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Ride for Fun, Ride to Learn

Trail Challenge Obstacle Course

Recreational Competition



A relaxing trail ride with judged obstacles placed in camp and on trail (5-10 miles).  Ride at a leisurely pace with friends and family.  Enjoy the sights as you improve your horsemanship skills.  An unlimited number of obstacles, but at least 6.

Any combination of pasture, arena, and trail (2-4 miles of course) with at least 8 obstacles.  Multiple riders per horse are not allowed. Multiple horses per rider are allowed. The limit is subject to the course planned by the Ride Manager and the number of rotations (sets of riders going through the course) allotted for the course.  Please contact the Ride Manager of the event to determine the maximum number of extra horses allotted.  This allowance is meant for horses who qualify in different brackets (i.e. a green horse you are working on and a seasoned horse you like to show).  It is not meant for a rider to dominate in any one bracket.  Please use discretion.

Same as Obstacle Trail except can include up to 1 mile of trail. These events are typically held in an arena or pasture.

In Hand courses are held in an arena or pasture setting where the handler works with the equine through obstacles.

This format provides 1 to 10 miles of recreational riding.  It may be used to offer a practice Trail Challenge offering obstacles and feedback from judges, provide a fun format such as a poker run, or for simple pleasure riding as a fundraiser.

Upon approach of each obstacle, you inform the judge of the Challenge Level that best suits you and your equine, allowing you to best showcase your equine, helping you achieve success.  Obstacles are not timed!

  1. SELECT A CHALLENGE LEVEL at each obstacle.
  2. RECEIVE A SCORE from the judge.  Max 20 points per obstacle; 10 for the equine, 10 for the rider.  A plus(+) may be given to equine and/or rider for anything from an exemplary try to an exemplary performance.
  3. YOUR OBSTACLE SCORE is multiplied by the Challenge Level's corresponding weighted factor.
  4. YOUR BRACKET is determined by the sum of the Challenge Levels selected.


Bracket Challenge Level Weighted Factor Challenge Level Total Average
Challenge Level
6 obstacles 7 obstacles 8 obstacles 9 obstacles 10 obstacles
Novice 1 1.00 6-8 7-10 8-11 9-13 10-14 1.0-1.49
Intermediate 2 1.30 9-14 11-17 12-19 14-22 15-24 1.5-2.49
Advanced 3 1.65 15-18 18-21 20-24 23-27 25-30 2.5+