For Sale



Horse Training - The Trail Class
 By Fantasy Farms   •   24th Sep 2010   •   8,721 views   •   3 comments
Trail is a very technical, but fun event. In trail you have to be very precise with your movements and your horses movements. Before you begin, there are some things that you and your horse will need to learn how to do before doing trail.

Your horse needs to be able to bend his body left and right easily. Your horse should be able to jog and lope slowly with his or her head down. Your horse must know how to collect or you will not be able to do get through tight obstacles. Your horse should be able to side pass, back, perform a haunch turn and a forehand turn. Plants or trees should not spook your horse. A trail class may use scary decorations, so be prepared. A good trail horse should not be spooky and should take his or her time. Some trail classes are timed and others are not. Either way your horse should be patient and not rush the obstacles. Trail is about accuracy, not how fast you can get through the course.

Traditionally trail is done western, but at some shows you can do trail english. In trail whether you are riding english or western, you always sit the trot. If you are riding western, you should wear a western style shirt, jeans, hat/helmet and boots. Your hair should be pulled back in a bun with a hair bow or with a clip. Gloves, chaps and spurs are optional. You should use a western style saddle and bridle. You may use a bosal or snaffle only if your horse is 5 and under. If your horse is older than 5, you must use a curb bit. To use romel or split reins are up to the rider. If you are doing trail english, you should wear a hunt coat, english boots and a helmet. Your hair should be pulled back into a clip or tucked under your helmet. Spurs and gloves are optional. You should use an english saddle and bridle. Breast collars are optional for english and western. Depending on the show you are showing at, fake tails may or may not be allowed. Ask the horse show office if you are not sure if you can use a fake tail.

The Trail Class

In trail there is many obstacles. Some are easy and others are hard. Most trail classes will have a gate. There are different styles of gates. Some are made of wood or metal. Some are just two standards with a rope across. If you are doing the kind like a traditional metal gate, first get your horse close enough to where you can easily grab the handle. First grab the handle and open the gate. Ask your horse to walk forward and turn so he is parallel to the gate on the other side. Then close the gate. Make sure you don’t let go of the gate or you will lose points.

The Trail Class

Another common obstacle you will see is a bridge. A bridge may be just a flat piece of wood or a rounded bridge. Some bridges are like teeter-totters. If the bridge is flat, your horse should drop his head and walk over it. Your horse should not be rushing and should not hesitate to go over it. If the bridge is round, you should lean slightly forward in your seat and give your horse his head. Your horse should drop his head only slightly and then walk over it. You should always walk over a bridge. A teeter-totter bridge is hard. Some horses are scared of them because they move. This type of bridge is not very common so you shouldn’t have to worry about it. If you do come along one, take is slow as these bridges are scary to some horses.

The Trail Class

The L is a trail obstacle made out of poles or logs. Most of the time it is made out of poles. The L is shaped like a capital L. There is four poles that are laid flat on the ground in the shape of an L. To execute an L, you should get your horse’s hind end straight to the entrance. Then slowly ask your horse to back up. If your horse gets crooked, stop and position him so that he is straight again. Once you get to the curve in the L, ask your horse to move his hindquarters over then his forehand. Its almost like you are doing a small haunch turn and then a forehand turn. After that you continue backing until you are out of the obstacle. Ticking a pole is considered a point deduction. This obstacle can be very tricky to not tick a pole.

The Trail Class

Cones and barrels are often used in a trail course. They can be set in a straight line for you to weave them or in a cloverleaf pattern to back them. They can also be a sidepassing obstacle. A lot of trail patterns have you carry a bucket of grain positioned on a barrel. If you have to carry a bucket of grain, first get your horse close enough so that you can lean down to grab the bucket. Then put your reins into one hand and reach down to grab the bucket. If your horse gets scared of the bucket and starts to act up, try to put the bucket back on the barrel. If you can’t get the bucket back on the barrel then just drop the bucket.

