A competitive trail ride (CTR) is a competitive distance event over a measured distance and completed within a window of time. In NATRC competitions, the horses are evaluated by an approved veterinary judge, and riders are evaluated by an approved horsemanship judge. The judging begins at the preliminary examination, usually the day before the ride, continues during the ride, and concludes at the final examination one or two days later. The equines (horses, ponies, and mules) are evaluated on condition, soundness, their trail manners, and way of going. Riders are judged on horsemanship as it applies to competitive trail riding. Trail safety and courtesy are key elements as is the ability to care for a horse during and after a long day in the backcountry.
Competitive trail riding is a great family activity. Children aged 10 or over, at the beginning of the ride year, can compete. Parents who are competing may ride with their competing children. Non-riding family members can relax in camp or perhaps assist management personnel while the riders are out on the trail.
For more information, visit the NATRC national website.