Trail Riding with a Twist
If Sandra Omodt of Sioux Falls, S.D., knew what she was getting herself into, she wouldn’t have signed up on the ACTHA website.
“I never had any training. I had absolutely no experience,” she said.
ACTHA, or American Competitive Trail Horse Association, sanctions competitive trail challenges (CTC), which are casual trail ride competitions six-to-eight miles in length with judged obstacles. Currently, ACTHA lists more than 250 events taking place now through October 2015 in the U.S. and Canada.
Organized by a friend while Omodt was visiting her in New Mexico, her first (and last) CTC event ended with a sixth-place finish, which she credits all to the horse she was riding.
“If I had an interest of being out there, I would need some guidance and riding lessons,” she said with a laugh, admitting she did enjoy the ride and attempting the six trail challenges.
Horse riding enthusiast or not, everyone has an opportunity to participate in a CTC event in which about a dozen riders regularly experience in southwest Minnesota.
Five years ago, Shelby Berglund of Chandler “thought it was kind of neat to get some riders together” as well as conduct a fundraiser to benefit non-profit organizations. She chose the equestrian trails of Fort Ridgely State Park, near her parents’ home, on Nicollet County Road 30 between Fairfax and Sleepy Eye.
This year’s competition is Sept. 13 and 14.
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