Rules for Mountain Trail/ Obstacle Show

Our Mountain Trail/Obstacle Show is a judged event designed to show the confidence, boldness and athletic ability of all breeds and all disciplines of horses, ponies and mules while being challenged by trail or man-made obstacles. Horse and rider are judged as a partnership, with the horse showing a desire to go forward with a calm and relaxed attitude, and the rider showing good horsemanship and showmanship.

Mountain Trail requires navigating obstacles at a walking pace for the lower levels. Navigating between obstacles at a faster pace; jog, trot, lope, canter; maybe required for the more experienced horse/rider combination in the higher levels. The horse and rider should be able to willingly assess and enthusiastically navigate new obstacles with finesse and in a safe manner. This is not a race.

The perfect Mountain Trail horse is a horse that is bold, confident and moves forward in a natural gait that is safe and also covers ground as if it were on a long day’s trail ride.


Approved helmets are mandatory for all youth competitors.

Boots or riding shoes with a heel are mandatory for all riders.

Western riders should wear a western hat or an approved helmet, shirt with collar, and jeans. Short sleeved shirts are acceptable , however long sleeves should not be rolled up.

English riders should wear breeches and boots with a collared shirt and an approved helmet.

In-Hand competitors should dress in either English or Western attire as outlined above.


Horses may be shown in either Western or English tack. Bridleless or bitless is acceptable, as well as bareback pads.

All appropriate bits are allowed but must be worn properly. Spurs are acceptable.

No tie-downs or martingales are allowed.

Leg protection , bell boots and polos are acceptable. Obstacles may include water so please be advised that tack or clothing may get wet.


Each obstacle will be scored on a scale from 0-10. Your score is based on your approach to the obstacle, navigation through the obstacle as well as your exit. Taking an obstacle from the wrong direction , or from the wrong side , or missing an obstacle will result in a score of zero for that obstacle. Negotiating the obstacles in the wrong order will result in being off course and disqualification.

Any action taken by the horse to avoid an obstacle is considered a refusal. This may include evading or running past the obstacle, unwillingness to approach, negotiate or complete an obstacle. After 3 unsuccessful attempts or 15 seconds, the judge may instruct the exhibitor to move on to the next obstacle.

After 3 unsuccessful ( missed) obstacles the horse/rider combination may be excused from the class.

In- hand class is judged in the same manner with your horse walking willingly and attentively with you through the obstacles. Your score will reflect your horses willingness to complete the obstacle with as little guidance as possible. You will also receive a score for horsemanship in addition to your obstacle scores.


Any abusive behaviour towards a horse, both inside and outside the competition area will result in disqualification. This will include , but is not limited to lameness, fresh blood in mouth, chin, shoulder, barrel, flank or hip. Blatant disrespect or misconduct by any exhibitor will not be tolerated.


Patterns will be posted on our Facebook page 2 days before the event and also at the show office. As well, there will be a walk-through prior to each class. At this time you are encouraged to ask the judge any questions you have regarding the class.


Prizes will be awarded at the completion of each class. Individual score sheets will be available for pick up at the show office.

A warm up area will be provided in the sand ring A warm up time on course will be provided before the start of the show for $10 gate fee per horse. Please respect the time limit allotted. During the show, No horses will be allowed on the course except in the classes they are entered in and in the posted order. Please be ready to enter the course when it is your turn.