back of pickup trucks, and kittens under their feet, all out on the trail. Are they ready or do they need more bombproofing?

Not sure I'd haul to FL to pay 50 bucks for that kind of fun when I can get it right out my back door for free!

katarine
Jan. 5, 2009, 11:02 AM
Jeano I wouldn't smart off to Bess, her mules are amazing. And doing these things in an arena, only critter out there, has humbled quite a few first time competitors, but it sure is fun :)

Bess are you coming back to Montgomery this month? I'm bringing a different horse this time and wondered if you were going to come back through and kick our butts again :)

War Admiral
Jan. 5, 2009, 11:04 AM
OK, I'm having a severe moment of deeply missing HRH Avery, who would have been ALL about this. :sadsmile:

Ah well: time to start workin' on the newbie, soon come! :D

jeano
Jan. 5, 2009, 11:36 AM
Wasnt actually trying to smart off. I followed the suggestion of Googling for trail obstacle challenges made in the sticky on the calendar but didnt come up with too much enlightenment. Had, have no intention of dissing mules or MuleLady1.

What I'd like to see is links to photos or videos of an extreme trail obstacle competition. Got the impression some of these competitions actually took place on a real live trail as opposed to in the arena. If it was me setting this kind of thing up (and I had all the liability insurance in the world) I would be routing it thru the kind of trail obstacles I encounter.

On new year's eve we were out and Someone had parked a propane tank in front of a gate the horses knew well. They about had a stroke, but did eventually go sniff and walk around it.

My two are not in fact at all good with the most mundane things like gates and backing through Ls and all that, but are really brave on the trail, so I wondered what it takes to go "Extreme." They can do foam noodles overhead, however, and scary tarps and what all from going past the stuff in my neighbor's arena.

They and I dont do competitions. I have no trailer of my own, no time. However, for what its worth, anyone that wants to brave the snakes and freight trains and spooky horse eating propane tanks is more than welcome to come ride with us. No prizes, no entry fees, just laughs.

MuleLady1
Jan. 5, 2009, 11:54 AM
No offense taken :D. Do a Google search for the obstacle challenges but click on images. You can go to youtube, also and do a search for trail horse obstacle challenges.

Yes, I'm going back to Alabama. I can always try to kick butt :lol:, but like a football game, it's a new game every time.

CHALLENGE info. To put a challenge on a trail, you would be better off to do TRAIL TRIALS. That's what they are about. You would have to have one QUALIFIED judge per obstacle. No specatators much. Finding a place to do that would be very difficult where one could monitor the obstacles and nobody would see or practice on them ahead of time (day before).

This is a pretty big event with big prize money. To pay that kind of money, one has to be able to have close to 100 participants. If an animal will do these types of obstacles in an arena by itself under pressure, then one has a pretty good animal. Everything in the arena events could be found when out riding to one degree or another. Much could be found in a rural area when riding through housing. Other could be ranch-type jobs or on the trail. Some could be mounted posse type of obstacles, too.

I have thought about doing a challenge in the wide open spaces, but there is no way to protect the integrity of it (cheating by practicing on the obstacles).

katarine
Jan. 5, 2009, 12:07 PM
Jeano I was joking with you :)

Looking forward to seeing you again Bess :)

These things are so much fun to me, seeing what the course designers come up with, what the horse thinks, etc...it's nothing like what you deal with on the trail. I've known some really good trail horses that came undone over the notion of these out of place obstacles. My SO thought eh, that doesn't look so hard- til his good trail horse refused a funny looking water obstacle :lol:

Hit youtube and search for trail horse challenge, Bess' run from last yrs thing in AL is there, and some others, too.

jeano
Jan. 5, 2009, 12:17 PM
Thanks, off to Youtube.

Speaking of venues and all, would a cross country course work? Not to have the horses jumping, mind you, but couldnt that be made reasonable secure from cheating, and would that not be more like a "real" trail in that there would be intervals between the obstacles?

I'm sort of equating this in my mind with sheep dog trials vs demos--in the former the sheep are unknown and are out on a big unfenced hill with variablity in the form of weather conditions that day and so on--whereas in a demo, the dog and the sheep are in a little fenced area where the sheep cant really escape and the dog cant really show all his chops, but the observer gets the general idea of how it would work in rhe real world.

katarine
Jan. 5, 2009, 12:29 PM
Sure it would- there's a group in N AL that uses an old Civitan park and uses the terrain to help shape some of the challenges. Even a little dry drainage that snakes through the park works- a lot of horses didn't want to get in, and stay in, that drainage as was required...

The course included some fun obstacles, I'll see if I can find the pics for you, I don't have any videos...

this may work, I don't know...
http://viewmorepics.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewPicture&friendID=64904629&albumId=2508894

obstacles included attempting to rope a dummy, water xing, hill climb, work gate, dismount, pen goats, remount, work gate...carry a big slicker around an obstacle and return it to it's roost, keyhole, sidepass, bridge, whoa and snag a flag way up high- so you really needed a good whoa to grab one, through a shredded tarp, mailbox, drainage, through a tarp tunnel, drag a crosstie, unsaddle, load, run on foot for the bell.

katarine
Jan. 5, 2009, 12:36 PM
here they are...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P7z2--jwAX0

This is the second half of Bess' run from last January. Look through the other videos by the same poster and you'll see a few others. Buttermilk for example, is a brave, super, honest trail horse...but this unnatural setting unnerved him. His owner took it in stride and understood he was just afraid. I hate it but a lot of people just starting getting after them when they stall out at these things.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QxbO6enYtIY

This one is me on my TWH at his first one. We'd practiced with sacks of cans leading up to this event, and there AT the event, too- but he got worried so I dropped it. Not everyone's way of dealing with it, here's another way to teach 'em to just 'deal with it '
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3o19YIzmr-k

goeslikestink
Jan. 5, 2009, 03:55 PM
looks like you having fun

MuleLady1
Jan. 5, 2009, 04:21 PM
I'm having fun :lol:

horselips
Jan. 5, 2009, 07:16 PM
Yeah, I saw one of these on the RFD channel (or whatever the hell it is).

The "kawtah hoss" people apparently think they have found the smart-ass/dumb-sh!t answer to eventing. :rolleyes:

I saw this big-ass "cowboy" blasting a small & stresseded-out looking 2yo around a course.
The hick redneck announcers sounded positively orgasmic over the colt's "run". What morons.

Yet another way for the american kawtah-hoss ass-hats to show their ignorance & stupidity. Yee-fuggin-haw.
:dead:

Juneberry
Jan. 5, 2009, 07:22 PM
thanks for posting up the other videos. first video I found myself of "extreme trail" scared the death out of me. I was afraid they would all be inept riders like this one http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZJOSc9syJrk I'm hoping this lady has learned how to stay with her horse and put that chunk of a beast on a diet since the video was made!

I'm not one for hurtful comments for the most part. but after the billionth time I saw this horses mouth get yanked I started to feel bad for him. Watch the "jump" at 5:40 as well! OUCH

MuleLady1
Jan. 5, 2009, 07:25 PM
:confused: I'm sorry you feel that way or have had this experience. Nobody is allowed to "blast" their way around the course. They would probably not get much for points if they did.

