Obstacles, Ridden

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Ridden TREC Obstacle Phase

Technical Details for Ridden TREC Competitions

The Obstacle phase is designed to show the ability of horse and rider to handle situations that might be encountered riding while on the trail. Internationally, this phase is known as Parcours en Terrain Varie (PTV).

Course: 16 obstacles
Scoring: 0 to 160 for the course, 0 to 10 per obstacle
Distance: 1km to 5kms
Time: Times are set according to the obstacles, terrain, and level of competition


The Obstacle phase is a timed exercise that has planned route disclosed before the start of the phase. Obstacles are marked with red (o right) and white (on left) flags. The start and finish lines are also marked with red and with flags. Riders are allowed to walk the course without their mount at permitted times. Any obstacles may be by-passed without elimination with permission from the obstacles’ judge while riding the course.


To perform all the obstacles in sequence within the time period allowed.

Jump Maximum* 2’-0” (.609m) 2’- 6” (.762m) 3’-0” (.914m) 3’-3” (1.07m)
Jump Minimum 1′ – 0” 2’-0” 2’-6” 3′-0”
Course Design Inviting
Easy distances
and routes

Slightly challenging routes and distance


Obstacles combined

Routes tighten



Challenging routes

Time Allowed: Ample Reasonable A Consideration A Factor

Maximum jump sizes are typically reserved for championship competitions

Specific Rules
  • Correct dress is required
  • Helmets are required while mounted
  • Body protectors are required at level IV and encourage at all levels

TREC obstacles are scored based on 3 factors:

  • Effectiveness
  • Obstacle Type (Gait, Style, or Timed)
  • Penalties


The effectiveness score is about how efficiently the obstacle was completed. A well-balanced, quietly performed execution of the obstacle will score the highest points. Faults can be incurred during the approach to the obstacles and while performing through the obstacle.

The Descriptions and Scoresheets have the details for each Obstacle.

Obstacles Type

There are three types of TREC obstacles – Gait, Style and Timed.

Gait Obstacles

Gait obstacles reward faster consistent speeds and include:

Points vary according to the level of competition. Breaks in the gait while performing the obstacles are scored according to the slowest gait performed.

Style Obstacles

Style Obstacles reward horse/rider teams that execute ideal performances. Style obstacles include:

Points accumulate according to the ‘ideal”.

Timed Obstacles

Timed Obstacles reward proper execution within a time frame. Timed obstacles include:

The Descriptions and Scoresheets have the details for all Obstacles.


Penalties are consistent deductions with all the obstacles to encourage good horsemanship.
The Descriptions and Scoresheets have the details for each Obstacle.