About these Sports

Mountain Trail & Extreme Mountain Trail

Mountain Trail and Extreme Mountain Trail both showcase the perfect Mountain Trail horse. Perfection is epitomized by a horse that is bold, confident and moves forward in a natural gait that is safe and also covers ground as if it were on a long day’s trail ride. The horse and rider should be able to willingly assess and enthusiastically navigate new obstacles with finesse and in a safe manner.

What is Mountain Trail & Extreme Mountain Trail?

Mountain Trail and Extreme Mountain Trail are related sports. Both sports are judged events designed to show the confidence, boldness and athletic ability of all breeds and all disciplines of horses and mules while being challenged by trail obstacles. In IMTCA competition, contestants are required to navigate a course with at least 6 approved obstacles and no more than 16 as set forth in the obstacle handbook.

Mountain Trail requires navigating obstacles at a walking pace. Extreme Mountain Trail requires navigating more obstacles at a faster pace. Extreme Mountain Trail is not a race, but the combination of loping, cantering, trotting, jogging and/or gaiting makes this sport move along at a faster pace than Mountain Trail.

The IMTCA Judging System is recognized as the leading format for judging an equine event that combines technical and stylistic elements coupled with consideration of “degree of difficulty.”

Mountain Trail & Extreme Mountain Trail Worldwide

Mountain Trail and Extreme Trail have flourished and expanded over the years in the USA, Canada and Europe. Challenges and events are now held in all of these locations.

The IMTCA Executive Committee will be aligned with other worldwide equine associations to accomplish common goals and to continue to expand the sport of Mountain Trail and Extreme Trail into the international arena.

What to Expect at a Challenge

A competitive event for Mountain Trail and Extreme Mountain Trail is known as a “Challenge”. A Challenge or Show will test a horse and rider’s ability to navigate both natural and man-made obstacles in a safe manner and with technical skills that demonstrate great horsemanship. Each show will have three levels of difficulty that are designed to challenge but not intimidate riders. Attire and tack required for participating must be neat, clean and in good working order.