There are many obstacle challenges out there and I've been to many in Florida and one in Ala. I've never seen what you describe.

katarine
Jan. 5, 2009, 07:30 PM
me neither. I've seen some people that don't understand what spurs are for, but that's not unique to trail competitions.

chebeau
Jan. 5, 2009, 08:28 PM
I enjoy watching them on RFD when I get the chance and think it would be great fun to do one. Is there place/organization that gives tips on how to get started?

Thanks and Happy Riding!

MuleLady1
Jan. 5, 2009, 09:00 PM
The way to get started is either going to obstacle clinics or obstacle practice days. Enter a few of the meeker obstacle challenges. If they have divisions, enter the lowest one available.

Shadow14
Jan. 5, 2009, 09:17 PM
] I'm hoping this lady has learned how to stay with her horse

I must have missed the part where she fell off the horse??? or do you know her from someplace else???
She also did alot better then another video posted earlier. Yes the horse is fat and a little hard to control but they did the coarse and while a little rough nothing really that bad. Again alot better then another example posted here.
There is nothing you could fail her on, take points yes but not fail.
As for jerking the mouth you don't know the horse or how sensitive it is.
We certainly can make judgements based on nothing.:)

Again the team lacked polish but they basically did everything alright, a little rough but overall nothing to fail them. I base everything on a score of 1-10, 10 being perfect and for every little thing they do that takes away from the perfection of a move you subtract 1 point. The gate was rough but they never lost control of it, jerky yes but with control and a passing grade.
We also don't know if she was suppose to lope between stations but it appears like the coarse was large and loping was required.
I have done these coarses and know what it takes to do a good job, smooth, keeping the horse square and never loose control of the gate.
As for practicing at home everything you see in one of these trials can be duplicated and practiced at home. If you can't do gates, drag something with a rope, pick up trash cans , walk over plastic etc don't go to the competition in the first place. Forgot backing between poles and side passing are a must and you need excellent control over the back or you will hit the pole. A touch of the pole is minus 1 for each and every time the horse touches it. Backing is difficult because you can't see properly and if you twist your body the horse shifts so I found backing something to really practice. I would sit square on the horse, look straight ahead and back slow and controlled avoiding at all cost a tick of the pole.
Again a home course is easy to built and use a few old tires to drag, walk through and pivot around. Put his front feet in and pivot the hind around in a 360 degree circle. I practiced wooden bridges in the local park, steps also in the park.
It is fun:)

Shadow14
Jan. 5, 2009, 09:23 PM
The way to get started is either going to obstacle clinics or obstacle practice days. Enter a few of the meeker obstacle challenges. If they have divisions, enter the lowest one available.

Why do you need clinics?? Watch any video , look at the obsticles and duplicate them at home??? There are always certain things at every competition so just make them. Trash in a garbage bag is certainly not hard to duplicate so it should be a given anytime you compete. Gates are a given. Walking over plastic is a given, etc etc. Practice them at home so when you run into them they are not new.
Sidepassing over obsticles is another thing that everyone should practice.
Backing between poles is another given and 2 2x4's laying on the ground works fine to teach yourself to back properly. I also practice the Tee with little gaps in the head of the Tee and the horse must sidepass and rotate through the Tee at the same time and every single tic of the hoof against wook is 1 point off.
Also practice with a broom hitting a ball, polo??
You don't need a clinic to practice.

beeblebrox
Jan. 5, 2009, 09:29 PM
" I was afraid they would all be inept riders like this one http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZJOSc9syJrk I'm hoping this lady has learned how to stay with her horse and put that chunk of a beast on a diet since the video was "

Poor horse is not 100 % sound, looks like it is not ready for this and if the guy yanks on it's mouth one more time.. To me the horse should be relaxed about the obstacles and that horse is all over the place, I am hoping this is not a GOOD EXAMPLE. Trying to buck through most of it but then again I might also with all the yanking ;-)

katarine
Jan. 5, 2009, 09:52 PM
Shadow, every day you think I suck eggs is a good day in my book :) carry on!

Juneberry
Jan. 5, 2009, 09:52 PM
I must have missed the part where she fell off the horse??? or do you know her from someplace else???

Oh she didn't fall off. by stay with the horse I meant stay with it's movement. aka not getting thrown back when the horse moves faster, and being able to actually sit a trot instead of bouncing on the horses back like someone just learning to ride.


Yes the horse is fat and a little hard to control but they did the coarse and while a little rough nothing really that bad.

as far as the control of the horse I did not see any moments where she was out of control. I certainly wasn't faulting her there. horses tend to feel a little frisky when it is windy. (as far as how the judges score that, I have no clue so didn't really care about it)


There is nothing you could fail her on, take points yes but not fail.

I didn't say fail. And I must say I don't have a single horse that would go through all that, so to that aspect I was impressed.


As for jerking the mouth you don't know the horse or how sensitive it is. We certainly can make judgments based on nothing.:)

I'm assuming you are thinking I am complaining about her jerking her horses mouth to control him. however I'm not talking about that kind of jerking. I'm talking about her hands being all over the place and inadvertently yanking the horses mouth because the rider was totally off balance. But seeing as this is a trail competition I don't know how much this is judged on the riders ability rather than the horses ability. for all I know she bought that horse 2 weeks ago from someone who trained it do all the crazy (not in a bad way) trail stuff and she herself is just learning how to ride... I'm not sure. I do know my 6 year old (heck even my 4yo) has softer hands than this lady does however

I particularly love the part where she grabs the wrong part of the rein and tries to turn him with it before realizing that she can't control him with that rein (I don't know what that part of the rein is called in western. she just has this extra part that goes back to the bridle on the left hand side) again this can be just linked to nervousness.


We also don't know if she was suppose to lope between stations but it appears like the coarse was large and loping was required.

yeah no idea about the lope so was not part of the reason I was complaining about this particular horse and rider combination. I'm just talking about what I know should be a pretty integral part of every ride.

katarine
Jan. 5, 2009, 09:58 PM
Juneberry, he has to like them better than my ride on my horse, at all costs. (the references to it's so much better than the OTHER ride that was posted - he's predictable as head lice when school starts) even picking a girl surfing on her horse's face and bouncing like a pogo stick has to be better than Chip and I...my guy worried about the cans, figured out the back through 'ok', and mangled probably the 5th gate he's ever worked...but I am so, so, soooo much worse than that bouncy mess. Just take him at his word. He hasn't learned a thing since the Nixon administration, and dern proud of it, too! Any minute now we'll get another lecture, get your prune juice, you may need it.

Juneberry
Jan. 5, 2009, 10:15 PM
I think maybe shadow misunderstood me, I was talking about the horrible rider, and he was talking about the course in general. I can see that the video I linked was technically an OK ride if you only take the trail elements into consideration.

In that case I do agree that the one I posted was better than the one Kat posted. Kat's horse is still learning and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.

However, in my eyes there is something wrong with abominable riding and horsemanship in ANY case. especially if you are taking yourself into competition.

I feel bad for that horse and his mouth.

