So, the competitors choose an essentially unhandled colt or filly (how old?) and take it into a big loud echoing arena full of people and loudspeaker noises, as well as other horse/trainer teams. They then have 2(?) days to get the horse to the point where it can be ridden, and the one who can do the most with his horse is the winner.
Ok, this piqued my interest -- I think you can go to the website and find out what you wanted to know.
The 6666 Ranch supplies a group of geldings -- probably 2-3 years of age, although they don't say -- to competitiors that are professional trainers, working in teams by country (Pat Parelli is Team USA, this year). The geldings are from their homebred herd of quarter horses, that are bred to work on their ranch.
The teams of trainers pick out the horse they want to work with from this group of geldings. They choose one they think they can train.
Over two days, using round penning techniqes, the teams train their colt to ride. It looks like Day 2 involves an obstacle course.
From last year: "Indeed, each trainer seemed to take the time needed to get to know their horses in their own unique ways. Although they used different methods to get there, by the time round three rolled around, they had all had good rides on their horses, and there was no clear leader.
The final round, however, required the trainers to take their colts through their gaits on the rail of the arena and then complete an obstacle course with such challenges as weaving in and out of poles, walking over a tarp, jumping low rails and dragging a log by a rope. "
Edited to say, if you don't like this kind of training, or object to the short time frame to get these ranch horses under saddle -- which are not always known for being easy to train -- then don't go to the party. You probably wouldn't enjoy it. Rent a Rolex Three Day or WEG video for yourself and don't get frustrated, if you think it would upset you.
I know several here that are into the "mustang makeover" and such other, NH people and of course all parellites that can, that are going to watch.
It is their big event, just as the Calgary Stampede is to professional rodeo folks, the Kentucky Derby to race followers.
It is a way to exhibition colt starting skills, all under similar conditions so it is a competition and showcase how they do it.
Parelli was in the first one in the 1990's, held in a parking lot and the last one.
I expect he would like to win this time around.
That was a big show before, but once Parelli got into it again, now that he has so many parellites, it is a slam dunk it would be sold out.
I would not be surprised if his followers here would not go watch it.
They sell videos of the events, if you don't want to sit there and watch it in person or pay for real time transmission.
You could, like, OMG, like go to their like webpage, and like,OMG, find out directly from the source, wassup wit dat.
You are somethin' else, y'know that?
I LOOKED at the website, and did not find much explanation of how it ran, what they were judged on (if judged at all) etc, just about the team approach and picking horses etc. That's why I asked here, because MOST people will give even the stupidest of questions a reasonable answer.
By the bye, your sig line reads:
"A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking. (Steven Wright)"
Considering how fast you jumped to a conclusion about me, I suggest you re-read your own signature line a time or two.
Thank you to those of you who posted useful information, I appreciate it. I'm still sort of confused as to whether its a clinic or a competition, and how it's managed & judged, but I guess I'll find out.
As for the Rolex dvd - I'll be going to the real thing in April
I am quite surprised you still have these questions, the website I agree is not that well organized, but it's pretty clear.
It's a competition, not a clinic, but if you look at the schedule then you will see that they do give lectures on training to the audience in the morning. It's about the trainers, not about the horses -- can they pick out a horse that is easy to train, can they really break a colt in two days, can they show the horse to it's best advantage?
The point of the event is, if you are a natural horsemanship guru, then how well can you train a basically untouched horse? At the end of the day, can the horse w/t/c on the rail, and go through an obstacle course?
I assume that the team that has the horse that does the best job of this wins. It appears they are scored on the various tests they are given: rail work, obstacles.
Taken verbatim from the website:
What is Road to the Horse?
Road to the Horse is a one-of-a-kind experience that combines education and entertainment for an all out horsemanship experience.
The competition has in the past taken three internationally known, elite horse trainers and clinicians and puts them up against each other for the esteemed title of Road to the Horse Champion. These competitors choose a horse out of the remuda, a group of 10 horses, and they begin building a relationship between horse and human.
Unlike a horse show, these competitors are judged not only on a final test of skill, but the means to the end result. The goal of Road to the Horse is to teach horsemen and women that natural horsemanship is a kinder, gentler way of working with horses."
