Image by Tim Mossholder

How It Works

The Basics

Riders will complete several real-world obstacles on REAL TRAILS, make short videos of themselves negotiating those obstacles, and submit the videos for judging.  The entry fee is $40, which covers the judge's fees, the awards, postage for mailing those awards, and helps defray the costs of organizing the event (including this fabulous website!)

The Details

Upon submitting your online entry and payment, you will receive a menu of many different natural obstacles; scoring criteria for those obstacles; and video instructions.  You will choose your 6 different obstacles based on which are available on your local trails.  We’ve chosen this format because not everyone has the same types of trails.  You choose the obstacles that you can most easily find on your trails.  This is not a “de-spooking” challenge, nor an extreme trail competition with complex man-made obstacles. The obstacles in our ride are challenges faced by real trail riders on real trails: hills, logs, rocks, branches, narrow trails, and varied terrain. See the Obstacles link at the bottom of the page for more info.

The Group

If you are on Facebook, we encourage you to join our Facebook group! This is a great place to communicate with the organizer and other riders. See the link at the bottom of the page.


The Divisions

Each horse and rider team will enter one division. Please be honest, realistic, and fair when choosing your division. Do not “dumb down” a division, hoping to beat riders who are less skilled than you. Let’s keep this FAIR and FUN.  After three first-place wins, or winning a series championship, you might be asked to move up a division!  

Open/Advanced: this division is for trainers and very experienced riders. A trainer is any rider who is compensated to train/ride horses, either in currency or in barter/trade. Professional (paid) trainers MUST enter this division unless riding a Green Horse (see below). Paid trainers found to be entering any other division (with the exception of Green Horse) will be removed from the competition and will forfeit their entry fees.


Intermediate Rider: This division is for mid-level riders with several years of riding under their belts. Use your judgement.

Beginner Rider: This division is for entry-level riders who are comfortable on trails but who may not have all of the skills of an intermediate rider.  These riders tend to stick to walk and trot.


Green Horse: This division is for any level of rider on a horse that is in its FIRST year of training, or first year of exposure to real trails. 


You’ll notice that we don’t have age divisions. This is due to the reality that age doesn’t necessarily correlate with riding ability. If you have a child who wants to compete, assess their skill as a rider and enter them into the appropriate skill-level division.