TRAILS Scoring System

The TRAILS system has 25 categories of evaluation. The “Ground Manners” section has thirteen scoring categories of evaluation and each is scored on a sliding scale (0-2 to 0-5) dependent upon the importance of that category to the overall safety of the horse/human interaction. The “Under Saddle” section has twelve categories of evaluation and is also scored on a sliding scale (0-5 or 0-6) dependent upon the importance of that category to the safety and enjoyment of trail riding. The total possible score is 100. The scoring system is weighted in favor of the horse’s performance under saddle as compared to its ground manners because the act of riding is the more important issue of the two categories. Moreover, most ground manners can be improved rapidly through repetition. You will read a brief description of the test, why it is important to trail riding and how to improve your horse’s performance. There is enough separation between scoring definitions that you will be able to assign a number to the horse’s performance for that task. There will be gray zones where the horse’s performance lands between two options. Always chose the lower of the two scores for consistency.