The fan can be one of the hardest obstacles. The fan consists of poles or logs spread out into a fan shape. Most of the time you will have to jog or walk through the fan. Stay to the outside of the fan where it is wider. That way it will give you more room. Ask your horse to bend to the inside of the poles when you are going over a fan. Be careful that your horse doesn’t drift out of the pan or tick a pole. These are all point deductions. Keep your horse collected and bending around the obstacle.

The water box is not a very common trail obstacle. If you happen to come along one, you want your horse to drop his or her head when walking though the water box. Don’t hesitate or rush going through.

The box is fairly common. The box is made out of logs or poles. Depending on your trail pattern, you will be asked to walk, jog or lope into the box. When you stop inside the box, your horse should do a smooth, balanced stop. Once inside the box, you will be asked to perform a haunch turn or a forehand turn. Ideally your horse should not move his pivot foot, but some boxes are too small to do a perfect turn. In that case try your best to do what is asked.

The mailbox is a popular obstacle. Get close enough to the mailbox to reach over to open it. Then reach inside to see if there is a piece of paper or “mail”. Be sure to read it as sometimes there is a message on it. If not then rub it on your horses neck and hindquarter to show that your horse is relaxed and not spooky. Then put the “mail” back inside the mailbox and close it.

The key to trail is taking it slow. If you rush you can make mistakes that can cost you a ribbon. Trail is very technical and based on accuracy. Your horse should be willing to do what you ask. Trail is a good class for the calm and non-spooky horse. Next time you are at a show, enter a trail class!
Horse Training - The Trail Class
Horse Training - The Trail Class
Horse Training - The Trail Class
Horse Training - The Trail Class
Horse News More In This Category:  Horse Training      Horse News More From This Author:  Fantasy Farms
Uphill Climb  
I always had such a hard time with the rope gate. at the last show that they had that my horse thought it was an electric fence and freaked out. My poor baby. I dont have him anymore :( I miss him a lot
  Sep 25, 2010  •  4,947 views
Very informative. Thanks :D

