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, says Hood River Saddle Club (HRSC).
In mid-August, riders of all skill levels converged at (HRSC) to compete in a two-day ETS event. The group 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 in Washington. Photos from the challenge are posted at HRSC’s Facebook page, www.facebook.com/hoodriversaddleclub.
The event was organized by ride host and HRSC member Jan Wallace of Mt. Hood, who also plans and organizes ETS events throughout the Northwest.
“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,” said a HRSC press release. “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, continued the press release. “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 most equestrians prefer to ride, is the goal of ETS.”
Hood River Saddle Club thanks event financial sponsors Jackie Moe/Glacier Ranch and Jeanne Sreenan/American Family Insurance. The club also wants to thank Hood River Supply for donating three beverage coolers as top prizes; Brad Ryhlick/Hood River UPS Store for printing show forms and signs; and Carin Agren and Mike Van Sisseren/Ground Coffee for riders’ and judges’ “wake-up” coffee.
Another ETS trail and obstacle challenge will take place at the HRSC next year. Meanwhile, watch for news about the HRSC’s “Meet a Horse” event coming up on Saturday, Sept. 22, said the press release. Saddle Club members and their horses will be on hand so people of all ages — from youngsters to seniors — can meet, touch or groom a horse plus learn about choosing and buying a horse, their health and care, different horse breeds and much more.
For more information about the Hood River Saddle Club or to become a member, visit www.hoodriversaddleclub.org.
For more info on ETS, please visit their website at equinetrailsports.org.