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Ranch Trail Explained

Updated: Sep 1, 2023

An exciting discipline, which in my opinion is getting us closer to the origin of western riding and the purpose of a western horse.

I collected the key points that can help you get an idea of the class. I encourage you to read the rules in the APHA/AQHA rule book, both associations did a great job of explaining the class in detail!


- Ranch classes are designed to show the overall skills of an All-Around Ranch horse

- When possible, it’s recommended that the classes are held outside


- The class should test the ability of the horse to cope with situations & obstacles that are generally found in the course of everyday Ranch work

- Some mandatory obstacles you’ll have to perform every time: gate, bridge, backing, side pass and a rope drag 🤠

- Prohibited obstacles are tarps, water obstacles with slick bottoms, tires, rocking bridges, PVC pipes used as a jump or walk-overs

- Natural logs are recommended instead of poles

- No horse may cross enter into ANY other Trail class at the same show

- The course always has to be designed with safety in mind, the idea is not to trap the horse & the rider, but to show the natural abolition of the Ranch horse to perform everyday duties.

I hope that this short guide gives you an idea of this great new class! If you need help getting started, you are always welcome to reach out to me for lessons, I have all the obstacles and equipment available for you to try.


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