Since 2002 I have enjoyed dabbling in the sport of distance riding—each year attending anywhere from two to six competitive events. I have loved every minute of it — even getting up before dawn on the morning of a competition — and I’m not a morning person! 

Wish and I in the early 2000s at a competitive trail ride

2019 is the first year I find myself saying, and I can’t believe I’m saying this: I may never ride another organized competitive distance event. Over time priorities change. My horses are getting older and have indicated to me they prefer to slow it down a bit and just enjoy the sights and sounds on the trail. And I want to be able to enjoy my trail partners well into their 20s and possibly even 30s.

Moseying down the trail is much easier on their bodies and lessens the risk of injury. That’s not to say that we don’t enjoy a nice easy lope or a long trot where the footing is good though!

Even still, I still have this competitive spirit inside me that needs to be expressed and I know a place where I can feed that need. It’s called “Top Trail.” Top Trail is my “Get Out & Ride” program.

Riding, tracking, and logging on vacation in Colorado.

As a member of Top Trail, I can compete with other riders on my own terms. I ride where I want, when I want, and with whoever I want — all I have to do is record my track with a GPS (I use the EasyTrails app) then upload it to my account. From there I can see how many miles I have in a couple different buckets:
*Lifetime (for rider and each enrolled equine)
*Annual (current year) (for rider and each enrolled equine)

So I can aim for placing well in my division during the monthly Top Trail Horse challenge—if I’m up to it; or a quarterly Top Trail Rider challenge—if I’m up to that. Or, I can simply ride for fun and check my ranking and total miles for the year to date at any point in time. 

My favorite Top Trail feature is Lifetime Mileage and riding to earn rocker patches for every 1000 miles logged. I hope to get my 3000 mile rocker in 2020.

Top Trail Lifetime Mileage Patch Program — Riding toward my 3000 mile rocker patch.

Top Trail is a ride program that turns trail riding into a sport for those who love riding, tracking, and logging their rides. You must be a member to use the program features, including ride logs for rider and each enrolled equine, as well as participation in any of the challenges, affiliate groups, and forums. 

If you want to become a member and join up there are some options:
*90 days for $10 (limited to website program features)
*full one year membership for $40
*HTCAA website community and business members discounted one year
(use the code provided by HTCAA when you enroll in their program)

There’s always someone available to answer your questions and help you get started via email. Learn more at the Top Trail website. 

I feel great about my decision to slow down and truly ride my own ride this year and I probably wouldn’t have the guts to do it if I didn’t have Top Trail! So, come on — Get Out & Ride with me! 


1 1 Comment

  1. Hey Susan — as of yesterday you were 8 miles from your 1000 mile rocker!! You can do it!!

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