Trail Obstacle Challenge Just Around The Corner

June 13, 2014

It’s time to make plans for the Horsemen of Arkansas trail challenge scheduled June 28th and 29th, 2014. The challenge is a great way to build rider confidence and work with your horse. The Horsemen of Arkansas are some really nice folks and will make you feel right at home. The competition is friendly and fun with the whole group ready to help you and your horse do your very best. If you haven’t tried a competitive challenge, you ought to give this one a go. For more information or to register go to

HOA Trail Challenge June 28 & 29, 2014

June 3, 2014

Horsemen of Arkansas are hosting a trail challenge course June 28 and 29, 2014 in Bismark, Arkansas. The event is an AHCA sanctioned challenge with points towards qualification for the National Finals. There is a 50% payback/awards so you can take the winnings back home. The venue for the challenge is the Bar Fifty Ranch. Judging will be by Nina Adkins Kowalski from Michigan. The challenge is open to everyone regardless of the age or experience. The challenge is divided into suitable divisions so contestants compete against equally matched competitors. The divisions include Wrangler, Novice, Open, Amateur, English, Legends, and Green Horse. Coggins required and health papers if out-of-state. For more information contact Meg Wills 501-940-2259 or Corrie Key 479-567-6454.

Tractor Tires Can Make Several Obstacles

October 16, 2013

Horseman of Arkansas Trail ChallengeA tractor tire can be used in a variety of ways to challenge your horsemanship. The trail challenges approved by AHCA have used tractor tires in a number of events. Sometimes the tires are filled with dirt and stacked so you ride over them like stairs. Other times the tire is just left on the ground empty. The judge  may require the horses front feet to be placed in the center or just his hind feet.  The tractor tire obstacle can involve asking the horse to pivot without removing the two feet placed inside the tire.

Several horses at this particular challenge placed their feet on the tire to avoid putting their feet inside. As with any obstacle, you are allowed three attempts before the judge blows the whistle and you have to move to the next one.

The tractor tire looks easy and generally isn’t a big deal. The aspect that makes it competitive is the variety of uses and requirements that the horse take specific actions. If your horse isn’t used to accepting directions, he probably won’t do well.

PJ Pivoting Around The Barrel

October 12, 2013

PJPJ is shown here going around the barrel with a pole. While not the hardest maneuver to complete, it is just one more event. We seen riders many times who didn’t have enough control over their horse to do something simple like this.

Trail Challenge Was Great

September 16, 2013

The trail obstacle challenge hosted by the Horsemen of Arkansas at the Horse Heaven Ranch in Talihina, Oklahoma over the weekend was a great time. We will post some photographs later in the week and give some more details. The event went really well and the Horse Heaven Ranch was a wonderful location. The folks that run the place are friendly and keep the place up really well.
The obstacle course was set up with several levels of competition for all ages and all skill levels so everyone could compete in competition suitable for their experience and ability. The judges worked hard and helped make the event a success.
The super resourceful people with the Horsemen of Arkansas went to a lot of effort to bring the challenge into Oklahoma. It is so much fun to take your horse and see what you can do with him. Sometimes you are surprised by what the horse is willing to do. You can also find yourself wondering why he won’t do something that he just did wonderfully last weekend.
At the end of the day, the people who attend and participate make all the difference. We like the competition, but just can’t say enough about the friendly and helpful nature of the contestants. Over and over we observed competitors lending a hand to fellow contestants, loaning equipment, and working together in every aspect so the best horse and rider team could win. The whole atmosphere is centered around everyone being able to do their very best with the collective help from the group.
The Horse Heaven Ranch made a beautiful venue with the national forest in the background. There were lots of trails to explore in the off time. We managed to get there early enough Friday to spend the early evening taking a trail ride through the pine trees. We’re telling you that if you have never done one of these AHCA challenges, you’re missing out on lots of fun!

