As the weather here in Eastern PA warms up, many horses and riders are hitting the trails. The abundance of local parks and open space provides endless options for equestrians who want to take their riding out of the ring and explore new territory with their equine partners.

If you like to trail ride and are looking for a fun, challenging event that will test your skills, a judged trail ride might be just what you’re seeking. Judged trail ride competitors ride down a marked trail, usually about 5 miles long, and complete obstacles and challenges along the way. Obstacles may include anything from mailboxes and gates, to coaxing your horse around noisy objects, or through unusual ‘spooky’ situations. Points are awarded by judges at each obstacle, and the rider with the highest number of points at the end of the course wins. Judged trail rides are a great way to see just how brave and trail savvy you and your horse really are!

Local horse parks and saddle clubs all across PA are getting into the fun of judged trail rides. Check out local horse publications like the Horse of the Delaware Valley, or websites like PA Horse Mall to find one in your area, and get ready to hit the trail!