ACTHA Obstacles


Ride Hosts  must choose from this menu of obstacles. They may combine elements of the obstacles to create an obstacle. If a Ride Hosts wants to use an obstacle that is not on this list, they may do so with ACTHA approval.  Ride Hosts may use their imagination in creating interesting situations that may occur on trail using these obstacles. An example would be when judging the mount obstacle, the competitor may be asked to pick up a 'wounded animal', place the 'wounded animal' on their saddle, remount, and ride off. This is actually a mount obstacle. However, the situation with the 'injured animal' is an imagined scenario that shows how this obstacle applies to a real life situation. AOC obstacles will have a 60 second time limit for each obstacle. 


Check the obstacle list often to catch any added obstacles.  If you have any obstacle suggestions, we would love to hear them!  Please email them to

Two new obstacles have been allowed into the list of ACTHA approved obstacles. They are briefly described here but until our new web site is launched graphics will not be available. Your ride host will explain them in detail if they are chosen for your event. 

They are:


"SQUIRT". This is a fun mounted shooting obstacle with a squirt gun. Contestant will shoot ping pong balls of a tee while mounted with a squirt gun.


"The Narrows". Contestants will proceed through a series of narrow passages showing the straightness or tracking of their horse.


Broken Rein: This obstacle series simulates having a rein broken on trail and tests the horse and riders communication skill via leg pressure, voice control as well as the ability to direct and indirect rein. It can be used on a variety of obstacles. Directions. Riders with split reins are to drape one rein over the horses neck and remain holding the other rein. Riders with a continuous loop rein are to remove one hand and simulate a break in the rein by relief of any pressure on one side.  Example of a pleasure obstacle - Rider to turn from a standstill position 360 degrees to the right and then 360 degrees to the left.  Open version - Same as above but then back squarely as possible 3 steps.  Regain your reins and proceed down the trail.


This can be used on any number of obstacles to increase challenge such as turn in the box ( without bottles) backing L, gate, side pass and wagon wheel. it is a great example of finesse while executing the 360 turn, a back, sidepass or even a stop from a walk. WHENEVER USED HORSE MUST BE AT A STANDSTILL AT THE BEGINNING OF THE OBSTACLE FOR SAFETY PURPOSES