Shadow14
Jan. 5, 2009, 10:20 PM
Katarina you totally blew the garbage bag and dropped it to the ground. You blew the backup and pushed the pole totally away, again I feel you blew the backup. Then we come to the gate. You lost the gate totally, you gave it a big push and lost control of it.. I know you say they don't judge how you do the gate but your effort was poor and I would score you next to nothing.
So in your coarse you blew 3 obsticles totally. I would fail you for sure. The other lady did everything so so but nothing you could fail her on.
A tip for everyone on the gates. If the hinge is on your right when approaching the gate BACK through the gate. If the hinge is on the left when you approach then ride FORWARD through the gate.
NEVER ever loose the gate, keep your hand firmly on the gate and let the horse pivot around your hand. To do them perfect you need to sidepass, back, pivot, sidepass. The horse must at all times control the openning with his body and you must only open it enough to squeeze your horse through. NO wide open, just enough for the horse to pass through and you must keep the hand firmly on the gate.
Katarina I know you think I am full of it but I could do them to perfection, as I could for the back and the sidepass. It is all a matter of doing things to perfection with absolute control over the horse, both hind and forehand. Each seperately controlled to keep the horse square.
Again this is something anyone can practice at home.

Shadow14
Jan. 5, 2009, 10:26 PM
Shadow, every day you think I suck eggs is a good day in my book :) carry on!

katarine I cut you slack on your ride the first time but after receiving your PM I no longer cut you slack. Your performance sucked.

Guys think agian of 10 as a perfect score and everything, every little tick, every time the horse is the least bit out of exactly where you want it to be subtract 1 point. Score in your head.
Keep the horse square if backing, to the gate, to the object you are picking up and practice mounting on the off side. It is alot harder then it looks.
If you need to dismount and then remount on the opposite side get off the off side and remount of the near side. If a dismount is part of the exercise to SURE TO CHECK GIRTH before remounting. Even if you don't tighten it, look at it, check it , make sure they see you are checking it.
If dismounting involves a slope be sure to dismount on the DOWN side so you can remount of the UP side. And again check girth.

I know what they look for. Forgot carry a hoof pick in case they ask.
Good luck

katarine
Jan. 5, 2009, 10:36 PM
Aw, someone got their feelings tweaked ;) I never once asked for or desired your help, Shadow. And politely told you no, more than once. But you can't take no for an answer. So you keep at it, you need to be needed so much it's sad. But I don't need you! Or want you! this is like breaking up with a crazy ex-boyfriend LOL Even now you are telling me what to do LOL! you seemingly can't help yourself. I don't read your posts for content Shadow, so you may be reaching someone, but it's not me. And I'm really ok with that, sleep like a baby. Now go bother someone you board with, ok?

now THIS is not my brand of extreme cowboy challenge :)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qpoPvfqI-M4

Juneberry
Jan. 5, 2009, 10:51 PM
OK now that we have completely derailed this thread. I'd like to hear from the others who do extreme trail. It looks like complete fun. but I want to know. Is the link I put up before an example of a good round? are trail competitions judged on the trail elements only? what else is taken into consideration? horses quietness between elements? riders ability? or can a half lame and bucking horse win these sort of things because they make it through all the elements cleanly?

MuleLady1
Jan. 6, 2009, 07:12 AM
Not everybody has the money to buy materials, know-how to put them together; storage place to keep them so they don't blow down or rot or fill up a pasture that needs mowing, haying and such. Animals eat items they shouldn't, if left in the field; and they may not have the expertise to train an animal to sidepass, understand how to approach an obstacle, etc etc etc.

Some people have the understanding and some don't. If I was to start jumping again, I would need some teaching on position for approach and position in the saddle.

Shadow14
Jan. 6, 2009, 08:04 AM
Mulelady1 anyone could afford a few 2 x 4's, they are cheap, a few old tires, again free at any garage, a rope, a bag of tin cans, a skid with a piece of plywood nailed on it for a bridge, gates are found anywhere, a few empty garbage cans. It is all cheap, easy to find but like you said not everyone knows how to train and what to look for.
All of this stuff if you want to go to a competion should be practiced at home, not once you get there. Picking up a garbage bag with tin cans is not hard and you should have your horse already use to it.

I was not only talking Katarina I was talking to everyone who wants to do this. I have trained for this in the past, I have trained others and if people don't want help/advice why are they here???

I am older with lots of experience and I give it freely so if someone doesn't want to read my advice just move on and ignore me after all I am just a troll???

Mulelady1 I am certainly not trying to give you advice, I am just talking to you so others can know where I am coming from.
If anyone wants to do these competitions and are having problems with anything I and others here could certianly offer suggestions on how to do it properly, or at least so you don't loose points.
It is all about how you handle each and every obsticle. A judge with a score card in front of him is sitting there watching how to handle that obsticle and once you pass it win or loose you move on to the next obsticle with a clean slat for that obsticle.
If there are 10 obsticles and you score say 8 out of 10 on all 10 then your score is 80 and if someone has a higher score they win, if yours is higher you win. Yes they can score lopeing but in our competitions you are loping figure 8's with lead changes and it is scored again out of 10 and you are only marked while in the arena under that judges eye, not on the rest of the coarse between obsticles.
Katarina you are not the only one here and I will talk/preach if you want to them if they choose to read it. Does bad advice/example from you beat good advice from me????

katarine
Jan. 6, 2009, 09:26 AM
For the last time I was happy with that horse for who he was at that time. Today I'd expect a better back through the pattern, and a better gate. Never did I say he aced it, you can hunt for that all day but I never said it. I only posted it as an example of a run. I only ever said I was happy with him. Never did I say he was perfect, or I was. I am posting here to talk about the competitions, not how great I am, or my horse is, or how much better I am at everything. That's why you're here.

The judging on these things varies- the last one I did it was simple: cleanest run in the fastest time. Doing the keyhole, for example, stepping out of the pattern was 30 seconds added. But if your horse was fighting the bit or bucking between obstacles, there wasn't a penalty for that. But the winning time was naturally, the smoothest, fastest horse. I wish I had a video from the last outdoor one we did...the overall winner was a nice big dun horse and a quiet rider. They just flowed through everything so smoothly, really a graceful run. The quietest, cleanest run will beat the crowhopping fat horse LOL.

The one Bess won in AL last January that I posted before....you had a per obstacle 10 points for a total of 100, plus a bonus - the tire deal if you watched it. You could earn a 105. If there was a tie, then time was the tie breaker. There wasn't any penalty for bad stuff happening between obstacles, I don't think...but again you'd likely fudge up on something and/or your time would knock you out of the competition. Bess' time was lightning quick, and the run, squeaky clean. 2nd and 2rd were clean fast runs on SSH/TWHs, 4th was a young, slow, but clean run on a SSH, fifth I'm not sure about...and Jake and I (my QH) took 6th. We were slow, probably twice as long as Bess' run, but we were clean. Had it been a big outdoor course, she'd have still won it, I bet, even though Jake's legs are longer, LOL I bet that little molly mule can scoot :) There were 70 horses in the competition, and they were all over the map- ponies, bridleless horses, AQHA show-trail horses, dressage horses, barrel horses, all sorts. Just a ton of fun, I can't say that enough.

It's really a load of fun to do. I'll be competing against MuleLady1 again in three weeks, can't wait, and on the black horse I posted earlier. She'll win it again, I bet, that mule is broke to pieces and fast, she's done a lot of Mtd Police type training with her too, I think, that helps. Chip's not there yet so far as being competitive... but no one can stop us from having fun, and trying our best :) just because that's what we like to do, warts and all :)

MuleLady1
Jan. 6, 2009, 09:48 AM
Well, I guess it is time to bow out of this discussion. Enjoy life, for that is what it is about. For those who love obstacle challenges and competitions, hurrah. It is great for most all animals. It allows us to see what needs to be worked on.