Horse Heaven Folks Really Want You To Visit

September 8, 2013

The trail challenge at the Horse Heaven Ranch is bound to be a lot of fun and a great place. As previously reported, the Horsemen of Arkansas are holding a trail challenge sanctioned by the American Horsemen Challenge Association September 14 &15, 2013. We called Horse Heaven Ranch to make reservations and want you to know they are super nice and helpful. Elfie, who assisted us with reservations, stays on top of things and wants to make sure everything is just the way you want it. We were slow in getting to back to her. She doggedly followed up to make sure things were set up for us.  If you haven’t made your reservations, you need to get in touch with Elfie at 254-289-2242 or Don’t forget you also need to  register on the web page for the Horsemen of Arkansas.

AHCA Sanctioned Trail Challenge September 14 & 15, 2013

August 24, 2013

A trail challenge has been set up in Talihina, Oklahoma in September, 2013. The challenge is an AHCA sanctioned event put on by Horsemen of Arkansas. It will be held at Horse Heaven Ranch. You must be a member of AHCA in order to compete. There is a 50% pay back award structure. For more information and details, call Meg Wills 501-940-2259 or Corry Key 479-567-6454 or go to the website If this competition is anything like the last one we attended, you will have a great time. The Horsemen of Arkansas have a bunch of wonderful members that make you feel right at home and welcome from the start. They offer all sorts of advice on the obstacles and the best way to compete. Since Oklahoma doesn’t have a local chapter, this is the perfect opportunity for you to take your horse and see how well you can do. We highly recommend it and hope to see you there!

2013 American Horsemen Challenge Association National Finals

July 15, 2013

The American Horsemen Challenge Association is holding its National Finals August 1 – 4th at the Kansas State Fairgrounds in Hutchinson, Kansas. AHCA prides itself on friendly competition with an eye towards good sportsmanship combined with a lot of fun. The association places considerable importance on rider safety and displaying proper horsemanship by maintaining control over the horse. The membership dues are moderate and reasonable. If you aren’t familiar with AHCA, check out the web page.

Jack Doing The Two-Step

June 12, 2013


The two-step at the trail challenge consisted of two steps made from railroad crossties and landscaped into steps. One step was higher than the other. The ground became increasingly muddy as the horses went up and down. The top step came about to the cinch on Jack. He took it in stride!

Pete Crossing The Bridge

June 11, 2013


Pete crossing a small wooden bridge at the trail challenge.

Jack Backing Around The Fire Pit

June 9, 2013


Jack is shown here with Dustin at the AQHA Trail Challenge held in Hartman, Arkansas and hosted by the Horsemen of Arkansas. The event was also approved by the American Horsemen Challenge Association.

The obstacle in this photograph requires the rider to back a full 360 degrees around a fire pit. There are four stumps placed as corners that the horse cannot go past essentially making you back a circle inside a square.

Jack, just like our other quarter horses has been trained to respond appropriately to new and unexpected situations. He displayed genuine interest in the challenge without ever showing any poor behavior or acting up. Jack is great on the trail and pays attention to everything without forgetting the training he has been given.

Dustin had not ridden in nearly a month due to his job schedule when the challenge took place and had not ridden Jack for several months (bearing in mind Jack had been ridden by others). We felt Dustin and Jack did an exceptional job considering the lack of working together. The initial plan had been for Dustin to ride a different horse, but some confusion over getting the health papers to cross into Arkansas ended up with Jack as a last-minute substitute.


Iowa Trail Challenge June 22, 2013

June 8, 2013

The Iowa Trail Riding Equestrian Challenges (“ITREC“) has a trail challenge scheduled June 22nd and 23rd at the Wesley Woods Camp & Retreat Center. ITREC challenges are usually a 2 -3 hour ride with special trail obstacles along the way. You are not required to ride in the same order as you leave the starting point so you can ride at your own pace or catch up with friends along the trail. The challenge is for all disciplines and breeds, everyone is welcome. We liked the attitude in the brochure that emphasized “Ride Laugh Learn”.

The price  for members of ITREC is $30 plus taxes and it only costs $10 to join as a member. Pretty reasonable! The association manages to host challenges at this price due to the generosity of several interested sponsors. You can register by mail by contacting Nikki Thummel, 4119 40th Street, Des Moines, IA 50310 or online through the internet store. For additional information you can send e-mails to  Saddle up and have some fun!