Saturday, October 17, 2009

More trail class obstacles

Yesterday's trail obstacle was best suited for either a standing model or a model walking and turning. Today I am featuring two obstacles that work best for a model walking in a straight line. Once again, all pictures are from the September Aurora Horsemen's Association show held at the Arapahoe County Fairgrounds in Aurora, Colorado.

The first obstacle--a bridge--is probably familiar to most performance showers. Bridges can be short or long, plain or with rails. This particular one is short and rail-less. Smoothly up and across. Some courses may require competitors to halt and stand quietly once they are atop the bridge. This one did not.
The dun horse came in a touch crooked...
and got just a little bit stuck across the top.
He recovered nicely but wasn't as smooth and polished as the grey horse. All things being equal, I'd prefer to see this obstacle paired with a model who is walking in a straight line. If you really want to use your turning model, be sure to position him a bit further away from the bridge. That way he would conceivably have time to get into the proper (straight) position before stepping onto the obstacle. Also remember that horses walk over bridges--please use a different obstacle for your jogging Zippos and Stone Western Pleasure Horses!
The tarp is similar to the bridge in that it asks the horse to walk across an unfamiliar surface. Please note that some breed associations specifically prohibit the use of tarps in trail classes. Be sure to specify that your model is showing in an open show when using this particular obstacle.
Most of the horses did this willingly...
although a few needed to stop and look first.
The corners of the tarp were held down with tent stakes. It may be more practical to use small weights of some sort in model scale.Safely across and on to the next obstacle!
Again, this obstacle works best with a straight moving model. It's also a particularly good choice for a horse with a lower headset who looks like he's paying attention to that strange sheet of plastic under his footsies!


  1. Jennifer, I believe the tarp is actually staked down at the corners. If you look at it, it is quite taught and dips down at each corner, so they likely used something like tent stakes pounded in all the way so there is nothing sticking up to catch on. :-) Unfortunately, no tarp is heavy enough to stay smooth and neat in any kind of wind- I've tried! :-)


  2. Hi Des, I'm sure you're right. Tent stakes seem so obvious now--I don't know why I didn't think of that myself!

  3. I have been in classes where you stopped on the bridge, for 5 seconds, and a bridge no bigger than the one you pictured. So standing can be legitimate, depending on the breed rules and class being depicted.

  4. Tarps are also on the "illegal obstacle" list for several breed organizations, so if you use one, be sure to say it's at an open show!

  5. OK, obviously this post was not my best work :( I wrote this one on a Saturday amidst all the usual weekend chaos and didn't take the time to vet it properly. I am going to go back and edit it to reflect the additional information from the comments section.