Happy Trails :cool:

horselips
Jan. 6, 2009, 11:36 AM
I doubt very much it's so great for a 2 year old.

gabz
Jan. 6, 2009, 01:46 PM
I'm not sure what's so extreme about the trail challenges shown, but regardless.

I've participated in some judged trail rides and Shadow makes some very good points regarding the correct way to do things and the "get by" way to do things. Finesse gets the points and means the difference between winning and not placing. There are really 4 ways to get through a gate for "true" trail classes - it depends if the requirement is for push the gate or pull the gate, and then which side it is hinged on.

so far as practicing at home, I have written this before, but I'll say it again, the tubes from carpeting stores are EXCELLENT as "ground" poles. THey are 12' long. If you cannot transport them that long, then ask the carpet store employees to cut them in half and then duct tape them when you get them home. Cover them with 2 coats of shellac-based primer and keep them out of the pouring rain. They are lightweight and easy to move around. ON the downside, they won't help your horse learn that "ticking" the rails hurts. ;)

A trail club that I belonged to still has its annual obstacle clinic. They are able to hold it in an outdoor arena so that horses are confined. I am always amazed at the variety of stuff the organizers come up with. People can hand walk their horses all through the obstacles and go back for seconds and thirds depending on the size of the group. Cages of live chickens, deer & bear skins draped over bales of straw. The big fat mamma plywood garden decorations. Pennants hanging all over, helium balloons tied to rakes and shovels in trash cans. Strings of soda cans tied together to drag every which way. Grain sacks with cans that have pebbles in them to carry from one barrel to another. Swinging a rope; throwing frisbees; broom ball; dismounting and mounting from the off-side.

and side passing, backing, turn on haunches, turn on forehand, etc. Build a box of poles about 6' square and teach your horse to walk into it and turn around staying within the box. to practice bridges, lay a full sheet of 3/4" plywood on the ground and walk across it.

Here's one that gets the speed horses - spread lines of lime or flour on the ground about 4" wide and get your horse to walk over them! Surprize.

One of my first judged rides my horse had to drag a 3' tall blue stuffed bunny that was attached to a trash can lid. We dragged that over rocks and dirt about 25' ... that was scary - ugly and noisy. LOL... Now, how many 3' tall blue bunnies do you suppose you will encounter on trails? Not many - but I have encountered appliances dumped in the woods, mylar balloons stuck in bushes along the trail; and birds popping up next to us.

gabz
Jan. 6, 2009, 01:48 PM
" I was afraid they would all be inept riders like this one http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZJOSc9syJrk I'm hoping this lady has learned how to stay with her horse and put that chunk of a beast on a diet since the video was "

Poor horse is not 100 % sound, looks like it is not ready for this and if the guy yanks on it's mouth one more time.. To me the horse should be relaxed about the obstacles and that horse is all over the place, I am hoping this is not a GOOD EXAMPLE. Trying to buck through most of it but then again I might also with all the yanking ;-)

There are some rides that have various divisions. Some are for green / young horses; novice; open; while other events break the divisions into rider age brackets. So - this could have been a novice rider and/or green horse. I agree that her / his seat was not the best.

ayrabz
Jan. 6, 2009, 04:10 PM
not often one of the Endurance/trail riding forum threads enters into a train wreck!:eek:
anyway....I'm NOT a veteran of these competitions, I just admire them. I've ridden some fun competitive trail rides, where you can opt to ride the obstacles and be judged, or just ride the ride.....I've enjoyed being judged, and working the obstacles each time, vs. riding non judged, and we've even done pretty well and have achieved various category placings.
While I've never ridden a rated trail class, our local area is VERY active in trail class competitions, and I've watched, appreciated, learned and even scribed for a judge at an A show.
These competitions, are to me, like any other in re: there will always be uneducated, brash and less than stellar representatives.
That doesn't make the discipline unworthy.

Guilherme
Jan. 6, 2009, 04:56 PM
I agree that the course was hardly "extreme." It was no more than what a good trail ought to be able to do as a matter of course.

If you want somthing more of a challenge that approachs "extreme" try Working Equitation. http://www.workingequitationuk.com/

G.

ayrabz
Jan. 6, 2009, 05:32 PM
G: that is REALLY interesting! I will enjoy the site and checking it out!:D (I know just in the past year or two, the arabian rated shows have introduced English trail...I think its great!) Anyway...outside of boppin' around that site and clicking on separate persons show photos, are there any video links you can provide? I'd love to watch one!!

That said, one thing I love about the extreme/trail stuff...vs. the English trail...jumps are one thing, but scarey obstacles are another. (Again, havent seen any of these competitions you mention, but am interested!)

A

birdsong
Jan. 6, 2009, 05:45 PM
Yeah, I saw one of these on the RFD channel (or whatever the hell it is).

The "kawtah hoss" people apparently think they have found the smart-ass/dumb-sh!t answer to eventing. :rolleyes:

I saw this big-ass "cowboy" blasting a small & stresseded-out looking 2yo around a course.
The hick redneck announcers sounded positively orgasmic over the colt's "run". What morons.

Yet another way for the american kawtah-hoss ass-hats to show their ignorance & stupidity. Yee-fuggin-haw.
:dead:

Excuse me??!! Are you being serious?

birdsong
Jan. 6, 2009, 05:49 PM
OK now that we have completely derailed this thread. I'd like to hear from the others who do extreme trail. It looks like complete fun. but I want to know. Is the link I put up before an example of a good round? are trail competitions judged on the trail elements only? what else is taken into consideration? horses quietness between elements? riders ability? or can a half lame and bucking horse win these sort of things because they make it through all the elements cleanly?

I've done them for 10 years now..primarily through Mounted Police training sessions ending with competitions. They are great fun and when you and the horse are working well together it shows your horses confidence and your abilities. There are wasy to train your horses...and ways not to train. to

Meantime...Can we just play nice and stop the cat scratching ...its so tedious

Juneberry
Jan. 6, 2009, 06:35 PM
I've done them for 10 years now..primarily through Mounted Police training sessions ending with competitions. They are great fun and when you and the horse are working well together it shows your horses confidence and your abilities. There are wasy to train your horses...and ways not to train. to

Meantime...Can we just play nice and stop the cat scratching ...its so tedious

sorry I didn't mean to come off catty, my question about the competition was an honest curiosity about how the competitions are judged. I am honestly interested in this.

Shadow14
Jan. 6, 2009, 07:55 PM
sorry I didn't mean to come off catty, my question about the competition was an honest curiosity about how the competitions are judged. I am honestly interested in this.

