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Trail Obstacle Dimensions

Horse Illustrated
August 2005

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  • Bridge - 36 inches wide and at least 6 feet long. Must be sturdy and safe.
  • Ride-Overs - A minimum of four wood rails or poles placed in a straight line, a zigzag or circle. May be raised at either or both ends. Standard measurement between poles will depend on speed of gait and elevation. Walk-overs (15 to 24 inches); trot- overs (3 feet to 3 feet 6 inches); lope-overs (6 to 7 feet).
  • Gate - Must be safe for horse and rider to maneuver through. An opening of 6 to 8 feet is adequate.
  • Back-Through Obstacle - Minimum distance between poles or markers should be no less than 28 inches (30 to 36 inches is standard). A back-through constructed of raised poles must be no less that 30 inches apart with an elevation of no more than 24 inches high.
  • Box - Set of four poles placed so that they form a square. Poles must be equal in length and between 5 and 6 feet long.
  • Side-Pass - May be performed over or between any object that will not endanger the horse or rider. The side-pass may also be laid out in various patterns from a simple straight line to the more challenging "L," "W" or "T."
  • Water Box - Generally painted royal blue, water boxes should be 30 inches wide and 4 to 6 feet long.

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