The main objective of Competitive Trail Riding is to work all the horses over an identical trail in the same length of time, thereby having a basis of fair comparison for determining the horse's soundness, behavior and attitude. While this is not a race, judgment in timing and pacing is important; the winner usually being the one who rode their horse at a consistent pace throughout the ride, rather than 'hurrying up and waiting'. Judging is based upon each horse starting the ride with 300 points and being evaluated as follows: Soundness 60%, Condition 30%, Behavior and Attitude 10%.
As each competitor, or pair of competitors has their own “start time”, usually at 10 minute intervals, a CTR is a good way to start a young horse into long-distance riding as the sense of “racing” is diminished and the young horse learns to pace without the influence of other horses passing them. The rules are designed to educate the rider and inform them about the progress of their horse. The levels offer the chance to increase distance and speed as horse and rider gain confidence and fitness. The vet checks progress in a similar manner to Endurance with the addition of the pulse and respiration check (done by volunteers) at exactly 10 minutes from arriving in the gate. See the rule book for more details, then try it out!
Competitive Trail rules and regulations can be found at ERABC CTR rules 2019.pdf