A Mountain Trail Challenge Show test a horse and rider's ability to work as a "team" navigating obstacles and dealing with elements they may experience out on "the trail." Mountain Trail Challenge Shows are designed to be fun and challenge your horsemanship skills, communication and partnership with your horse, in a safe environment and amongst natural and manmade obstacles.
What is a Mountain Trail Horse?
Any breed or type of horse from any discipline or background is a Mountain Trail Horse! A mountain trail horse is judged on their ability to handle natural and simulated terrain that might be found "out on the trail." A mountain trail horse should have an inquisitive, intent look showing awareness of their surroundings and the ability to take care of themselves and their rider, along with a willingness to accept the rider's guidance with no signs of resistance or loss of focus for the task at hand. The rider should be able to guide their horse with both rein and leg aides with horse showing acknowledgement and responding to the smallest signal from their rider at all times.
The mountain trail horse should maintain headset and body form (according to breed/conformation) yet be drawn to an obstacle and navigate the obstacle in a safe quiet manner.
Judging criteria may require a mountain trail horse to accomplish specific tasks, for ex.: Dragging a log, standing still for a rain slicker to be put on/off, side passing over to obstacles for mounting, carrying a tarp or backpack and other such tasks.