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Anyone do Extreme Cowboy Race/Extreme Obstacles Challenges? I did it!!!! Pictures!!!

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  • Anyone do Extreme Cowboy Race/Extreme Obstacles Challenges? I did it!!!! Pictures!!!

    I am posting this as a spinoff from a thread in the Trail Riding section. Does anyone do Extreme Cowboy Race/Obstacle challenges?

    This is something I want to start doing but have never done before. My horse and I do ACTHA rides, and small trail challenges locally. We always do well and I am looking for a new challenge.There is a local trainer that competes in EXCA and is looking to start herown organization with more emphasis on horsemanship instead of speed. I am going to her place for a lesson next week and will be entering a challenge she is hosting in October.

    Does anyone have any tips, comments or experiences they can share with meon how to get started? Anything I should know?
    Last edited by spotnnotfarm; Oct. 12, 2011, 08:53 PM.

  • #2
    I have done three local extreme cowboy races (they are NOT EXCA sanctioned races) for the last three years. They were judged all three years by a top EXCA trainer/rider in our area (Bill Cameron) and the 1st two years by another top trainer (don't know if he ever competed in any races) and this year by my trainer (Matt Sheridan, who has judge EXCA races and has won NFQHA trail & ranch versatility buckles). My horse and I placed 6th out of 43 (?) riders in the first race, so made top 10 and then placed 6th. In the 2nd race, I was coming off ACL replacement surgery and we missed top 10 by 1/4 of a point. This year we tied for 4th out of 50 riders, so again made Top 10, and then placed 7th (jumps were my downfall!). With that long explanation of my experience, here's what I'd say:

    There is an emphasis on speed, even though they always say there isnt. However, what they want is speed with control (i.e., GOOD horsemanship). Those in our races who went fast and were out of control or on the verge of being out of control DID NOT place in the top ten. Also, while not paramount, time IS a part of the race and is factored into the scores. It's just not supposed to be the ulitmate factor (although they do announce times after each run and emphasize who's "fastest". ) But the winner this year ... a MULE!! And you know they are not that fast, LOL. But this Mule was deadly accurate and never hestitated at any obstacle. Just think of your time as an obstacle. You want to be fast, but on the set obstacles you want to be accurrate. You do both well and you're good to go!

    We were told this year (you'll want to check with your trainer) that in the preliminary run, horesemanship is NOT considered between the obstalces only while you are doing the obstacle. So those going fast between the obstalces weren't necessarily judged on that, but how they approached and left an obstacle was.

    Horsemanship WAS judged throughout the ride in the Top Ten run, so even between obstacles you were judged.

    They don't mind horses that hesitate and look at an obstalce, but if you stop they could take that as a refusal and it also takes up time.

    They wanted accuracy, obedience and a loose rein. Got lots of points if you did the obstacles with a loose rein.

    When you do the walk through make sure you question the Judges if you have ANY questions or confusion. That's the time to clarify what you have to do. If you don't do it then, there's no complaining about it after.

    Because you have to go fast between obstacles and slow down to do obstalces, you must make sure your horse can do that. Alot of horses got really hot from the fast part that they couldn't (wouldn't) slow to do the obstacle.

    Read the EXCA sample obstacles and make sure you can do those. If you can do those, obstacles you encounter on the course will be a piece of cake. But make sure you practice all possible configurations. One we had in this year's top ten was to load the horse in a 2H straight load trailer. That's what my horse rides in, but with the divider out. She'd load half way and then come out. Should have practiced that!!

    Relax, breathe and HAVE FUN! Don't be concerned about the other runs because you never know where anyone places until they tally up the scores.


    • #3
      Well shoot, our local saddle club is having a clinic this weekend! (Just N. of Chattanooga, TN) And we run them a couple times a year too. There's an ad on page 35 of the August Hoofbeats: http://digital.turn-page.com/issue/37699


      • Original Poster

        Thanks for the info Kewplace! I have heard of your trainer! He is great! I am excited about trying this out. The competition I am entering in October is not EXCA sanctioned either but the person puttingit on is. She has a green horse division and that is what we are entering. She said we could trot or lope and I will be training over her course next week.

        My horse will do most obstacles and we are working on a few he does not do. I will check out the website and view theirs.

        Saje, I hate I did not know about your clinic! Can you let me know when you have another one, you are not that far for me to come. Does your club have a website or on facebook so I can keep up with challenges or clinics?



        • #5
          Hey SpotNot,

          Where is the challenge? I might want to try it too!

          You said you did ACTHA rides, did you ever do any of the ones at Peter's Creek in Social Circle? If so, you probably saw me, I am a safety rider for ACTHA


          • #6
            Well, the website person has gone MIA for some reason and the site's down, and it looks like the FB page has been archived (Most of the club is not very techno-minded!), but it's: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gi...3295119&ref=ts

            Now that I know there are people interested in this sort of thing I'll remember to post updates here on COTH


            • #7
              Originally posted by spotnnotfarm View Post
              Thanks for the info Kewplace! I have heard of your trainer! He is great!
              You're welcome! Glad it came in useful! I'll have to tell Matt you've heard of him ... he'll like that, LOL. He's been a good friend and excellent mentor to my horse and I. I thought he'd be really hard on me in judging. He was! But he was equally hard on everyone else, LOL.

              Originally posted by spotnnotfarm View Post
              I am excited about trying this out. The competition I am entering in October is not EXCA sanctioned either but the person puttingit on is. She has a green horse division and that is what we are entering. She said we could trot or lope and I will be training over her course next week.
              You will have a BLAST! Sounds like your trainer is doing things right, too! I'll be anxious to hear how it goes and you KNOW you'll need to show pix!!

