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First Posted March 5, 2008
Jul 22, 2010

Competitive Trail Riding

Competitive Trail Riding

"Competitive Trail Riding (CTR) is an equestrian sport where riders cover a marked trail for a distance that is usually between 15 and 35 miles per day. Some rides are only one day long, others may run as long as three days.

The goal of the competition is to demonstrate partnership between horse and rider. Unlike in endurance riding, factors other than speed are considered. If the ride is timed, it is a form of pace race; else it is a judged trail ride. In a timed ride, horses may not come in under or over a certain time, and veterinary checks, rider behavior and other elements play a role in the placings. Each competitor is evaluated on factors that include physical condition of the horse, campsite, and horse management.

The horse evaluated on performance, manners, and related criteria. "Pulse and respiration" stops check the horse's recovery ability. There are many different organizations which sanction Competitive Trail Rides. Horsemanship also is considered at some competitions, depending on the sanctioning organization. Riders are evaluated on how they handle the trail, manage the horse, and present to the judges and veterinarians throughout the ride. Obstacles are also set up along the trail and the horse and rider are graded on how well they perform as a team.

Rides are often held on public lands, such as Forest Service or BLM lands in the United States, but are also held on private property. The terrain varies depending on the part of the country in which a competition is held, and lands available for the event. Unlike trail riding at a guest ranch, where inexperienced riders walk their horses most of the time and cover simple trails, riders who compete in competitive trail rides are asked to have their animals navigate a variety of terrain and use all gaits, especially the trot.

Similar events exist around the world, though often with wide variations in rules and distances. In all cases, the most obvious difference between an endurance ride and a competitive trail ride is that the winner of an endurance ride is the first horse and rider team to cross the finish line and pass a vet check that deems the horse "fit to continue," whereas competitive trail rides usually consider additional factors and penalize a horse and rider that finish in too little time..." Continue this article on the following link. Competitive Trail Riding

The North American Trail Ride Conference (NATRC) is a national sanctioning body for competitive trail rides in the United States.

North American Trail Ride Conference
For More Information: North American Trail Ride Conference
American Competitive Trail Ride Association (Sound at this site)
Eastern American Trail Ride Association

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