When done properly, an L-shaped back-through in a trail pattern should look almost effortless. Acing this type of maneuver requires hours of practice, teaching your horse to back with ease and cadence while listening to a combination of your hand, leg, and seat cues.
The difference between first and second place in horsemanship classes lies in the details of your horsemanship position. One of those small items that’s easily overlooked when you’re showing is your upper-body position—especially your free arm and hand and both of your shoulders. Keeping these small details top of mind every time you ride means they’ll become second nature in the saddle.
If you show in the trail class, you’re probably quite familiar with the rope gate obstacle. It’s easy for show management to transport and set up, and it’s forgiving when it comes to working the obstacle. But now we’re seeing the metal trail gate return to the show pen, which adds another item to prepare to face in a class.