Saturday, November 24, 2018

Mountain Trail at the Oregon Horse Center

Every year in November, my Facebook feed fills with shared photos from the Oregon Horse Center's massive and amazing indoor Mountain Trail Championship show. This is a unique event that is tailor-made for model horse showing, so I was really excited to see that this year, one of the competitors was a fellow hobbyist, Logan Shortridge. I asked if she would be interested in writing a post about her experience, and this is the happy result. Thank you so much, Logan.

P.S. I love Killy.

Mountain Trail at the Oregon Horse Center

by Logan Shortridge

Earlier this month, the National Mountain Trail Championships were held at the Oregon Horse Center in Eugene, Oregon.
For the last sixteen years, these two indoor arenas have been filled to the brim with natural trail obstacles.
In other words, it's a performance showers' wonderland! 
I attended this show and posted photos of the course on Facebook. Jennifer saw them, and now I’m on a mission! Get as many reference pictures as possible! 
A week later, while some of the Breyer community was off on a Scottsdale adventure, I was back at OHC for the 2018 Mountain Trail Winter Fest Show with my horse, Killy...
and my iPhone camera.  
Mountain trail classes are offered both in-hand...
and mounted with all sorts of variations, ranging from ‘two and under in-hand', "ride one/lead one" and ‘bareback.’ 
The best classes to watch are the fun classes! In the ‘cattle drive’ class teams of three herd a cow through a maze of obstacles. 
The ‘canine companion’ class challenges a horse, rider and dog to complete a course together.
The Silverado arena is a 116’ x 285’ arena that is transformed every year into the largest indoor trail course in the United States.
The process of setting it up takes 2 weeks and lots of heavy lifting. Horses are asked to perform a slew of tasks including walking through ditches,
navigating log piles, 
crossing bridges...
and walking behind the thirty waterfall.  
The Logan arena is 120’ x 200’ and has a more technical feel to its courses. 
Sidepassing along a balance beam, 
rolling logs, and crossing a teeter-totter are a few of the smaller arenas obstacles
People come from all around to compete in this amazing arena from Montana, and Alaska to Canada, Sweden, and France. A competitor may ride English or Western in any attire fit for a trail ride. 
Though most of the competitors ride stock type horses...
it is not uncommon to see Arabians, Mustangs, 
Gypsy Vanners, Fjords...
and Mules!
Thank you so much, Logan, for this wonderful write up, and congratulations to you and Killy for winning the Reserve Champion Junior Horse at the 2018 Mountain Trail Winter Fest Show!


  1. I'm hoping to be able to make it to one of the haul in days this year! I'll get a ton of pictures if I go this year.

  2. Out of curiosity, do any of the divisions or classes require (or at least permit) faster gaits (particularly a lope or gallop) for any of the obstacles? I've wanted to try setups like this, but all of my show models are moving at a bit of a clip.

    1. From the classes that I've watched (mostly kids) they just walk and maybe jog a little bit