A. Trail classes may be run at a separate location and
concurrently with other classes. The Show Committee or
judge may designate a qualified person(s) over the age of
18 to judge trail. Judges cards MUST be signed by the
person judging the classes. When shows are run
concurrently each show MUST have an individual judge.
B. This class will be judged on the performance of the pony
over obstacles, with emphasis on manners, response to
rider and attitude.
C. Credit will be given to ponies negotiating the obstacles
with style, without hesitancy, and to ponies showing the
capability of picking their own way through the course
when obstacles warrant it, and willingly responding to a
rider’s cues on more difficult obstacles.
D. In Leadline Trail, the person leading the pony should not
aid the rider. He should assist only to keep the pony under
E. Ponies shall be penalized for any unnecessary delay while
approaching the obstacles. Ponies with artificial
appearance over obstacles should be penalized.
F. Except for Junior ponies shown with a hackamore, bosal or
snaffle bit, only one hand may be used on the reins, except
that it is permissible to change hands to work an obstacle.
While the pony is in motion, the rider’s hands shall be clear
of the pony and saddle.
G. Ponies must not be required to work on the rail. The
course must be designed, however, to require each pony
to show three gaits (walk, jog and lope) somewhere
between obstacles as a part of its work and will be scored
as a maneuver. At the discretion of the Show Committee, 8
& Under riders may be asked to show at a walk and jog
only. Leadline riders will show at the walk only.
H. The gait between obstacles shall be at the discretion of the
I. Scoresheets should be made available for the judge’s use
and may be downloaded from the POAC website.
J. The course must be posted at least one hour before the
scheduled time of the class. All exhibitors in the age
division of 13 & Under or 18 & Under shall run the same
pattern posted for that class.
K. Disqualifications. The following will result in
disqualification from the class; a disqualification results in
a score of 0 for the course:
1. Not doing the obstacles in the prescribed order.
2. Missing or not attempting an obstacle.
3. Failure to complete an obstacle.
4. Failure to be in prescribed gait or on correct lead.
5. Illegal equipment.
6. Willful abuse.
7. More than one finger between reins, except when
changing hands to work an obstacle.
8. Obviously cueing the pony on the neck to lower the
9. Major disobedience: rearing, schooling, etc.
10. Three refusals/evades on an obstacle.
11. Also see Rule 102.
L. When setting the course, it should be kept in mind the
idea is not to trap the pony or eliminate it by making an
obstacle too difficult. All courses and obstacles are to be
constructed with safety in mind so as to eliminate any
accidents. If difficult courses are set, Junior trail should be
less difficult. When measuring the distances and spaces
between obstacles, the normal path of the pony should be
the point of measurement. Enough space must be
provided for a pony to jog (at least 30’) and lope (at least
50’) for the judges to evaluate gaits.
M. If disrupted, the course shall be reset after each pony has
finished the course.
N. Acceptable Obstacles. At least six obstacles must be used:
1. Opening, passing through and closing a gate (losing
control of the gate is to be penalized).
2. In Leadline Trail, riders may pass through an open
gate, but cannot be required to work the gate.
3. Ride over at least four logs or poles. These can be in
a straight line, curved, zigzag or raised. The space
between the logs is measured and the path the pony
takes is the measuring point. The space between
walk‐overs shall be 20” to 24”; trot‐overs 3’ to 3’6”;
lope‐overs 6’ to 7’. Walk‐overs may be elevated to
12” and should be a minimum of 22” apart. Trotovers
and lope‐overs cannot be elevated. All
elevated elements must be placed in a cup, notched
block, or otherwise secured so they cannot roll.
4. Backing obstacles to be spaced a minimum of 28”
apart. If elevated, 30” spacing is required. Entrants
cannot be asked to back over a stationary object
such as a wooden pole or metal bar.
a. Back through/around at least three markers.
b. Back though L, V, and U, straight, or similar
shaped course. Poles may be elevated no
more than 24”.
5. Water hazard (ditch or small pond). No metal or
slick‐bottom boxes will be used.
6. Serpentine obstacles at walk or jog. Spacing to be a
minimum of 6’ for jog.
7. Carry object from one part of arena to another (only
objects that reasonably might be carried on a trail
ride may be used).
8. Ride over wooden bridge (suggested minimum
width shall be 3’ wide and at least 6’ long). Bridge
shall be sturdy and safe.
9. Put on and remove slicker.
10. Remove and replace materials from mailbox.
11. Sidepass (may be elevated to 12” maximum).
12. An obstacle consisting of four logs or rails, each 5’ to
7’ long, laid in a square. Each contestant will enter
the square by riding over log or rail as designated.
When all four feet are inside the square, rider should
execute a turn, as indicated, and depart.
13. Any other safe and negotiable obstacle that could
reasonably be expected to be encountered on a trail
ride and meets approval of the judge may be used.
14. A combination of two or more of any obstacle is
O. Unacceptable Obstacles
4. PVC pipe.
7. Rocking or moving bridges.
8. Water box with floating or moving parts.
9. Flames, dry ice, fire extinguishers, etc.
10. Logs or poles elevated in a manner that permits such
11. Ground ties.
12. No walk‐overs on tarps, plastic or carpet.
P. The judge must walk the course and has the right and duty
to alter the course by removing or changing any obstacle
that he deems unsafe or non‐negotiable. If at any time a
trail obstacle is deemed unsafe by the judge, it shall be
repaired or removed from the course. If it cannot be
repaired and ponies have completed the course, the score
for that obstacle shall be deducted from all previous works
for that class.