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Trail is an exciting yet technical event where horses and riders navigate a series of obstacles. These obstacles are built to be like situations a horse and rider might encounter when on a real trail.
The most important obstacle is the gate. The horse and rider have to open a small gate and ride through it without the rider getting off the horse. Horses are scored for their ease and grace in moving through the course.
The right way to open a gate when you are on horseback is to push the gate and walk through it, not to pull the gate to open it. Why? Some people used to say that when you teach a horse to push a gate open, there is less of a chance that whatever is on the other side of the gate can get loose. If you pull the gate open, whatever is on the other side can get out!
Who let the cows out? Who… who?
Trail riding is a test of communication between horse and rider, but most importantly it is a test of trust. As the horse moves through the obstacles, it must trust you to know that following your commands will be a good thing. Loving care and training shine through in the best trail riders.