Overcoming obstaclesAmateur Equine Trail Competition

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  • Photo by Mandi Bateman Austen Stuber on Wendy, an American Cream Draft/Morgan cross, navigates the gate obstacle.

  • 1

    Photo by Mandi Bateman Gracie Stuber and Ginger on the platform, where they must turn 360 degrees without stepping off.

  • 2

    Photo by Mandi Bateman Evellyhn Stuber works the gate on her POA, Frosty.

  • 3

    Photo by Mandi Bateman Gracie Stuber and Ginger make carrying the rain coat look easy during the First Annual Trail Challenge.

  • 4

    Photo by Mandi Bateman Gayla Roady shows that it is more important that the horse has a good experience and learns, than it is to win. She dismounted to lead her horse through an obstacle that was scary.

  • 5

    Photo by Mandi Bateman Gracie Stuber attemps the water bucket obstacle, where they must dip a bucket of water out of one container, then ride to the next container and pour it in.

  • 6

    Photo by Mandi Bateman Frosty thought the water bucket obstacle was for drinking pleasure.

  • 7

    Photo by Mandi Bateman For this obstacle, the horse must show it’s wilingness to move forward, through an object, on the rider’s command. Wendy, the horse, decided it was easier to push the ball out of the way with her nose.

  • 8

    Photo by Mandi Bateman Evellyhn Stuber and Frosty pull the log with ease.

  • 9

    Photo by Mandi Bateman The day was as much about learning as it was competition. The riders get a close-up view of the course before the show started.

  • Photo by Mandi Bateman Austen Stuber on Wendy, an American Cream Draft/Morgan cross, navigates the gate obstacle.

  • 1

    Photo by Mandi Bateman Gracie Stuber and Ginger on the platform, where they must turn 360 degrees without stepping off.

  • 2

    Photo by Mandi Bateman Evellyhn Stuber works the gate on her POA, Frosty.

  • 3

    Photo by Mandi Bateman Gracie Stuber and Ginger make carrying the rain coat look easy during the First Annual Trail Challenge.

  • 4

    Photo by Mandi Bateman Gayla Roady shows that it is more important that the horse has a good experience and learns, than it is to win. She dismounted to lead her horse through an obstacle that was scary.

  • 5

    Photo by Mandi Bateman Gracie Stuber attemps the water bucket obstacle, where they must dip a bucket of water out of one container, then ride to the next container and pour it in.

  • 6

    Photo by Mandi Bateman Frosty thought the water bucket obstacle was for drinking pleasure.

  • 7

    Photo by Mandi Bateman For this obstacle, the horse must show it’s wilingness to move forward, through an object, on the rider’s command. Wendy, the horse, decided it was easier to push the ball out of the way with her nose.

  • 8

    Photo by Mandi Bateman Evellyhn Stuber and Frosty pull the log with ease.

  • 9

    Photo by Mandi Bateman The day was as much about learning as it was competition. The riders get a close-up view of the course before the show started.

BONNERS FERRY — The Selkirk Valley Backcountry Horseman put on its inaugural Amateur Equine Trail Competition on Saturday, July 22.

The Trail Competition is designed to challenge horse and rider teams in a course consisting of various obstacles like the gate, where the rider on the horse opens the gate, passes through, and closes it, the crossing obstacles such as poles that lay on the ground, bridges, water or tarps, or even a teeter totter. There are others where the rider must drag an item behind the horse and rider team, remove and replace items, mazes, tight fits, back-through obstacles, and several others that help the horse and rider team to develop a stronger partnership and overcome tough situations.

On Saturday, there were up to 20 obstacles that were set up and the classes of riders were set to accommodate the age and level of riding skill for the rider and experience for the horse. The Novice course consisted of six to eight obstacles for horses and riders of all ages, Intermediate course with 10 to 12 obstacles, and the Advanced course with 16-20 obstacles that was open to riders 14-18 years old.

The ages and experiences of riders were separated into divisions of Novice with 14 years or younger or beginner riders with less than two years experience, Intermediate with horses who have one year or more training, and riders with experience of at least two years and are 15 and older, and the Advanced, which was open to horses and riders with two years or more experience, and riders 18 or older.

Judging is approached with the idea that the event intends to ‘display the versatile working ability of a horse’ and looking that the rider is not endangering either themselves or their horse. They awarded credit for smoothness, calmness, horsemanship, forward motion, control, attitude, quickness, and authority while in the arena. Each completed obstacle is awarded ten points, with additional points awarded on a zero through four scale with zero being a fail and four being excellent in the areas of approach/entry, obstacle navigation, and horsemanship. The contestants with the most points are awarded.

“We are hoping for a bigger turnout next time we have this event so we can expand the courses and prizes,” said Julia Stuber. “We are going to try to do another one this year if enough people sign up.”

The winners for each class are:

Novice

First place to Ivy Murray and second place to Hayden Vanhorn

Intermediate

First place to Austen Stuber, second place to Eveyllhn Stuber, third place to Gayla Roady.

Advanced

First place to Cassidy Anderson, second place to Anne Bonar, third place to Gracie Stuber, and fourth place to Melody VanHorn.

Jackpot winners

First place to Cassidy Anderson, second place to Anne Bonar, and third place to Gracie Stuber.

For more information about upcoming Selkirk Valley Backcountry Horseman events, or to join, visit: http://www.svbch.org or contact Jerry Reese at sumner181@yahoo.com. Or check them out on Facebook.

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