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Have a go at trec

Are you looking to have a go at something new with your pony! Why not try your hand at trec?

Competing at trec with your pony

Whatever level you ride at, trec has something for everyone. It involves three phases – control of paces, an obstacle course and an orienteering ride. Competitions have a fun atmosphere, and you’re likely to make friends along the way! If you don’t fancy doing it on your own, you can even enter a pairs class with a friend. Level one is the entry level, and the best place to start if you haven’t tried trec before. 

Slow and steady

The control of paces phase is a chance for you to show off your pony’s training. You’ll be asked to canter as slowly as possible along a measured distance, then walk back as quickly as you can. The path is normally marked out with cones, and becomes longer and narrower as you move up the levels. 

How it’s marked… You can score up to 30 points for canter and 30 for walk. The points are awarded based on your speed. 

Did you know?

Competitions can run the three phases in any order, but orienteering is normally last. 

Top tip

Consistency is key in this phase! If you break out of canter or walk, you won’t gain any points for that pace. 

Obstacle course

This section involves 16 obstacles for you to navigate through. There are 36 different obstacles in the rule book, which can include a small fence, opening and closing a gate, halting in a ring and riding through water. You might be required to complete them ridden or in-hand. In level one competitions, the maximum fence height is 60cm. 

How it’s marked… Each obstacle is worth 10 points, but you can miss out any out if you don’t want to do them – you just won’t gain marks for each obstacle missed. The course is timed, and you must complete it in the allowed time. The scoring guidelines for each obstacle are published in advance, so you know how to get all 10 points for each.

Top tip

You’ll need to wear a body protector for the obstacle phase, even if there are no fixed fences. 

Map it out

The orienteering phase tests your ability to follow a map to time. You’ll copy the route you need to take from a master map, then set off. The course is 10–15km long at level one, which usually takes a couple of hours to complete dependant on the set speed. You might need to look for checkpoints or markers along the way, too. It’s compulsory to wear high-vis for this phase. 

How it’s marked… There’s a maximum of 240 points available, and these are deducted for going the wrong way, being too fast or slow. 

Did you know?

At level one, speed is less important than accuracy, as the timing is generous. 

Kit yourself out

There’s some essential equipment you’ll need to have with you for all three phases, such as a headcollar and leadrope, medical armband and ID tags. Check the rules of the competition before you start.

It’s a good idea to take saddle bags or a bum bag with you, as there’s some compulsory equipment you’ll need for orienteering, such as a first aid kit. 

Did you know?

You must be 14 or older to compete as an individual. If you’re younger, you can enter a pairs class with a partner who’s over 18. 

To find your local Trec club, and competitions or training near you, head to bit.ly/TrecClubs

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