NATRC Competitive Trail Ride
Come join us October 7 and 8, 2012 for an A ride at beautiful Rabbit Valley located 31 miles west of Grand Junction CO. The camping site is adjacent to I-70, easy access, only 2 miles off the Rabbit Valley exit.
(Frequently Asked Questions)
How do I register for a ride?
with your User ID and password or register. If you have questions during your
registration process contact the Region 3 RMS administrator Susan Peters at,
To mail in your registration go to www.natrc3.org, click on forms and then the generic ride entry form. Print this out and mail to the ride secretary for your ride who can be found in the ride book or on line under the ride you have chosen.
What does NATRC stand for?
North American Trail Ride conference. We are in Region 3.
What is a competitive trail ride?
A competitive trail ride is a long distance sport where the competitors cover a measured distance within a window of time. In NATRC rides, veterinary and horsemanship judges provide qualified review of both horses and riders. The emphasis is on education, safety and sportsmanship in a fun, family-oriented environment.
Where do I sleep during these rides?
Check with the ride manager or secretary before entering. Competitive trail rides are usually held in remote areas or campgrounds, but sometimes there are cabins available to rent at particular rides. Generally, you will need to plan on camping out. Some people sleep in the back of their horse trailer, some in tents, and some in RVs or trailers with living quarters. Sometimes there are cabins available to rent at particular rides. Unless noted for the ride, you will be on your own for food and shelter during the weekend.
Where do I stable my horse?
Horses are stabled at your camp site, but there are different options available depending on the ride f facility and/ or ride management. Usually your horse will be tied to the trailer when not being ridden or walked unless the campground has stabling facilities available for ALL the horses entered (this will noted i in the ride description). Some rides allow horses to be tied to a high line or sliding tether. NATRC does not a allow the use of electric or portable pens as the primary method of containment during the ride. If you have questions about a particular ride, call or e-mail the ride manager for details.
Do I need a registered horse to compete?
Any horse, pony, donkey or mule that is over the age of 48 months is welcome to participate in the Novice or CP Division of a NATRC ride. Animals competing in the Open Division must be at least 60 months of age.Stallions are welcome as long as they are well behaved, wear a yellow ribbon in their tail and are double-tied to their trailer as per the NATRC rule book. Junior riders are not permitted to ride stallions.
Does my horse have to be shod?
NATRC has never insisted that horses be shod for their competitions. At some rides, shoes may be strongly recommended, but they are not a requirement. Any type of shoes and/or pads are allowed, including EZ boots. Leg wraps, splint boots, bell boots or any other sort of leg protection are prohibited, however. See current Rule Book for details.
Can I just ride and not compete?
Distance Only (DO) is offered as an option in all divisions. DO participants follow all the same rules as competitors (except for leg protection; see current NATRC Rule Book), receive informative scorecards, get credit for the mileage, but are not put in the placings. Some ride managers may allow you to ride safety (ride behind the last rider and make sure no one gets hurt/lost) if you are familiar with the trails, have a well-conditioned horse, and meet certain other requirements. It is strongly suggested if you want to learn more about CTRs without actually competing, that you volunteer at a ride or two. Ride managers can always use people to help on P&R (Pulse and Respiration) teams, act as secretaries, run errands and drive judges. Notify the ride manager before hand, and introduce yourself, let them know you want to volunteer and what you feel comfortable doing. You will get a crash course on how a NATRC ride is run, without the worries of competing the first time.
How far/fast will I be expected to travel on my horse?
Novice and CP horses do 15-24 miles per day, but the total mileage for the weekend may not exceed 40 miles in two days. The average pace for a ride in these divisions is 3.5 - 4.5 miles per hour. Ride management sets the speed pase based on weather, terrain, season of the year and footing on the trail.
Open horses are expected to cover 25-35 miles a day, with a 60 mile maximum allowed for the weekend.
The average pace set for Open horses ranges between 4-6 mph.
What Division should I ride in?
NATRC offers 3 different divisions in which to compete: Novice, Competitive/Pleasure (CP) and Open. Novice is designed for people just getting started in NATRC, people riding younger or inexperienced horses, or horses coming back from an injury. Open is the nationally recognized level for experienced competitors. CP is the "middle division" for people who cannot or will not ride at the other levels. Competitive/Pleasure riders are usually asked to follow the same speed, distance as Novice; but mayo be asked to go slightly faster or farther. They do not compete against riders in the Novice division for awards. This division often has the best and most experienced riders and without weight categories, the competition is much more intense than Novice.
When do I need to get to the ride?
It's a fact of life that most of us have to work to support our "horsy habit". You should try to get to the ride as early as possible on Friday. Usually the ride secretary will start checking in entrants between 1-2 pm. The judges will begin vetting around 3 pm and continue until all the horses are examined or it is too dark to see. You will want time to unload your horse, let him relax a bit and clean him up before presenting to the judges. If you can't arrive until after dark on Friday, please make a note to the ride secretary several days in advance that you will require a "late check-in". This lets the secretary know that the judges will probably have to examine your horse first thing Saturday morning, before the ride starts.