Read my posts. I gave an honest critic?? on both rides comparing what to look for. This is not catty but an honest running comentary on what a judge would look at. While the TW looked better it made 3 glaring faults while the fat horse looked worse they actually did nothing wrong.
If you want to learn reread my posts

Juneberry
Jan. 7, 2009, 10:38 PM
Read my posts. I gave an honest critic?? on both rides comparing what to look for. This is not catty but an honest running comentary on what a judge would look at. While the TW looked better it made 3 glaring faults while the fat horse looked worse they actually did nothing wrong.
If you want to learn reread my posts

yeah I understand the getting through the elements part. that is pretty understandable. get through them quietly with no spooks without knocking stuff down etc etc. that is pretty much common sense to me. what I'm trying to ask is if the riders ability, the horses quietness and the ride between the elements are taken into consideration for these competitions. or whether you can ride in there and fall off 6 times between elements and still win because you did every element perfectly (an extreme example but hopefully someone understands what I'm asking now)

katarine
Jan. 7, 2009, 11:23 PM
The judging on these things varies- the last one I did it was simple: cleanest run in the fastest time. Doing the keyhole, for example, stepping out of the pattern was 30 seconds added. But if your horse was fighting the bit or bucking between obstacles, there wasn't a penalty for that...so the winning time was naturally the smoothest, most cooperative, fastest horse. I wish I had a video from the last one we did...the overall winner was a nice big dun horse and a quiet rider. They just flowed through everything so smoothly, really a graceful run. The quietest, cleanest run will beat the crowhopping fat horse LOL.

June these things don't have some governing body to decide how it's scored,it's not governed by anything... each of them is set up to suit it's setter-uppers :) . No one's going to ask me to prove I have a hoofpick. They aren't going to judge the way I dally the rope to drag a log. I DO wish they'd add in some basic hey don't spur the crap out of him to 'make' him go in the water...but I guess they'd just knock points off for doing so.

here's the rules for the January event in Montgomery AL


There will be two judges for the trail course competition.

The rider will have a score for each division. The two scores will be tallied together for one total trail course score.

Horses will be judged at each obstacle for willingness, skill of completing the obstacle, attempt of the obstacle and the rider’s skills at handling and maneuvering the horse through the obstacle.

Each entry’s total ride time will be recorded and will determine a tie breaker if there are multiple entries with the same trail score.The competition time keeper/time clock will record the entry/competitors time.

Scoring: Each obstacle will be worth 10 points for a possible total score of 100 points.

It will be left to the rider’s discretion type of saddle, bridle and bit, halter, hackamore, gear and equipment. Appointments will not be part of the entries score.

Entries that choose to ride bridleless , this will not give bonus points or reflect in the riders score. However, bridleless will be allowed.

*Helmets are not required, however are recommended.

*Attire will be at the discretion of the rider. Attire will not reflect as part of the entries score.

*Use of crop and spurs at the rider’s discretion.

*Competition open to all ages of girls and boys, men and women.


I hope that answers your questions.

Juneberry
Jan. 8, 2009, 02:59 AM
Thanks Kat, that does. :)

gabz
Jan. 8, 2009, 09:52 AM
Katarine is correct about the "setter-uppers" determining the rules of judging.

The few judged trail events I've entered DO award points on equipment so far as safety.

Wearing a helmet adds points; breast collar and halter w/ lead rope add points. Carrying spare water, collapsable bag to get water for horse, first aid for people & horse, whistle, compass, hoof pick, bandages, banamine, etc. etc. all garner points because these are things that a long trail ride might require.

Of course, the rides I've participated in were conducted over several miles of trail - not in an enclosed or restricted area. These rides take more than 1 hour; sometimes up to 3 hours to complete, with stations along the way.

What mulelady showed us, and is "advertising", is slightly different, so as Katarine pointed out, safety gear points probably don't figure into it. Going from one obstacle to the next with little or no hesitation/resistance on the part of the horse, and executing the obstacle - is the ultimate goal.

Mtn trails
Jan. 8, 2009, 10:50 AM
Some of the "obstacles" noted I must admit, are things I've never encountered in all my years of trail riding. You don't orginarily see tarps and pennants in the backcountry unless you are packing them in. But as any responsible backcountry user would do, you would remove them if you did see them. I've never gone past crates of chickens, had to sidepass along a log, or walked over a mattress. My horses do what needs to be done to keep themselves and me safe and appropriate. They do look like a lot of fun but I prefer the more realistic, natural obstacles.:)

MuleLady1
Jan. 8, 2009, 11:56 AM
:cool: I ride down country roads where there are houses. Along the roads I find garbage cans overflowing with very unnatural items, plastic bags fluttering down the road, trampolines with kiddos jumping and screaming, couches tossed out on the side of the road, etc. Tarps might be on the fence fluttering in the breeze or fluttering on a passing vehicle. There is no end to the STUFF I have seen :sadsmile: that shouldn't be cluttering up the scenery.

There just isn't anything much that I haven't run across. When camping I've run in to many "unnatural" items/obstacles in the woods: mattresses, jugs, trash, etc.

An mount that will be unflappable when it comes upon these items, regardless of where they are found, will be a safe mount. Hence, we have all kinds of items and obstacles in some of the competitions. The goal is to see how trusting and willing the horse/mule/donkey is to do what is asked in a safe manner. :D

cloudy18
Jan. 8, 2009, 12:23 PM
No kidding, MuleLady, we came upon a limo and a huge pile of trash in the middle of nowhere on a trail ride last fall. You never know what you'll see...

katarine
Jan. 8, 2009, 01:18 PM
We were riding in Oak Mtn State Park once, in the backcountry part where you never see another rider. Totally natural setting, no trash, just wonderful. We rounded a bend with my SO leading our little duo of horses when my SO's horse, Chip... froze and spun his butt hard left- frozen, staring.

There hung Frosty the snowman. White faced, orange nose, black button eyes. A sad, lost, Mylar balloon, he'd lost enough loft to end up about 5' off the ground, his string tangled in a dogwood limb. But staring intently at Chippy. Funny thing was neither my QH, nor my other TWH, really cared. Eh, what's that. But Chippy could discern it was a face, and a face with no body, no less. It was one of the funniest things I've ever seen.

Somedays there's no telling what you'll find in the woods :)

gabz
Jan. 8, 2009, 01:33 PM
It sure would be nice to be able to ride where there are no human-made distractions. ;) Only the wildlife and nature.

There are sections of trail here in Michigan that have boardwalks built over swamps. Long, low steps that horses need to negotiate to get beyond some crazy washouts, etc. I won't ever forget my horse backing up about 6 of those steps, very quickly, to avoid something else. LOL... He had walked down the opposite ones, had crossed the wooden bridge and gone UP the steps, but coming back on the same trail, he decided the bridge was evil. :lol: But only for a few moments. Great hind end conditioning.... ha ha ha.

Friends of mine tell of how they came across someone's mudding 4x4 buried up to the engine compartment hood just off the trail. There was a note on the roof of the cab and the keys. Note said if anyone could get it out, they could have it!! What's the most curious, is that that area is off-limits to motorized vehicles (and bicycles) so the "guy" had no business back there to begin with.

Again, I think it's more about the softness and willingness of the horse to do what's asked of it despite what is around.

Mtn trails
Jan. 8, 2009, 02:20 PM
Friends of mine tell of how they came across someone's mudding 4x4 buried up to the engine compartment hood just off the trail. There was a note on the roof of the cab and the keys. Note said if anyone could get it out, they could have it!! What's the most curious, is that that area is off-limits to motorized vehicles (and bicycles) so the "guy" had no business back there to begin with.



And now the forest service is going to have to spend taxpayer money to get it out. Great.

gabz
Jan. 8, 2009, 05:20 PM
And now the forest service is going to have to spend taxpayer money to get it out. Great.

That's a possibility; however, I'm sure that the guy and his buddys probably went in with an appropriate tow truck. The area is a county rec area that does use tax dollars - but I'm sure they wouldn't foot the bill on that fiasco. Many of the horse trails are maintained by volunteers and trail groups.

