Trail Class Questions

Discussion in 'The Carrot Stick' started by lori, Oct 22, 2008.

  1. lori

    lori New Member

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    OK, I have asked similiar questions about trail class, but what is the *right* way to open a gate? If there is an ideal way to do it, please be very specific.

    I have a good horse to try this out with, and I did what I think is a trail class gate opening last night for the first time. He is SURE he is supposed to help me with gates using his nose. So if I lean over to move the gate, he tucks his nose in and starts shoving the gate, which makes me lean further out to keep a hold of it, which makes him think it's even more urgent to get the gate open and he pushes harder and farther. AQHA rules does say something about the horse being aware of the obstacles doesn't it? He's aware. He gets what gates are for. But somehow, I think that's not helping. :p

    Can someone explain the rope gate? What's this look like?
     
  2. TwistedWire

    TwistedWire Guest

    Two posts with a rope attached to one and looped over a hook or something on the other.

    Approach the gate.  Do a forehand turn, haunches turn, or a sidepass to position yourself parellel to the gate. (remember, a gate technically is usually attached to a fence, so imagine that boundary and don't cross it.

    Lean over with one hand-opposite hands on the reins.  Lets say you're holding the reins in your left, so your right side is next to gate. 

    Quietly lift the rope with your right hand.  In sort of a sidepass motion, move through the gate and do a forehand type turn around your hand so the rope stays on your right side. 

    Gently rehook the gate.

    Kind of crappy picture, but here's an idea.  I'll. try to look for a better one.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ngTb_mcgFEY


    ETA: Ok that's weird because when I watched it on youtube, it was all washed out and you could hardly see the horse.
     

  3. TwistedWire

    TwistedWire Guest

  4. lori

    lori New Member

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    Thanks for digging up all this stuff.

    But you do have to keep your hand on the gate (or holding on to the rope) the whole time, right? Does the sidepassing have to be perfectly clean? Or is it just "move sideways" and not that picky about level of cross over? I guess pretty sidepassing will probably get you more points.

    Should one be penalized for a non-WP type mover/loooker? The horse that I want to use is very ranchy looking.

    I am also nervous about remembering the order of obstacles. Are there any hints/tricks to this?

    I need to get my ass in gear. I'm pathetic. Gordyville is very close but not once have I bothered to go see these classes I'm curious about.
     
  5. TwistedWire

    TwistedWire Guest

    Is this a QH show you want to do trail at? The obstacles are so tough that it seems like only the *best* movers can do them well, even though trail was originated for "any" class of movers.

    You can have no ticks without penalties, etc. I'm not sure the level of toughness at Gordyville-we watched videos from Congress and World and I can't imagine being able to do those patterns.

    The prettier the sidepass the more likely you'll earn maneuver points, rather than just a "0" for that obstacle. An average score is 70, which would basically mean you didn't get any "plus" points.

    If you go to open shows, it's almost like anything goes. It'd be impossible to count the ticks and rolls and what not.

    I don't know about QH shows on the smaller level, but at open shows trail classes are basically lined up in a circle around the rail so it's not hard to remember the pattern. The pattersn we watched for judging though...holy carp...zig zagging all over the place.
     
  6. lori

    lori New Member

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    I don't think I'll want to show at AQHA, maybe. It's something to do over the winter that's cheaper to get to than almost everywhere else we go. :D In what way are they tough? He is short strided and likes to go slow, but has way too much vertical in his movement to be a WP type mover.

    Definitely need to do it at an open/fun show first. How the heck do they decide who is the best if everyone is sloppy at open shows? We go to very few shows that include non-speed events, and I think all of our usual shows that include halter/pleasure type classes do not have a trail class, so I've not seen this at all.
     
  7. TwistedWire

    TwistedWire Guest

    I score trail very similarly to how I score showmanship: I give every obstacle a score of 0-10.

    10 if it's PERFECTO perfect. 9 if it's good-meaning smooth, and nice, but could have been fancier. 8 if they did it smoothly, 7 if they got it with out major bobbles. 6 if maybe they hesitated, hit the poles, etc.

    I give 5 if they screwed up but at least DID the maneuver.

    0 if they didn't do it all all, but usually I am a bit gracious-I'll give 1-4 if they at least tried.

    He who does it without whacking, smacking, or bucking usually wins ;)
     
  8. MyTeDun

    MyTeDun Senior Member

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    Lori I'm in the same boat as you. I don't think I'm anywhere near ready to enter trail at an AQHA show. Sure would love to be able to compete at that level though
     
  9. RickB.

    RickB. New Member

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    Correct.

    The cleaner and more precise, the better.

    Absolutely not. But some judges do have their prejudices.....

    Get a copy of the pattern. Go off by yourself and walk the pattern using imaginary obstacles. Do that until you are comfortable with it. Know in your mind what you are going to do and when you are going to do it.

    Build various and sundry trail obstacles for use at home. Set them up in as many different combinations as you can think of and then ride the patterns. The more you practice, the better you'll get and the less you'll worry about what you find at the show. Same is true for your horse.


    Get copies of every trail class you ride and keep them in a binder. If you have friends going to registered shows, ask them to pick up a copy of the trail pattern for you. And don't just limit yourself to trail patterns from AQHA shows.

    Some of the toughest and most technically difficult patterns I have ridden and/or designed, were for Class A Arabian Horse Shows.
     
  10. lori

    lori New Member

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    Thanks so much for the input guys. I ought to film the "before" for you. With him pushing the gate with his nose, it gets trainwrecky pretty fast. Although bless his poor little helpful heart... he tries.
     
  11. lori

    lori New Member

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    Thanks for answering all my endless questions you guys. I have more. :)

    Does turning on the forehand or haunches mean planting a pivot foot and not moving that foot? Or as long as his butt stays in the same place, is that ok that there is some shuffling going on? Or is this something that separates the winners from the non winners?
     
  12. LetsRide

    LetsRide New Member

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    Technically for extra brownie point your reins should remain in your left hand at all times and all hands on obstacles should be done with your right hand.