Obstacle courses are the equivalent to trail classes in large horses. Except you and your horse do them at halter or in a cart. Typical obstacles are bridges, mailboxes, cones, scary objects, cavaletti, back through and sidepass poles and many other things dreamed up by the show manager and course designer.
For the official rules of the American Miniature Horse Registry, log on to www.shetlandminiature.com. For an excerpt about jumping, see below:
Part 19 – Obstacle Halter/Driving
A. The obstacle course must be posted at the Show Office not less than two hours prior to the class. Horses must be at least one year old for halter obstacle and three years old for obstacle driving. No one may show before a Judge in classes where the exhibitor has designed the course in that class. A horse can only be shown by one exhibitor per class. All obstacles must be numbered on the course in order of sequence.
B. Classes will be judged 100% on the manner of horse’s performance through the course.
C. There is a sixty second time limit to complete each obstacle. After time is used, the exhibitor will be directed to the next obstacle. Refusals of three (3)obstacles shall be cause for disqualification.
D. Cantering penalized in obstacle driving.
E. Obstacle requirements:
1. Must be a minimum of 5 and maximum of 8 obstacles.
2. Tires and stair steps are prohibited.
3. Jumps are prohibited.
F. In shows where more than one obstacle class is offered at least three of the obstacles must be different or the manner of performance through obstacles must be varied for the class.
G. Edible treats to encourage an animal to perform one of the obstacles are not allowed.
H. All obstacles should be safe for exhibitors as well as for horses.
I. Off course will result in elimination from the class and no points, ribbons or awards will be presented
Off course is defined as:
1. Taking an obstacle in the wrong direction.
2. Negotiating an obstacle from the wrong side.
3. Skipping an obstacle unless directed by Judge.
4. Negotiating obstacles in the wrong sequence.
5. No physically moving, or coercing the horse by touching. It is to be the Judge’s discretion to disqualify. Attendants 16 years of age and older, may be allowed in the ring during Youth Halter Obstacle for safety purposes only. Attendant must not interfere with or influence individual’s or equine’s performance.
6. Miniature leaving the obstacle course.
J. Driving obstacle horses shall be shown in a suitable two-wheeled cart with basket.