The downside, is that there are some really, really wicked ruts in some areas - 6 - 18" deep from motorized tresspassers and those ruts have allowed heavy rain runoff to create gullies farther along. There are some ancient deep ruts that are permanent due to the clay soil. Just awful.

But then again, along the shore-to-shore that's horses only, I'm amazed at how deep the trail is. horse after horse going in the same 6" wide track. I don't understand why some don't spread out a little bit to make it a 12" wide track where they can.

enjoytheride
Jan. 8, 2009, 05:39 PM
This is the extreme cowboy race that I am familiar with

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

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8BX2MvQEPCE&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q6aZ2PaXOkA&feature=related

jeano
Jan. 9, 2009, 08:27 AM
I still say if you havent played horse soccer with an armadillo for the ball, you havent lived.

Couches, appliances, dreaded tires, rotting deer carcasses and abandoned toilets are the norm where I ride. Fortunately, there seems to be no acre of ground in GA that doesnt have at least one drywall compound bucket in it, handy for using as a mounting block after your horse shies out from underneath you.

Icecapade
Jan. 9, 2009, 09:38 AM
on only thought on this was something shadow said..

dismount downhill so you can remount up hill... not sure what exactly that means... but its horribly unsafe to dismount downhill... especially as many many people aren't balanced when they dismount. Dismounting down hill is dangerous as you can pull your horse down or over.

Up hill is safer, even if you slide under, (had it happen) you may get stepped on but you won't get squished!

MuleLady1
Jan. 9, 2009, 10:06 AM
In a competition where you have to get off on one side and remount from the other, it is best to dismount on the downhill side so you don't have to get up on the downhill side.

We aren't talking a drop off but more of a slant like in a ditch.

Shadow14
Jan. 9, 2009, 10:29 AM
on only thought on this was something shadow said..

dismount downhill so you can remount up hill... not sure what exactly that means... but its horribly unsafe to dismount downhill... especially as many many people aren't balanced when they dismount. Dismounting down hill is dangerous as you can pull your horse down or over.

Up hill is safer, even if you slide under, (had it happen) you may get stepped on but you won't get squished!

We were told to turn the horse at right angles to the slope, dismount and then remount on the opposite side. If you were not thinking you got off on the uphill side of the slope and then circled around the horse and found yourself on the downhill side of the horse with a horse that suddenly grew a few hands in height and most likely doing it on the wrong side to boot. Almost impossible to mount.
If you are thinking you put the horse sideways on the hill so your OFF side was facing down hill. :You dismount on the OFF side downhill, moved around the horse to the near side, CHECK GIRTH then mount from the uphill side which is also your normal near side. It was easy but get your dismount wrong and you were screwed.
I didn't choose to mount/dismount on the offside, I was just doing what I was told and making the best situation out of it.
Think before you get off.

Icecapade
Jan. 9, 2009, 10:34 AM
In a competition where you have to get off on one side and remount from the other, it is best to dismount on the downhill side so you don't have to get up on the downhill side.

We aren't talking a drop off but more of a slant like in a ditch.

Ok that makes sense for a competition... thanks for clarifying =) my arab will do almost anything on the trail just because its this way or no way... and he trusts me, he just looks at me like I'm an assclown if I ask him to do it... just because its there- so I haven't gotten into much competition trail stuff... we'd flop!

reality is dismount up side... remount upside for safety purposes though.

Shadow you seem to have enough knowledge running around the country side to know that many times there is no turning involved... you get on and off from roughly the same spot... and its always on the upside of the mountain. For those of you also who have ridden the PCT you know of what I speak! ;)

Shadow14
Jan. 9, 2009, 12:03 PM
Shadow you seem to have enough knowledge running around the country side to know that many times there is no turning involved... you get on and off from roughly the same spot... and its always on the upside of the mountain. For those of you also who have ridden the PCT you know of what I speak! ;)

Of coarse I know this but in competition you do what they want or you score Zero. I nearly always mount and dismount from the near side but occassionally just to mix it up I will mount from the off side. It is good for practice and also to know how a novice feels mounting a horse.

Icecapade
Jan. 9, 2009, 03:57 PM
Of coarse I know this but in competition you do what they want or you score Zero. I nearly always mount and dismount from the near side but occassionally just to mix it up I will mount from the off side. It is good for practice and also to know how a novice feels mounting a horse.


"Ok that makes sense for a competition... thanks for clarifying" (see previous post)

got it... It didn't make sense to me that you were recommending that knowing as you know otherwise... but for competitions sake... a. it still makes no sense why the hell they would have you do that... and b.... well I guess they just want to you to prove you can get on the off side. Which is cool for a competition.

I am tracking now...

[ I could care less about novice riders and what it feels like mounting... i'm heartless... learn and deal, we all did at one point... and hopefully not liek me... I got tossed completely over more than once as my parents wanted me to learn how to do it myself... "If you can't get on the horse by yourself you can't ride by yourself." Needless to say I learned as a small child even if I couldn't properly mount how to climb all the way up! ... That being said I'm more concerned with making sure said novice horse can handle it! Thats more important :) ]

Ok thats was it... didn't mean to derail just wanted to clear the air on a safety issue but I see's the point !!

Auventera Two
Jan. 9, 2009, 04:16 PM
There's nothing "extreme" about these trail play days. Just looks like a fun obstacle course to fool around with and win a blue ribbon. I guess I don't understand all the drama :confused: My QH is mounted search and rescue certified and we're active members of the group. I've worked mounted patrol at rock concerts with her. She has to stand absolutely stoic for air horns, fireworks, screaming steel guitars, the life flight chopper landing right next to us, and all manner of cars, bikes, motorcycles, you name it. For workshop days we swim our horses in the deep water in the pond (yeah, SWIM, not just wade up to our bellies.) That was the hardest for me because I'm scared of water, but I overcame it.

We also do all the trotting and cantering through tarps and jangling/dangling things, over bridges, throwing footballs from rider to rider, we have to circle around a guy with a gun while he shoots it up into the air. We have the police come in their jeep and drive among us. We have to rope a fake steer and drag it, carry a "body" on the back of our horse, and work a field full of evidence without destroying the evidence, accidentally stepping on any bodies, and 20 horses have to be able to work nose to butt and shoulder to shoulder without crabbing and kicking or having an attitude about it. Our horses have to be able to gallop flat out in a field, and walk at the speed of a snail through teenie tight obstacles without stepping on certain things. The horse has to back, side pass, leg yield, pony another horse, be ponyed, tie up to a tree and be left, drag a log, a bag of cans, a tire, etc.

But even at that, I don't consider it to be all that "extreme." Some of the stuff people encounter on real trail rides is pretty extreme. Cantering along the side of a mountain in the dark with a 500 foot drop off 18" away - that's extreme.

As for the woman in the video - she needs a training program and her horse needs a diet. By the end of the video, that poor beast was just panting, after a few minutes of easy loping. Yikes.

jeano
Jan. 12, 2009, 08:26 AM
Yeah, I was talking about this with my riding buddy yesterday. We were having a good yock coming up with our version of "extreme" challenges--all things we have faced, including getting a horse unstuck from a swamp without tractor, back up, or enough rope to see if the other horse could haul her out.

Rotting deer carcasses UNDER a bridge horses needed to cross, plus all the stuff I mentioned in my first post on this thread.

