Competitive Trail Riding (CTR) is a long distance riding sport where competitors cover a marked trail for 40 to 60 miles over a weekend, depending on their division. The goal of the competition is to demonstrate partnership between horse and rider. The North American Trail Ride Conference (NATRC) is the oldest CTR organization. NATRC competitions emphasize time, distance and stress, not speed. Any breed, type or conformation is acceptable as long as the animal performs satisfactorily. Competitive Trail is not about pedigrees and expensive equipment; instead it focuses on how best a horse and rider team can cover long distances safely and soundly.
There are two judges, one for the horse and one for the rider.
Judging is based upon each horse starting the ride with a perfect
score of 100 points, and they will be evaluated by a veterinarian
15% Trail ability and manners
Riders also compete for Horsemanship awards and are judged on
the care, handling and riding of their mounts throughout the ride.
The Horsemanship scorecard consists of:
20% Grooming, In-Hand Presentation, Tack and Equipment
50% Trail Equitation
30% Trail Care, Trail Safety & Courtesy, Stabling
The three levels of CTR (Novice, Competitive Pleasure and Open) cover the first time competitors just learning the sport up to the seasoned expert. Each night before the next day’s ride, you are given a map to follow with checkpoints, and the trail is clearly marked by ribbons and signs. Safety riders follow each group of competitors to insure no one is left behind. Every ride has a minimum number of mandatory pulse and respiration (P&R) stops where your horse’s recovery heart & respiration rates are checked, as well as several other metabolic and soundness exams. As you travel down the trail, you will repeatedly encounter the vet and horsemanship judges as they observe you negotiating technical terrain, or they may ask you and your horse to demonstrate a particular trail skill.
CTR has the most helpful and generous people, so there will always be advice or assistance when you need it!
CTR is FUN!
CTR is challenging
CTR is growth and learning and camaraderie
CTR is time spent on beautiful trails on dependable horses
CTR is thorough vet checks, horsemanship lessons, and recognition of a job well done
CTR is developing a partnership with your horse as you learn to keep him happy, healthy & sound over the miles
Nebraska Endurance &
Competitive Trail Ride Association