June 27, 2013 — “….not JUST A trail horse anymore” has graced the website, advertisements, TV specials and outgoing messages of American Competitive Trail Horse Association (ACTHA) for the past five years. In the trail riding world it is loved by thousands, if not millions, who trail ride and realize the talent and traits a good trail horse must possess. A rodeo out there could spell real trouble.
“After the many wonderful TV specials about ACTHA and Trail Riding, as well as the near saturation of the trail rider world via ACTHA’s large following on Facebook, we feel the message has been conveyed and adopted by virtually all that ride trail,” stated Carrie Scrima Founder.
So what’s next for ACTHA?
“Overcoming Obstacles” came into my head one night, and for months it has stayed in my mind,” stated Robin Tilghman, ACTHA’s Director of Marketing. “I mean isn’t that life in a nut shell? A process of overcoming obstacles? In our ACTHA events it’s wonderful to see the progression of all our riders and horses. Whether they came from arena action, rescues, pastures or performance horse venues every one of them progress. Over 50 ACTHA obstacles await all ACTHA riders, many are a direct simulation of thousands of miles of personal trail riding experiences. When each is able to be done perfectly, the horse and rider talent needed matches any high level performance sport.
“It’s quite amazing to me to see seasoned competitors as well as those totally new to the concept of performing, warm up to the idea of what can be accomplished,” continued Tilghman. “The progression through, and use of, the obstacles are not a random occurrence, but rather the culmination of a life’s work by Carrie.”
In her lifelong riding experiences, she has perfected a series of challenges that are both fun and safe. They test horse and rider by employing not only compliance by the horse, but also control of the different body parts of the horse. It basically makes learning and training outstanding fun! Hence our viral growth. We all have fun discovering what we don’t know, and the excitement of finally getting it right! That’s what ACTHA terms Casual Competition, concluded Tilghman.
Judy Limsky, a long-time ACTHA member, stated, “The main goal is to see the progression as you and your horse overcome each and every obstacle presented by ACTHA. Just like life, you overcome one obstacle and go on to the next. The challenge and camaraderie with others on the same path, along with wonderful horses, makes it great fun!”
And Judy should know. She is ACTHA’s current National Champion in the Open Division and the first winner of ACTHA’s current highest distinction, the Ambassador Award. This grants the recipient a lifetime membership and the ability to ride in any ACTHA event free when not competing.
Keep in mind that Judy had never trained in any discipline before joining ACTHA; a perfect example of overcoming obstacles.
The American Competitive Trail Horse Association is based near Austin Texas and for five years has been following the mission: To create an enjoyable venue showcasing the wonderful attributes of the great American trail horse and granting them the recognition they so richly deserve. To create a registry open to all breeds and a point designation system which will stay with each horse for its lifetime, thereby adding to their value and distinction. To create and enable humane treatment options and employment for horses in need.