Yesterday's "extreme" challenge didnt turn out to be the hunters plus dog, the dismount to retrieve a nice little maglite the neighbor must've dropped at the back of his place, or even slinging a bag of feed onto my gelding's saddle so he could tote it a couple tenths of a mile to the barn for me (first time I'd tried that with him, and he did fine despite some initial confusion about how to lead with me back at his girth keeping the bag steady with one hand)...NO, it was the flapping camo cloth the other neighbor has draped around a tree, that the same gelding has seen fifty times and got a good look at as we were heading out on a 4+ hour ride--when we got back the wind had picked up a little and he boogered sideways into my buddy's horse.

She kept her horse between mine and the road, mine kept trying to get his head and neck UNDER her horse in order to escape, one of my ankles was getting a beating and I was sure I was gonna come off, but didnt. I felt like I earned a blue ribbon for comeback of the year or something.

MuleLady1
Jan. 12, 2009, 09:25 AM
:cool: Well, my challenge isn't a play day. It will test the calmness of animals and ability of riders to navigate within the time frame. It can't be a play day with $750 for first place (based on 91-100 participants).

Icecapade
Jan. 12, 2009, 09:55 AM
:cool: Well, my challenge isn't a play day. It will test the calmness of animals and ability of riders to navigate within the time frame. It can't be a play day with $750 for first place (based on 91-100 participants).

I think its a great idea and more professional than a play day. good for you for organizing things, I wish more people organized stuff, and I wish I had the ability to do so!!!

ayrabz
Jan. 12, 2009, 11:04 AM
Good point, Mulelady1.

Y'know, I am not sure at all about what any of the hullaballo is, in re: how these competitions are 'named'. Couldn't we pick apart any named competition? (The 'extreme' the 'ultimate' the 'prestigious', etc, etc)
Point being: If you ARE competing in trail challenges, which put each entered rider against another, and can share information about your experiences, and opinions, then great.
But while I DO very much admire those horses that, while not competing, are still exposed to and are well trained otherwise, the fact remains, these encounters are not a competition. It leaves the window wide open for evaluation.
The OP posted about an organized competition that will evaluate, rate and score the entries.
Yes, I thought the Lusitano/Andalusian videos on the Equestrian stuff were wonderful (!) to watch and be thrilled / encouraged by! I found it to be much more 'dressage' than trail, but none the less, I knew it was a skill I would never achieve (!) and found it amazing.
I still think, the comments in re: to 'extreme trail' judged challenges, are best coming from those who COMPETE in them, or who compete in what they feel is a similar situation above them.
Most important term being those who COMPETE.

A

jeano
Jan. 12, 2009, 11:50 AM
Gosh. I KNOW I am not a competitor in any discipline, and probably have No Business Posting On COTH.

I acknowledge my horses would probably freak over a PA, an arena, hot dog vendors, anything else they would encounter at any judged event.

I was, like A2, a bit bemused by the condition of horses and riders in some of the videos offered as examples of this kind of competition. I am an old fat lady who rides a sometimes fat horse, so I'm not pickin', just sayin. And I still think the real world offers tests of horse and rider that dont happen in competition. And in the real world my health and safety and that of my horse are ultimately at stake. I mean, my horse crashing into the road yesterday couldve killed us both. My buddy did the right thing and we all ended up a trifle more shopworn, but nothing worse.

I have sore ribs today from the dance I did to prevent falling off under my horse. So should I feel proud of myself for not falling, ashamed of myself for not bombproofing for a couple of years in an arena, or motivated to compete so I'll better myself?

Oh, well, better call the neighbor and the dogs and see if any or all has low enough self esteem to go ride with me!

mp
Jan. 12, 2009, 12:08 PM
A lot of stuff looks easy ... until you actually try to do it.

War Admiral
Jan. 12, 2009, 12:09 PM
I'm ignoring whatever the snarkiness is all about on this thread... which I can't work out anyway...

The bottom line for me is as follows:

1. I didn't know this type of obstacle challenge existed, so I thank the OP for bringing it to my attention.

2. It looks COOL as all getout and a BLAST to do. Therefore

3. My new horse is going to start training for this kind of thing the second he backs off the trailer - i.e., before he is even broke to ride! :yes:

jeano
Jan. 12, 2009, 12:24 PM
It sure doesnt look easy to me, not easy at all. And it does look like fun.
The rigors of competing are not for me. Some days the rigors of trail riding in the most non competetive sense of the world aint easy!

My buddy and I have horses with what I suspect are great competetive minds and attitudes, but their potential isnt likely to be realized with the owners they have. Since I dont compete, I have no way of knowing how good my horse is compared to others. He's better than he was when I got him, probably through no fault of my own. He makes me happy.

My only bragging rights, if you can call them that, have to do with improvement over time for both of us, and its pretty subjective.

War Admiral, my hat's off to you, Quattro, and any and (every)body else who is going for it. Keep us posted!

Auventera Two
Jan. 12, 2009, 12:40 PM
Yeah I'd probably flunk out too in this judged competition. :lol: I was just confused at why its called an "extreme trail challenge" with a 750 dollar purse. It looks like an "arena obstacle course" to do at a play day fun outing. I didn't mean to be snarky, I was just honestly confused why it's called an "extreme trail challenge." :confused: Apparently its just a semantics issue, so I apologize if I came across as a jerk. I just didn't understand how the video was showing this was "extreme trail riding." It looks a lot like those mounted gaming competitions where you do the egg and spoon race, and pole bending, etc. These look like excellent practice for young horses! I'd definitely do one if there were a competition locally available to me. I'm looking for fun stuff to do.

To show EXTREME trail riding, I'd want to see swimming in a swift river, climbing a sheer rock facing, negotiating a ledge with a hefty drop off, full out galloping, jumping a deep ravine, negotiating a bog with knee deep mud, etc.

The activities shown look like a heck of a lot of fun, but not at all what I'd associate with extreme trail riding.

ayrabz
Jan. 12, 2009, 01:13 PM
AT...I don't think you came off as a jerk at all!:sadsmile:
I understand the question in re: to the titles...but my point was only that these competitions do judge HOW WELL these teams do all these things, and have point ratings they follow.
It seems to me, like any other competitive discipline---something we may all say "Hey, we've done THAT ONE better, on our own"....but saying it, and getting that rating/point standing on that obstacle, combined with all the others is more of a reflection on the discipline/competition.
Its just a competitive discipline, named in a way that shows that the objective is what is outlined as obstacle ratings, and the overall winner will be the one with the most points gained over the course.
I don't think each competitions' objective is to be the 'Tevis' of them all, but rather to have a focus on communication, obstacles, teamwork, and a 'course' of sorts, that is different from personal trail riding, etc.
Just another cool competitive objective for horse and rider, if thats your interest---

A

katarine
Jan. 12, 2009, 01:15 PM
Craig Cameron has a show called Extreme Cowboy Race. The courses are outdoors, and often include cowboy type activities, like roping. They also include silly hard things to do- whoa and stand in the saddle, touch a tennis ball hanging from a string that's tied to a tree limb overhead. I would imagine that's the likely reason that word is used so often. The one I'm doing in 3 weeks, and MuleLady is, too, is just called the Trail Horse Challenge. It's a part of this state's Horse Fair. It is indoors (January in Alabama IS cold, honest!), and I don't think it'll have roping cows or heavy dragging...as it is open to english riders, too, and lacking a place to dally would eliminate them on such an obstacle. That would not be fair. It is a very popular competition, last yrs was the first, with 140+ applications for 70 slots. Prize money this year is 2500 dollars. Like MuleLady's, that money is not playday type money, at least not to my mind :winkgrin:

My SO rode his horse in the last one and was surprised at all the things his horse wouldn't do :yes:. That horse is a good babysitter, is he perfect first horse, been all over the SE and has a million actual, real life trail miles under his hooves... and that horse was a terrible competitor. He thought some of the obstacles were better handled by going around them :lol:That's what some good babysitter type horses do, find the best route b/c their rider is still mostly a passenger. Competing in these things takes a horse that is willing to listen to his rider tell him to do something his own brain says not to, and do it smoothly and well. A man made water crossing in an arena, one that is square and doesn't belong there and funny looking- well, the horse has to listen to the aids and just do it, trusting their rider.

