If you’re a horse enthusiast, who enjoys trail riding, the Equine Trail Sports’ (ETS) trail and obstacle challenge may be the perfect venue for you!
In mid-August, riders of all skill levels converged at the Hood River Saddle Club (HRSC) to compete in the two-day ETS event. They traveled from the Oregon towns of LaGrande, Imnaha, Powell Butte, Haines, Baker City, Newberg, Eagle Creek and The Dalles as well as here in the valley, plus Pasco, Bremerton, Burbank, Kapowsin, Lyle, and Stevenson.
This outstanding event was organized by ride host and HRSC member Jan Wallace of Mt Hood, who also plans and organizes ETS events throughout the Northwest. (Photos from the challenge are posted at HRSC’s Facebook page, www.facebook.com/hoodriversaddleclub.)
ETS helps riders develop the skills and confidence needed to navigate real trail riding experiences and is filling a valuable niche in the fast-growing sport of obstacle and extreme trail challenges. ETS differs from other similar events by offering a ‘levels’ program, allowing riders to choose the level of difficulty they wish to navigate. This also gives riders the opportunity to customize an individual ride for maximum success, removing pressure and allowing horse and rider to show to their best ability while helping build trust and achieve long-term success.
There are no timed events in Equine Trail Sports. If pressured, horses tend to rush, which can quickly become a safety issue - both while competing and on an actual trail ride. Building camaraderie and gaining confidence when riding trails - where the majority of equestrians prefer to ride - is the goal of ETS. (For more info on ETS, please visit their website at equinetrailsports.org.)
Another ETS trail and obstacle challenge will take place at the HRSC next year. Meanwhile, watch for news about the club’s “Meet a Horse” event coming up on Saturday, Sept. 22.
Saddle Club members and their horses will be on hand so people of all ages - from youngsters to seniors - can meet, touch, groom or ride a horse (on a lead line), plus learn about choosing and buying a horse, their health and care, different horse breeds and much more.
For information about the Hood River Saddle Club or to become a member, visit www.hoodriversaddleclub.org.