__The ApHC offers walk-trot classes for kids 10 and under, with classes ranging from performance to games. The classes are designed for the age and experience level of the participants.
SHOWMANSHIP One of the newest walk-trot classes, showmanship offers the walk-trot kids a chance to compete against their peers in-hand. No showmanship classes require anything past a trot, but this division is only for walk-trot competitors.
HUNT SEAT EQUITATION Hunt seat equitation judges a child’s form in the saddle as well as the ability to maneuver a horse through a set pattern. The pattern includes walking and trotting and may require the kids to back, stop and turn their horses.
WESTERN EQUITATION Much like hunt seat equitation, except the class tests each rider’s ability in the western saddle at the walk and the jog rather than the walk and trot.
TRAIL In walk-trot trail, kids must guide their horses through a maze of trail obstacles. Walk-trot trail classes often include bridges, gates, walk-overs and trot poles.
Walk-trot games classes are timed events, but they aren’t run horse-against-horse like the other age divisions. Speed is restricted to a trot.
NEZ PERCE STAKE RACE The children trot their horses to the end of the arena, and then weave their horses back and forth through a set of six poles before crossing the finish line.
CAMAS PRAIRIE STUMP RACE This race requires kids to guide the horses around a traditional cloverleaf barrel pattern.
KEYHOLE RACE The kids trot their horses down the arena, make a tight turn in the set keyhole, and head for home.
FIGURE-EIGHT STAKE RACE The figure-eight stake race requires kids to hustle down the arena, complete a figure eight around two set poles, and then head back to the finish line.
*Lifetime lessons for walk-trot kids
__Walk-trot kids learn more than how to ride from their Appaloosas. Appaloosas teach kids life lessons they can use outside of the show pen, and this may be one of the many reasons parents are drawn to enroll their kids in walk-trot programs.
__“Walk-trot is growing by leaps and bounds,” says Carol Jones, a Pine Bluff, Arkansas trainer. “These folks want to get their kids involved in something positive.”
__Here, says Carol are three great reasons to get kids involved in walk-trot competition:
DISCIPLINE “My kids who compete at the Youth World level come at 9 in the morning, we take a break from noon to 1, then pick up again until 3 or 4. These kids are very disciplined and dedicated to their sport.”
CAMARADERIE “My barn has from two to 12 kids at any given time, and they all get to be great pals.”
RESPONSIBILITY “The responsibility of caring for the animal. The kids pitch in and help feed and pick stalls out. They also have to take care of their tack and equipment. They learn quickly that they have to take care of their horses and their stuff. The learn an awful lot.”