We Ride Sport and Trail Magazine July 2016 - Page 17

Competitive trail riding just got more interesting and fun. For the first time, riders can compete the same way they learn, adding skills as acquired. With Equine Trail Sports, the rider can choose the level of difficulty they attempt at each obstacle. Does your horse love water? Choose level 3, the highest level of difficulty for a water obstacle. If you can’t jump a fallen log, showcase how well you can walk over the log by choosing level 1 for a jump obstacle. Customize your ride experience to best fit you and your equine on that day, at that time. Does your horse have more difficulty on cold and windy days? Adjust your competition level attempted during those weather conditions to maximize your fun and safety – one obstacle at a time.

Equine Trail Sports (www.equinetrailsports.com) has grown from offering 23 events in 6 states in 2013, to offering 318 events in 21 states in 2016. Equine Trail Sports welcomes rides in any state wishing to host an ETS event.

“What I find the most exciting and fun about Equine Trail Sports events, is that I get the opportunity to choose skill levels that match what I am learning with my horse. I started out this season unable to side pass. As I’ve improved my side pass, I’ve been able to choose higher difficulty levels for obstacles which incorporate side passing.”

All three Equine Trail Sports co-founders were computer nerds in past careers, making possible the simple-to-use scoring program which manages riders’ choices, and places riders in Advanced, Intermediate or Novice skill brackets. Simply put, riders who choose an average obstacle difficulty that day of 2.5 or greater are placed in the Advanced Bracket. Riders who choose an average obstacle difficulty of 1.5 or less are placed in the Novice Bracket. Riders who choose an average obstacle difficulty between 1.5 and 2.5 fall into the Intermediate Bracket.

“Initially it was hard for me to understand how a competitor could win an Intermediate Bracket and be allowed to choose some advanced obstacles in the competition. Then I ‘got it’, and realized, the best intermediate rider acquires advanced skills as they progress to becoming an advanced rider. The ETS competition format is designed to mirror how an equine and rider team naturally learn and develop. Equine Trail Sports is the only competitive trail ride organization I know of, where a competitor can ‘ramp up’ difficulty in actual competition on their road to becoming a better team. As an intermediate rider, I love the fact that I can add more and more advanced obstacles in my ride competitions. Further, the ‘CHOICE’ format gave my Mom, who had never competed before ETS, the confidence she needed to enter her first event. Now she’s hooked!”

“Equine Trail Sports trusts me to choose the right obstacle difficulty levels for me and my horse at that time. I love that I can ride without having my obstacle choices criticized by Equine Trail Sports or other riders. I can go to the ride and compete as hard as I can, or I can choose a more leisurely experience, and both are equally OK as far as Equine Trail Sports is concerned. If I just want to have fun, or my horse is coming off an injury, or I have had a tough time with family, or I am recovering from an illness, I am in control of how I ride that day, and ETS supports my choices! I LOVE it!”

“What I find the most exciting and fun about Equine Trail Sports events, is that I get the opportunity to choose skill levels that match what I am learning with my horse. I started out this season unable to side pass. As I’ve improved my side pass, I’ve been able to choose higher difficulty levels for obstacles which incorporate side passing.”

All three Equine Trail Sports co-founders were computer nerds in past careers, making possible the simple-to-use scoring program which manages riders’ choices, and places riders in Advanced, Intermediate or Novice skill brackets. Simply put, riders who choose an average obstacle difficulty that day of 2.5 or greater are placed in the Advanced Bracket. Riders who choose an average obstacle difficulty of 1.5 or less are placed in the Novice Bracket. Riders who choose an average obstacle difficulty between 1.5 and 2.5 fall into the Intermediate Bracket.

“Initially it was hard for me to understand how a competitor could win an Intermediate Bracket and be allowed to choose some advanced obstacles in the competition. Then I ‘got it’, and realized, the best intermediate rider acquires advanced skills as they progress to becoming an advanced rider. The ETS competition format is designed to mirror how an equine and rider team naturally learn and develop. Equine Trail Sports is the only competitive trail ride organization I know of, where a competitor can ‘ramp up’ difficulty in actual competition on their road to becoming a better team. As an intermediate rider, I love the fact that I can add more and more advanced obstacles in my ride competitions. Further, the ‘CHOICE’ format gave my Mom, who had never competed before ETS, the confidence she needed to enter her first event. Now she’s hooked!”

“Equine Trail Sports trusts me to choose the right obstacle difficulty levels for me and my horse at that time. I love that I can ride without having my obstacle choices criticized by Equine Trail Sports or other riders. I can go to the ride and compete as hard as I can, or I can choose a more leisurely experience, and both are equally OK as far as Equine Trail Sports is concerned. If I just want to have fun, or my horse is coming off an injury, or I have had a tough time with family, or I am recovering from an illness, I am in control of how I ride that day, and ETS supports my choices! I LOVE it!”