              Originally posted by spotnnotfarm View Post
              My horse will do most obstacles and we are working on a few he does not do. I will check out the website and view theirs.
              My horse would do most obstacles, too ... but there were some we had never practiced, like loping a pinwheel. That's where the list of sample obstacles comes in handy ... it gives you a check list on things you horse might have to do and you say say,"Yea, done that!" or "yea, have to practice that!" Even if the race is not EXCA sanctioned, they'll take alot of obtacles from that list or modified from that list. So it's a good resource on things you may need to know.


              • #8
                I do them with my BLIND horse, LOL! I know we would NEVER win, but it's fun, and most don't know he's blind. I have to step over logs, that's really the only issue. Other than that, dragging logs, crossing bridges, going through water, loading in the trailer, etc, he does with speed.

                Here are some pics:

                Waiting around:


                Crossing the logs:


                Coming out of the creek:


                Turning left then right in a 12x12 square:


                Crossing the "bridge":


                Pulling the log:


                Unloading back off the trailer:


                It was just something fun to do that day! I got there 5 minutes late (flat tire) and wanted to do a practice run (5.00) and they wouldn't let me. Even when I explained we had a flat and he was blind they said no.
                I want a signature but I have nothing original to say except: "STHU and RIDE!!!

                Wonderful COTHER's I've met: belleellis, stefffic, snkstacres and janedoe726.


                • #9
                  Here's some pix of my horse and I at the last cowboy race! These are not official pix - we haven't received those yet.

                  Tire drag:



                  Bridge in the Prelim round:



                  Some from the top ten run:



                  tire drag


                  Climbing the mound on the three step:

                  Trailer load (or not, LOL):


                  • #10
                    I have not done any Extreme Cowboy Challenges but have done local trail trials and love them. We have 1 local fella that competes at and has clinic's and such at his place. I haven't been able to make it to any of them as of yet, but hopefully in the future I can.

                    Just keep practicing at the slower paces on the obstacles and pick up the pace every other time doing them so your horse doesn't become habit forming and rush through them. Practice loping along and stopping and just standing calmly. Practice alone and with others when you can. My mare is great at home by herself, but becomes anxious when with others and she has to sit back and wait her turn. She really likes to just keep moving along. We go and just have fun, when we do well, its just an added bonus. So have fun and good luck.
                    R.I.P Vanny 26 yr QH Stallion 4/11/82 - 5/8/08, Scout 28 yr Paint Cross Gelding, Glistening 11 yr Arab/Saddlebred Mare


                    • Original Poster

                      Whoo Hooo!!! I am excited very, very excited!!!! Thanks everyone!!! I sent in my entry today for the green horse division. I can't wait to school over the course next weekend. Thanks for all the pictures. I think he would do most of the obstacles ya'll posted excpet for the trailer. He is used to a roomy slant load trailer.

                      Char, it is amazing you do it on a blind horse! You should so proud!

                      Overo, the challenge is at Stacey Mccoy's on October 8th, let me know if you go!

                      I will let everyone know how it goes!



                      • #12
                        That's out in Watkinsville right? If so, that's like 20 min from me! I'll let you know


                        • #13
                          How do you find these? I would like to do something like this with my older eventer, he would be GREAT at this!
                          Life doesn't have perfect footing.

                          Bloggily entertain yourself with our adventures (and disasters):
                          We Are Flying Solo


                          • Original Poster

                            I had a BLAST today! I went for a lesson at the farm that is hosting the Extreme Obstacle Challenge on the 8th. Grover was a total STAR!!! He did every obstacle out there today. When we first went to the course he was not very happy about the tractor trailer tires he had to cross. He tried jumping them several times(OUCH!) but finally fiqured out it was much easier to cross. He also crossed the teeter totter, which was his achilles heel! She had has trot the course and was going to have us lope it but it ended up being too muddy. I am so excited! I found his calling!!!!

                            The trainer is very impressed with him and thinks he could have a future as a big time challenge horse!!! YAY!!!!


                            • #15
                              Didn't they have a play day or something yesterday over there? I almost went!


                              • Original Poster

                                Originally posted by OveroHunter View Post
                                Didn't they have a play day or something yesterday over there? I almost went!
                                They did! I wish you had come. Are you going to do her challenge on the 8th? Have you ever gone to the one at Turnberry Bleu farm? What are those like??


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by saje View Post
                                  Well, the website person has gone MIA for some reason and the site's down, and it looks like the FB page has been archived (Most of the club is not very techno-minded!), but it's: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gi...3295119&ref=ts

                                  Now that I know there are people interested in this sort of thing I'll remember to post updates here on COTH
                                  Yes, please do, we'd love to come play!
                                  "The standard you walk by is the standard you accept."--Lt. Gen. David Morrison, Austalian Army Chief


                                  • #18
                                    I love this video of the 2008 extreme cowboy race finals, the man in it was the head of the horse department at my high school (school had a horse department but was mostly western). The stallion he is riding in this video he bred himself, and was born while I was a jr. in high school, making him 4 or 5 in this video. Cam was 59 when this was taken.

                                    It's not having what you want, it's wanting what you've got.


                                    • Original Poster

                                      Thanks for the video Two Sticks! They did a great job and his horse was sooooo nice! It seems like there are a lot of stallions that compete.

                                      Yesterday, We jumped barrels!!! YAY!!!!


                                      • #20
                                        I just sent that video of Cam to all my boarders and students with a note saying "When we get tired of competing in dressage, this is our next discipline!"

                                        Woo-hoo! Looks like a lot of fun!
                                        Visit Sonesta Farms website at www.sonestafarms.com or our FaceBook page at www.facebook.com/sonestafarms. Also showing & breeding Cavalier King Charles Spaniels.