The Ultimate Horsemanship Challenge is a fun-spirited, family oriented competition where horse and rider teams complete obstacles and are judged on horsemanship, confidence, trust, and communication. The sport is designed to promote community and camaraderie with special attention to the mental and physical health of our horses. First, second, and third place win money (a percent of entry fees)!
Horse and rider negotiate ten to thirteen obstacles, each judged and given a score from one to ten. The judge will be looking for the horse and rider’s ability to execute all obstacles while exhibiting poise, confidence, precision and quietness; while maintaining a balanced, functional, and fundamentally correct body position. The horse and rider should work in complete unison; aids and cues should be subtle and quiet.
There are three divisions. Youth (under 18YO), Novice/Green horse; and Open.
Earn additional points in the form of Horsemanship Points. These points are given to horse and rider teams who display exceptional communication, trust and confidence in each other.
Each obstacle has a refusal limit, meaning that if your horse balks at the obstacle, you have the opportunity to convince your equine partner to trust you and perform the task. We request you move on after 3 refusals. Participants can still receive up to 2 points even if the obstacle is not completed, based on their horsemanship skills in handling the situation.
We try to set up the course to mimic everyday challenges that you could potentially encounter out on the trail. A few examples: log, bridge, water, teeter totter, and tarp crossings; banks and trenches; opening and closing gates, walk, trot, and canter; side-passing and leg yields; loud noises; log dragging; mounting/dismounting; and trailer loading. If you have an idea for an obstacle, please share it!! We love challenging ourselves and our horses, and this is a community effort, after all!
Also, you should know we have a “warm up class” for only $15.00 per horse at every challenge. It is a designed and judged pattern, similar to the competition. We will release score sheets after the class, before the competition begins, this way you get immediate feedback from the judge as to the issues he or she observed and what you need to do to get the maximum amount of points out of each obstacle. We find that contestants love having this option!
All disciplines are welcome. Whatever your discipline, be prepared to dress in appropriate attire. We reserve the right to deny entry to the competition if we determine your horse’s health or welfare is at stake. You will have one opportunity to correct the issue. If you have any questions, contact Stacey at 706-318-5827 or firstname.lastname@example.org.