Friday will kick off the competition with the first round pen challenges while the second round pen challenges will take place on Saturday. The scores from each competitor will be displayed on the Road to the Horse Jumbo-Tron immediately after each round pen session and will be broken down into individual judging categories.
Sunday will feature all six individual competitors completing their own obstacle course on the colt that they started during the previous two days. After all six obstacle courses have been completed, all course scores will be displayed on the Jumbo-Tron and the totals of all sessions will be provided to determine the winning team.
To further test the merit and confidence of the international teams, Bland will announce an optional "twist" at the event that will award bonus points towards the competitors should they accept the challenge.
"We'll find out how confident they are in their team and if they are gamblers or not. No one knows what the twist is but me. I always like to throw in a surprise for both the competitors and the attendees. Of course there will still be two mystery obstacles during the obstacle course, but this is an added bonus that will leave you holding on to the edge of your seat!" says Bland.
Just a friendly word, you may not mean it to seem this way, but it does appear that you are angling for some kind of reaction on this from this board, which is generally skeptical of NH gurus in general. Since it's a friend's party, as you say, you can just go to hang out with buddies and will find out when you see it. I don't think any advance preparation is probably needed.
On the other hand, if your friend and host is a NH fan (and may be, since they are paying for live feed and hosting a party?), then you may indeed be expected to agree that this is the best way to train a horse. The event itself is one big marketing push, as far as I can see. Nothing wrong with that, but you better be prepared to drink a little Koolaid.
I would love to go....sure it is not the kindest way to start a horse, but at least they are done well and then I think they get bought and probably get good homes..I know some of the competitors buy the horses they use......I assume "colt" is a generic term in western parlence for young horse...I remember in Misty, Grandpa Bebe referred to every baby equine as a colt. so make that Western and tidewater Virginia parlence
You could have just searched on RTTH, that exact term, in the Off Course forum. You will find commentary from every year it's been held in TN. I can absolutely guarantee you that is a fact. I've attended two, watched the podcast on one, and participated in lengthy discussions/battles about it.
So yes, gentle reader, you can very easily get your questions answered with the tiniest bit of effort on your part. Or you can kick the "NH Hornet's Nest" , with your big loud echoing arena full of people and loudspeaker noises and expect, no demand, to be treated fairly and spoonfed the precise data you seek...as you decide about attending...a party.
A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking. (Steven Wright)
I am a Chris Cox fan; he won it twice. I assume he will not be in it this year but I will check out the website and figure out about this live feed stuff.....totally tech challenged but in order to diminish my chances of developing Alzheimers, I must continually learn new things...and the computer certainly provides many opportunities.
Okay I'll bite. I guess, even as pms rages through my body, I'm not getting the same snarkiness from the OP's questions. She's stating fact. It's not a "normal" training set up. Reading the description and seeing it are two different things.
I have a friend who has been in RTTH and didn't win but garnered fantastic respect for how well he did. He's going to watch this year. Essentially, the judging is done in such a way that they are earning points as they go as well as in the final obstacle course. The judges are taking into consideration how easily the horse reacts to each phase of training that is presented to him. They take into consideration how quickly the trainer is up and riding and how smoothly the horse takes to it. Every moment is in front of the judges and the crowd so no back door tricks. I think this is the first year they have had teams and I'm not sure how that is going to be different than past single competitors.
The horses they choose from are extremely good minded and well bred. Being from the same well established ranch horse breeding program makes it as fair as it can be when selecting a horse from the group, IMO.
It's not a bad way to start a horse, just not typical. My friend bought his horse and there is vid on Youtube of the horse home at his farm less than twenty four hours after the competition and he and his daughter are riding it bareback in the arena. Horse is sensible, quiet and perfectly adjusted. And believe me when I say that he is not considered a Natural Horsemanship minion. He trains and shows Arabs for a living. I'll have to find the link....
Tommy is a great trainer and while I may not do all that he does, his philosophy is sound and humane!
It's definately part horsemanship, part entertainment. And believe me that NONE of the competitors are interested in either getting hurt or making an ass of themselves in front of a giant crowd of people! Talk about a career ender. I borrowed the dvds of when Stacey Westfall did it. It's very interesting to watch, in spite of what you might be thinking from first impression. Unlike rodeo, most involved want all the horses to have a good experience and be successful! While there are some exciting moments, it's about not only showcasing the talents of the trainers but the smarts and adaptability of the horses.