View Full Version : Anyone else doing ACTHA rides?
Jul. 10, 2011, 12:07 PM
In March of 2011 I received a email from APHA about an ACTHA contest. My husband and I had been curious about the ACTHA competitions and had wanted to audit one last year in November at the annual American Heart Association Beach Ride in Myrtle Beach SC but the day of the ACTHA event it rained all day really hard so it was cancelled. When this email from APHA arrived it sparked our interest so I entered one of our horses in the AFTHA try outs. Tuff and my husband Joe made an outstanding performance at their audition and were selected as finalist to go to Texas for the filming of the TV series to air in September on HRTV. In participating in this event we learned more about ACTHA and what they had going on for Trail Riders. We finally made it to our first ACTHA ride in June in Palmyra VA. Wow , what a neat event and what a great program for horses. The atmosphere was much more relaxed then the usual horse show type of event and everyone was very supportive of each other. The course is basically just simple trail riding with obstacles located approx. 1 mile apart with a total of 6 for approx. 6 miles of trail riding. You are not really competing with the other riders, its more like you and your horse are working together to overcome or achieve the obstacle. It really is very fun and it is great for your trail horse or even a show horse. Our horses loved it and so did we. I highly suggest checking out this association and trying it at least once. I think you would really enjoy it and what you will gain for your horsemanship is well worth it. They welcome any breed of horse, any style of riding and safety is a major factor for the rides. From beginner to experienced riders are welcome and they also have a youth program that offers some sponsor dollars to help costs for the youth to be able to ride. This is a really great group that is running the program and they are more than happy to accomodate your needs. They are doing a National benefit ride in September for the Mustang Heritage Foundation and there is probably a ride in your area that will be going on. This is a Guinness World Record Setting ride event and its for a good cause so check it out on their website just google ACTHA and it will come up. Happy trails to all and hope this insite will spark your interest to check it out. You can also find them on facebook.
Jul. 10, 2011, 02:44 PM
My family and I have been members and riding with ACTHA for 2 years. I first stumbled across an article about them in a local equine rag. I was searching for something that my son, then 13, could do with his mare that wouldn't be overfacing either horse or rider and could be easily balanced with school. The ACTHA rides have definitely been the ticket. As a family (2 kids and both parents) we have loads of fun and really enjoy the events (lots of scenery and comraderie where we go). The "competition" is in reason for my kids to work on without worrying about whether or not their horses are fit enough (tough to balance distance ride training with schoolwork). I compete in dressage (all levels from training to FEI) and have found ACTHA rides to be of huge benefit to get my horses out on as well. The icing on the cake is that I'm the Medical Director for a local Humane Society so the goals and mission of the organization are definitely ones I can align myself with and not feel bad about the amount of money I spend (which is a far cry less than what I dump on dressage competitions). We'll be continuing to participate in these rides as long as they continue to hold them in our area.
Jul. 10, 2011, 02:44 PM
I think ACTHA is a great idea, but it has not been well implemented. They have continually made and changed rules, the judging is not the least bit consistent, and they chose to benefit HSUS with last year's world record ride, alienating a lot of horse people. I hope they learn and grow and do better, but I won't be giving them any of my money for now.
Jul. 11, 2011, 06:11 PM
I won't do ACTHA due to their past support of the HSUS. For me, giving them any of my money would be like tithing to a church that teaches doctrine I don't believe in. I do rides sponsored by local clubs and Mountain Trail events, but no ACTHA for me. Ever.
Jul. 11, 2011, 08:53 PM
The organization has some growing to do but it is a great idea and so much fun. Help them do not put it down we need fun family horse days.
Jul. 11, 2011, 11:08 PM
I asked the organizers if they regretted associating with the HSUS early on. I was told that they were "proud" of their support of HSUS. I will no more encourage support of ACTHA than I would an organization that supports PETA.
You may support who you wish. I will not support an organization associated with another that actively works against what I believe in. I find plenty of family fun at local poker rides, organized trail rides and mountain trail events. I don't need ACTHA,