trail course design contest

Virtual Trail Rider Challenge!

Welcome to the

Holiday Challenge Course Design Contest!

The Holiday Challenge is different from our regular challenges.  

In the classes with horses, we are providing you with a list of requirements to complete in order, you design the course.

SO…we thought it would be fun to offer a COURSE DESIGN CONTEST!


You design the course. We judge your design.

5, You receive feedback and a score.





  1. Enter Online.

Designs are due by 10:00 pm CST, Monday, January 18, 2020)

Entry fee is $27. If you entered the Holiday Challenge with your horse, your entry fee is $20. (We will mail your riding or in-hand  ribbon and your design ribbon in the same package.) Use coupon code: CD7  Youth may use this coupon also.


A score card and comments will be emailed to you.

1st – 10th in class received a ribbon in the mail.

    • Fill out the entry form.Click red “Entry Form” button.
    • Click Entry Fee button. A payment screen will open.
    • Download your entry packet from the screen after your payment.

2. After you pay, you will see a link to download your Entry Packet details.

The entry packet will be a PDF. Open the PDF and print it if you like. Save it to your phone or computer for future reference.

  • You will also be emailed a receipt from SendOwl with the download link if you need to download your packet again. 
  • You should also receive a welcome email from


3. Review the instructions.

Design your course and the write instructions. You may draw it neatly on paper or on a computer.

Do not stress. The main idea is to have fun. 4. PRACTICE

Join our Facebook Group – See helpful videos, read tips and learn exercises to help you complete the challenge.


5. No Video or Horse Required

Kinda good and done is so much better than perfect and never done. We are all learning and having fun!

You design shoulod be submitted as a .jpg, png or PDF file.


6. Email your design to us before the deadline, 10:00pm CST, Jan. 18, 2021.


7. Winners will be announced on or before January 26, 2020.

Virtual Trail Challenge


We give you a list of 11 obstacles or manuevers.

You design the course using the items in the order we give you.

You will be given a list of requirements to complete in order. YOU WILL CREATE YOUR OWN COURSE!

Virtual Trail Rider Challenge awards


If we receive a lot of entries, we will divide the classes by age.


Amateur: A person who does not get paid to train, give lessons, or show at a national level.

Open: Any person, particularly trainers and riders who ride at a higher or  more competitive level. 

    1. In-Hand
    2. Riding 
    1. In-Hand
    2. Riding 
    1. In-Hand
    2. Riding 
Virtual Horse Show
- Kris


RIBBONS: Virtual Trail Rider Challenge Ribbons will be awarded for each place.

ADDITIONAL PRIZES may be added to the event and posted.

We are seeking donations for additional prizes. Donations will be listed on this page and the Trail Rider Challenge Facebook Page. Click Here to Donate.

We are getting some cool donations! Watch this page and the Trail Rider Challenge Facebook Group for prize updates!


Judging Criteria:

  1. Each obstacle or maneuver will be scored 0 -10 points.

    The following items will be considered.

    1. Lines of Travel & Variety: Straight Lines, Curves, Circles, Serpentines – The navigation between the obstacles is important. Encourage the horse to perform with fluidity and style.
    2. Use of Space: Is the design appropriate for the arena space? Does the course use the full space?
    3. Approaches: Approach obstacles straight and centered
    4. Transitions: Include transitions between gaits as needed.
    5. Consider levels of difficulty. You choose how easy or difficult an obstacle is. Let me know on your submission if this is an easy course or a challenging course.


    A score will also be given for the following items. Each item will be scored 1-5 points.

    1. Completeness: The design contains a map, instructions, brief obstacle description, and each requirement listed.
    2. Rideability: How well will the course work for a horse to ride.
    3. Easy to Read & Understand
    4. Over All Design

Designers will abide by the ruling of the judge. All judges’ decisions are final.

We might use winning designs in a future Virtual Trail Rider Challenge.


As a part of entering, all riders agree to a waiver and photo/video release form.

  • Designers must pay a non-refundable entry fee.
  • We might use winning designs or a portion of a design in future Virtual Trail Rider Challenges.
  • We are not required to compensate you if we use your design. We may give you a gift certicate of an amount we choose for use on our services.



Each item listed above, in the Judging Criteria will receive a score from 0-10.

0 = Not Done

6= Average



Trail obstacles are wonderful tools for measuring progress and increasing confidence.

Remember to HAVE FUN and don't stress!


Several awesome people and businesses have donate additional awards for past challenges.

We hope to add more awards to this challenge.

Please take a few moments to visit their Facebook pages and/or websites and thank them!

The awards which are “regional” will be awarded to the highest scoring entry in their region. For instance, a photo shoot, will awarded to the highest scoring entry within 3 hours of the photographer. Other awards can easily be mailed and will be awarded to the highest scores overall. I think this will make things a little more fun!