The Ranch Trail class that was part of the AQHA Ranch Horse Classic at this year's National Western Stock Show featured six separate obstacles. Today's post covers the first three--the bridge, the gate and the jump.Bridges are a common--and uncomplicated--trail obstacle. The horse approach it at a walk, step atop and walk across.
Easy, peasy and not a challenge for any of the horses in this class!
Most of the regular horse show trail classes I've watched in the last decade have included a rope gate. The gate in the Ranch Trail class was far more substantial, having been constructed from several metal panels. Despite that obvious difference, the technique used to work the gate is essentially the same. The rider positions her horse parallel to the gate, with the latch close to her knee.
She unlatches the gate, and asks her horse to take a couple steps back.
She then pushes the gate open and walks through.
As soon as the horse has cleared the opening, she pivots around the gate's leading edge until the horse's body is once again parallel to the panels.
She back the horse into position...and relatches the gate!
The third obstacle was a small log jump.
The horses were supposed to take this from a lope...
but a lot of them slammed on the brakes...
and crossed it at a much slower speed.It wasn't always pretty, but everyone did make it across that log!
Coming up nest--the log drag, a carry obstacle and the ground tie!