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  1. #21
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    That sounds like a good description of an ETI trail trial. Odd, I never thought much about the rules. I just decided I wanted to compete so went along with whatever they required. I guess that's how I look at any competition, what do they require and can I do it?

    I consider competitive trail a step up from trail trials, it requires more training from the horse and a better rider. I call trail trials the old lady sport, it's pretty safe.



    Quote Originally Posted by caballero View Post
    It's funny in a pathetic sort of way that most "trail trials" organizations mandate that one carry items of dubious importance to safety such as a halter and lead rope but make the wearing of helmets optional.

    In fact, I'm reading the CA State Horsemans Assoc TT rules and my jaw is hanging in disbelief at most of what I read:

    1. Can't lead a horse by the reins
    2. Hoof picks are more important than helmets
    3. Jumping obstacles is severely penalized
    4. Horse being "too aware" is to be penalized
    5. Two-point position is to be penalized when riding uphill
    6. The old "cinch check" I guess western saddles come loose on a regular basis



  2. #22
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    The comments about checking the cinch are interesting to me. I just do that as a matter of course. Nobody ever told me it was something to do, but I just do. It's a simple check to reach down and check it - now, I don't know what the judges consider a sufficient check. I was riding a camp horse (western saddle) at a horse camp a couple of years ago. After I was on just hanging around for everyone to get ready and before the group headed out for some very easy trails, I reached down and checked. It was very loose. I hopped off and tightened it. I guess it comes from riding round qh's and not wanting to tighten the girth overly tight either. I don't know what happened with the camp horse's saddle though - that was very loose and I had mounted with that saddle.



  3. #23
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    Sep. 26, 2011
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    Having used both, IMO that's the beauty of English vs. Western girthing - if you know that your horse is fine on the 4th hole on both sides (for example), you can be confident you're good to go and it's not going to loosen... assuming same girth and not much weight change! The Western girth was never as exact for me and it could and did slip loose on occasion...
    Anyway, I do wish the OP would explain what she means by trail trials... my experience is competitive trails (NATRC) 20-40 milers and LD endurance (25-30 milers). I haven't done the shorter distance competitions like 6-8 miles (ACTHA?) - it's usually a long way to trailer for that length ride.
    It's just grass and water till it hits the ground.


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  4. #24
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    My remark regarding trail trials and the obstacles is off of the http://etinational.com website/organization since they are the group that ran the trail trial I did in Griffith Park, California.



  5. #25
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    A trail trial is a 2-3 hour ride done at the walk with judged obstacles. It's much simpler and low-keyed compared to the other trail competitions you listed.

    Quote Originally Posted by GotMyPony View Post
    Anyway, I do wish the OP would explain what she means by trail trials... my experience is competitive trails (NATRC) 20-40 milers and LD endurance (25-30 milers). I haven't done the shorter distance competitions like 6-8 miles (ACTHA?) - it's usually a long way to trailer for that length ride.



  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by caballero View Post
    It's funny in a pathetic sort of way that most "trail trials" organizations mandate that one carry items of dubious importance to safety such as a halter and lead rope but make the wearing of helmets optional.

    In fact, I'm reading the CA State Horsemans Assoc TT rules and my jaw is hanging in disbelief at most of what I read:

    1. Can't lead a horse by the reins
    2. Hoof picks are more important than helmets
    3. Jumping obstacles is severely penalized
    4. Horse being "too aware" is to be penalized
    5. Two-point position is to be penalized when riding uphill
    6. The old "cinch check" I guess western saddles come loose on a regular basis
    1. Sounds totally stupid to me. Unless you have a giant spade bit and the horse where to freak out while being led.
    2. So it's perfectly fine split your skull open on a rock, so long as your horse's feet are clean?
    3.This will be tough for my eventing girl. What would the difference be so long as you navigate the obstacle?
    4. "Too aware"- they mean ears perked forward and looking at something? Should I give my horse a frontal lobotomy before before I take part. As long as she is behaving herself what would it matter if she is looking at something with interest?
    5. Makes no sense what so ever. I want to be nice to my girl and get off her back when I go up a hill.
    6. I ride with a double elastic girth. Once I tighten it initially, and recheck before mounting, I have never had to bother with any sort of "recheck" regardless of terrain.

    I just hate dumb rules. And many of these sure seem dumb to me!!!



  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mukluk View Post
    1. Sounds totally stupid to me. Unless you have a giant spade bit and the horse where to freak out while being led.
    2. So it's perfectly fine split your skull open on a rock, so long as your horse's feet are clean?
    3.This will be tough for my eventing girl. What would the difference be so long as you navigate the obstacle?
    4. "Too aware"- they mean ears perked forward and looking at something? Should I give my horse a frontal lobotomy before before I take part. As long as she is behaving herself what would it matter if she is looking at something with interest?
    5. Makes no sense what so ever. I want to be nice to my girl and get off her back when I go up a hill.
    6. I ride with a double elastic girth. Once I tighten it initially, and recheck before mounting, I have never had to bother with any sort of "recheck" regardless of terrain.

    I just hate dumb rules. And many of these sure seem dumb to me!!!
    I did a few trail obstacle courses on my TWH. He would consistently score lower than equally 'broke' QHs or quiet-types of horses- why? because he's more than luke warm in his movements and he is eared up and looking. Not Looky. He would approach and navigate obstacles with confidence and accuracy and consistently score a 6-7 out of 10 but a quiet-looking QH would score a 8-9. If you blow through it fast and sloppy but don't tear it up- there's your horse, judge. Since I actually ride him on truly tricky stuff I refuse to train the sense and look out of him and teach him to be fast and careless. They can keep their ribbons.