I find these competitions, extremely fun, extremely entertaining to watch, and an extremely good way to meet others who like to test their horse's willingness to listen, to test their horse's training (there's that pesky extreme again!). Again, many a very savvy trail mount will not have any part of these made-up obstacles. My TWH will back a country mile without hesitation....asking him to back a pattern involving poles- he's worried about stepping on those poles, so that takes training and planning ahead. But he's the horse you want to ride cross country to the next county, he's surefooted and brave and has tons of go. Working him toward being confident and competent and honest for these competitions, has been good for him. I find that extremely rewarding.

I do love real trail riding. We spend a week every summer with friends in the back country of SW Montana. In those environs, I have done things with horses I didn't know could be done, and some I'd rather not repeat. We stepped over a trail connection, descended some stuff we could not come back up... and bush-wacked in what the locals call 'some rough country' for several hours, making our way back to camp. Yeah, I know extreme. I've got that. But nothing about that diminishes the appeal of these ________competitions. These are popular activities and lots of fun to participate in, period.

gabz
Jan. 12, 2009, 02:09 PM
a couple of the posts triggered a memory ... a friend's daughter, who is somewhat timid, leased my QH for her senior year on her school's Equestrian Team. She has ridden most of her life and is not unfamiliar with horses.

When I told her that my horse could do the trail classes and was very good at it, she agreed to add that to her list of classes to compete in.

However, she didn't realize that she had to guide the horse through the obstacles. This became painfully obvious at her first competition. She simply pointed the horse at the gate and expected him to know what to do... :eek: he pushed on the gate with his nose! LOL... :lol: She never turned him sideways and never attempted to guide him. The same with the tarp, the mailbox, etc. I was very embarrassed as I knew that all she had to do was guide him on a contact rein, with her legs and seat, and he could have done each obstacle in the class with little trouble.

OTOH - he's a QH and he placed 9th in a saddleseat class of more than 21 riders for that teen! OH MY GOSH. Can we say "animated trot" ??? LOL...

MuleLady1
Jan. 12, 2009, 03:06 PM
:cool: One has to take into consideration that for the vast majority of riders, any of these obstacle challenges, from simple to advanced, are extreme for them. The fact we do it in an arena is because it is doable, where doing it out on trails isn't, for the most part.

I do obstacle clinics. It is amazing how many people say, "Oh, my horse does yada yada yada." Then at the clinic the horse acts like a knucklehead and won't do any of it calmly. After the day is over, the horse is handling the obstacles like an old pro.

Since most people don't have the room to store obstacles, the money to buy the materials, the know how to tackle the obstacles with an animal that doesn't want to do it, I find the clinics helpful.

I give clinics and I attend obstacle clinics. I have an outstanding mule because I take her outside her realm of comfort to someone else's property with their obstacles, noises, stuff, and she has to adapt to "different." That is what makes a good animal.

As for the obstacle competitions, I think that it is fabulous for those who are not the best riders on horses that aren't the best horses to attempt something they know they aren't going to look professional at. BRAVO for them. Whether they ride like potatoes in the saddle, flopping around and being less than smooth, well, BRAVO for them that they are at least trying and not just walking the animal around or, worse, doing all the fancy moves on the ground but never riding the animal outside of a pasture or ring without being terrified "it' might come unglued.

Auventera Two
Jan. 12, 2009, 04:33 PM
Good points Mule Lady. :) My QH of course has to go to all the training days for the mounted patrol but I ocassionally take the Arab instead, just for fun. The QH doesn't especially need any more practice with any of it, but Sweets still gives a few things the hairy eyeball. She did excellent last year at the workdays she attended, and I really hope I can get her certified this year. There's a lady that took a lot of pics at the events last year but I've asked her for copies numerous times and never got them. :(

hctjudge
Jan. 24, 2010, 02:01 PM
Well, everyone is at the challenge in Alabama right now.
Good luck to all.

What Mulelady didn't mention in regards to "extreme" was
the challenge we rode in where they turned out the lights.
One dim street light was on one side. There were flares, strobes, and smoke, over, under, and around some of the
obstacles. Not to mention a sheriff's truck with lights and
sirens that came on when the animal was at the hood.
They changed the obstacles from the daytime competiton, added a bunch of mattresses to walk over and a 10-12" wide
bridge to walk over.

Whatever you were riding HAD to trust you a bunch! If you don't think that is a bit extreme, we'll meet you at the next one!

hctjudge
Jan. 24, 2010, 07:21 PM
Today was the trail obstacle competition in Montgomery,Al

I just received word that Mulelady won first with her mule, Rooster, and second with returning champion, Grace.

Congratulations Bess, Rooster, and Grace.

wendy
Jan. 25, 2010, 12:21 PM
these competitions are not easy, but I think they should remove the word "Trail" and any connotation about "Trail horses" from the title. We once naively took some unflappable go-anywhere do-anything real trail horses to a "trail obstacle" competition in an arena and they all failed miserably. I suspect many of the horses we observed happily backing through T's would have nervous breakdowns out on a real trail.

katarine
Jan. 25, 2010, 12:47 PM
or not :) My horses have to be multitalented to stay at my house :)

We ended up this year in the top 20 I think- Chippy stumbled dropping off the step up obstacle and I nearly ate some lovely red dirt ;) but I didn't- but that messed up his brain for the rest of the course, three more obstacles. I think we scored a 78 out of a possible 110. I was very happy with my little horse, he tried his little brain out. AND he's a jam up real trail horse, too :)

I think I could never beat Bess as I am not willing to put the time into it that she does. If you wanna beat the best you gotta be willing to work harder at it than they do. Congratulations to Bess and her long ears :)

2Jakes
Jan. 25, 2010, 06:59 PM
Congrats to Bess, Rooster and Grace on their Alabama victories!

Jake and I are looking forward to attending Bess' obstacle clinic next month in Goethe. Jake lacks most of the "courage gene" but he tries hard for me. On the trail, with natural stuff, he's a champ. In arenas not so much. Hoping that the clinic will help us out, especially with arena work.

Obstacle Challenges are great fun if you approach them as learning experiences. There is no such thing as an *epic fail* if you can accept your horse *trying* as a success. The timed courses that do not count quality of task completion are not my idea of a useful challenge. I would do one, but only at my own speed, and with willingness and *try* being the objectives. I want Jake to learn and gain confidence, not blast through it in a panic.