I need some advice on Yearling In-Hand Trail classes at Breed level.?

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I have a quiet and well handled yearling Paint gelding that I'd like to start competing with at the Breed level in Yearling In-Hand trail. I've watched a few classes and read the APHA rule book, but there are still alot of things I don't know. Does anyone out there compete in this class?

An example of a question I have is - what's the ideal way to go through a gate (rope or real gate) Do you walk straight up to the gate, then open it, back your horse a step or two so you swing it towards you, go through it and then shut it? Do you push the gate ahead of you? Do you walk sideways up to the gate? The rule book has very vague instructions such as you loose points if you let go of the gate, etc, but none of the details. Also, I could use advice about the other parts such as the ideal way to go over the bridge, over poles, etc. I have all the equipment at home and we've been practicing and are doing well, but.....





  1. I compete in normal trail classes and also have a yearling in the same position, I also judge as well.

    Q1. The pattern will say poush or pull away, normally push for babies. You simply walk up to it, you can either go straight with head facing gate, (horse head), or have horse parallel. Open the gate, walk though, turn around and shut the gate. Same rules apply like if you let go of the gate etc.

    Poles, over poles is simple, you go also, just like in a ridden trail, except, the horse and you should be in the centre. Bridge, the horse only, the bridge isn't that wide, so there isn't enough space and it means the horse is takling the obstacle, not you with him following.

    If you need more help, just give me a buzz, I compete under AQHA, AAA and APHA rules. AT present, they are all similar, give me a buzz so i know what you already know etc. The way I judge it is like a Showmanhip class, but with obstacles and instead of judging on teh rider, i judge the handler and how the baby goes.

    Give me a buzz and I can help you out.


  2. I do compete but dont know alot about it yet  

    i go straight to it and push it


    Some quite good visuals for you to see exhibitors tackling bridges, gates, step overs;  these are videos taken at breed shows and the appy nationals.  No elementary folks here....

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