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  8. #28
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    Trail trials certainly don't seem to understand forward and bold, that's for sure.



  9. #29
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    4. Horse being "too aware" is to be penalized
    Good Lord! That means many Morgans would have no chance. How does one determine "too aware" anyway?


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  10. #30
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    well, they just like that quiet and smooth QH look.



  11. #31
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    If I may just say something in defense of NATRC as one of the competitive trail orgs that may be being tarred by this same brush of this general discussion. Yes, they may have some rules you might not like - all erring on the side of safety of the horse - but they ARE NOT prejudiced in favor of slower horses over more forward ones. Most of the horses I've seen in SE region are Arabs or ArabX, various gaited breeds, Morgans... fewer Apps, QHs, Paints. All are welcome but I'd say the Arabs/gaited tend to win more awards in our region. And helmets are required on our rides - that will make some people feel better and others not. Carry on.
    It's just grass and water till it hits the ground.



  12. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by GotMyPony View Post
    all erring on the side of safety of the horse
    Not sure how having to check your girth/cinch that many times on a ride is helping the horse.

    To me if they were that worried about people's inability to properly put on their girth/cinch make checking it at one spot on the ride a stop. No reason to check before every hill, etc.



  13. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by trubandloki View Post
    Not sure how having to check your girth/cinch that many times on a ride is helping the horse.

    To me if they were that worried about people's inability to properly put on their girth/cinch make checking it at one spot on the ride a stop. No reason to check before every hill, etc.
    Can you imagine if endurance riders checked their cinch before every hill?

    SOME of the TT rules are basic common sense with the horse's well-being in mind. Some are so stupid I wonder if the person proposing them was just so loud and obnoxious the rest of the committee agreed just to shut them up.

    I did a TT once. Never again.
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  14. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by gaitedincali View Post
    Can you imagine if endurance riders checked their cinch before every hill?
    Endurance riders, eventers, hunters, anyone with a forward attitude. Like someone else pointed out, the "cinch check" ignores the fundamental way that english saddles are girthed.



  15. #35
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    Sorry I wasn't specific, but NATRC is NOT the organization that makes you check your girth before every hill - or any hill. However, if your saddle were to slip forward or back, I mean dramatically, going up or down a hill and a NATRC judge happened to see it, I'm sure it would be mentioned on your scorecard and you might lose points.

    I was mentioning NATRC specifically in reference to other posters who felt that QHs were favored over more forward-going horses in all competitive trail events and that's not the case in NATRC.
    It's just grass and water till it hits the ground.



  16. #36
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    I think the discussion is about the deadhead trail poke types, like ACTHA and the like.

    I watched a few ACTHA videos on the tube when I first heard about them and it was as exciting as watching paint dry. Quite low on the adrenalin factor.



  17. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by caballero View Post
    I think the discussion is about the deadhead trail poke types, like ACTHA and the like.

    I watched a few ACTHA videos on the tube when I first heard about them and it was as exciting as watching paint dry. Quite low on the adrenalin factor.
    yep. Pay money to go on a 6 mile trail ride and be judged on your ability to back a horse between two trees.


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  18. #38
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    May. 23, 2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by katarine View Post
    yep. Pay money to go on a 6 mile trail ride and be judged on your ability to back a horse between two trees.
    This sounds precisely commensurate with my ability! If it also involves stepping over a log, where do I sign up?
    Dreadful Acres: the chronicle of my extraordinary unsuitability to country life


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  19. #39
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    I am still planning to take part in a trail trial- but at least I have a better idea what to expect. I think it is sad that "trail" events always seem geared to the QH western folk. When I show in trail classes it is harder for me to get a QH stride out of my 16.1 TB (but we do it and have placed well). A QH will naturally do the canter stride but it takes more advanced training for a TB to collect that much. Seems to me that folks riding english (or with an elastic girth) should not have to do a girth/cinch check. Also I think it would be nice if jumping an obstacle were not penalized so long as the obstacle is safely navigated. And I cannot get how getting off your horses back riding up a hill would be penalized- it seems to me this is just good horsemanship. And if they are so concerned about safety, helmets should be mandatory. Harrumph!!!!



  20. #40
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    Well, jumping classes favor the TB with its long stride, I've seen short strided QH's trying to make the distances. It's just picking the right horse for sport and vice versa.

    This is an odd thread, I'm not sure what people are getting upset about. TT's are for dead-head horses. That's what some people like to ride. Aside from the helmet not being required, the rules aren't "bad" or dangerous. There are other trail competitions for livelier horses, and that's fine. Something for everyone!

    Go ahead and try the TT. They're not expensive and it's generally a nice trail ride. When I've done them it seems like most people are there to have a good time and are not seriously competing.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mukluk View Post
    I am still planning to take part in a trail trial- but at least I have a better idea what to expect. I think it is sad that "trail" events always seem geared to the QH western folk. When I show in trail classes it is harder for me to get a QH stride out of my 16.1 TB (but we do it and have placed well). A QH will naturally do the canter stride but it takes more advanced training for a TB to collect that much. Seems to me that folks riding english (or with an elastic girth) should not have to do a girth/cinch check. Also I think it would be nice if jumping an obstacle were not penalized so long as the obstacle is safely navigated. And I cannot get how getting off your horses back riding up a hill would be penalized- it seems to me this is just good horsemanship. And if they are so concerned about safety, helmets should be mandatory. Harrumph!!!!



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