I do have a question... Why is there a rule that an older horse must use a curb bit? We have a 14 yr old mare that hates them. She only goes well with a common snaffle.
  Sep 27, 2010  •  5,015 views
Fantasy Farms  
Emeraldeagle: To be honest, im not sure. I'm guessing its because a curb bit is a more advanced bit and gives you more control. If your horse likes a snaffle, try a short shanked snaffle. A lot of horses like that bit as it is not very severe.
  Sep 28, 2010  •  4,934 views
 More News by Fantasy Farms
Pole Bending Basics   1st Feb 2011   •   7980 views
Pole Bending Basics To start, you should look where you want to go. Look straight down to the end of the wall. Stay a good distance away from the poles when you are running down. I have seen so many people get too close to the poles and their horse will start to weave before they turn the first pole. As you turn your first pole, your eyes should be looking at the last pole. . . .
Equine Uveitis   19th Nov 2010   •   4804 views
Equine Uveitis One of the most common eye problems in horses is uveitis or moon blindness. The real name for Uveitis is Equine Recurrent Uveitis or ERU for short. Uveitis is a disease that comes and goes. Uveitis refers to the inflammation of the middle layer of the eye. It can be very painful for the horse. Permanent blindness has been known to occur as a result of uveiti . . .
Cool Horse and Equestrian Products   15th Oct 2010   •   3077 views
Cool Horse and Equestrian Products These are by far my favorite bell boots. I love the fact that they won’t turn around when they are on your horse. They have knobs on the inside of the bell boot to prevent them from turning. They are stain and water-resistant. I have had my pair of these bell boots for over a year and they are just now starting to wear out. The color will start to fade after . . .
How To Pick A Prospect Horse   15th Sep 2010   •   1893 views
How To Pick A Prospect Horse Champions tend to be naturals. They have a natural talent. Your job as a trainer or a coach is to find that horse. Even though you can’t ride a one or a two year old, you can learn a lot by just watching. An example would be a herd of one year olds running around in a pasture. There is that one horse that is always faster than the others and can just whip ri . . .
Free Ad Friday -   26th Aug 2010   •   5254 views
Free Ad Friday - Are you looking to buy or sell a horse? If so, is your website! is a website that was created to buy or sell horses. When you first go to you will see many buttons. The first thing that stands out is the spotlight ad. The spotlight ad is a special place to advertise your horse. You have to pay extra for it, but mo . . .
Western Pleasure   17th Aug 2010   •   6560 views
Western Pleasure In a western pleasure class you are going to be asked to walk, jog and lope your horse in both directions. When you are asked to reverse, turn your horse towards the middle and then continue on the opposite direction. Some western pleasure classes will ask you to back your horses too, so be prepared to do so. After the rail work is done, the announcer will a . . .
Different Types of Halters   21st Jul 2010   •   6761 views
Different Types of Halters Every horse has a halter. Halters are used to lead and tie up an animal, in which case I’m talking about a horse. There are many different kinds of halters and halters made from different materials. Halters can be made from nylon, rope, leather, rawhide, polyester and cotton. Leather and rawhide can be flat or rolled. Halters are sewn together to buckles or . . .
Likit Horse Treats and Toys   8th Jul 2010   •   8954 views
Likit Horse Treats and Toys Is your horse pacing, weaving, cribbing or kicking? If so, it sounds like your horse is bored. There is many things you can do to make your horse stop doing these habits such as kicking chains and cribbing collars. Have you ever wondered if there was a more natural way to make your horse stop doing these habits and entertain them at the same time? Well now t . . .
  View All News by Fantasy Farms
National Junior Championships – Part One We were up at the crack of dawn. Packed and ready by 5:30AM, we hit the road and drove off to pick up the Bronze horse. Finola was driving up to champs in a float with my jumping instructor – so we had only one horse to . . .
Against All Odds - The Story of Bronze - Part 5 Fill a plastic bottle with stones, and shake it. This, according to our neighbour, would make Bronze ‘Go’. So, the next day I mounted Bronze – bottle in hand – and hoped desperately for results. I booted him into a walk, . . .
How Many Riders Does It Take To Write An Essay Any of us who have ever been forced to attend some kind of educational institution have most likely encountered, at some point, that horrendous piece of mental strain that we call ‘the essay’. Essays may seem easy in the . . .
The Elusive Nature of the Half Halt The half halt - every rider's best friend - also happens to be an annoyingly elusive tactic that at first seems near impossible to grasp and is often near impossible to explain. If you are like me, you will have been . . .
The Eventers Dictionary - Part 1 Since the beginning of time, there has always been a certain communication barrier between horses and humans, mostly due to our unfortunate inability to learn to speak their language. This dictionary serves to break down . . .
Retraining A Racehorse – Moonfire – Show Preparation On 3 February 2011, one of our show venues was having an open day – allowing riders to pay to use the arena for one-hour sessions. This was the perfect opportunity to prepare Moony for his first show of the new year! . . .
Saddle Up Series - Understanding Your Horse's Back - Part Two Believe it or not, an ill-fitting saddle is not the only cause of back pain in horses, although it is the leading one. Back pain can be caused by a number of different things. The following are a few prime examples. A ri . . .
Flatwork for Showjumping It may sound surprising to say, but ‘showjumping’ is actually not all about ‘jumping’. When faced with a big course of jumps, the horse’s physical jump can only take it so far. What matters is what happens between the ju . . .
The Many Moods of Mares Explained Mares are wonderful, amazing creatures. Although usually less ‘flashy’ than their male counterparts, it’s a well-known fact that mares frequently offer double the performance, and often put in twice the effort. Mares sim . . .
Choosing a Horse What would be the point of having that lovely skewbald if it is trained in barrel racing and you want to be dressage? Why get that first horse you see if you want to do showing and it has cow hocks and an ewe-neck? Would . . .
©2002 - 2014  -  PonyBox LLC Create Account Terms & Conditions Privacy Contact Us Moderators Online Now
252 PonyBox members online