Qualification Guidelines

Adopted by the Executive Board on February 2, 2006

  1. Qualifying rides are not training rides. Please attend with a fit equine and rider with the intention of qualifying as a team.
  2. All equines (horse, mule, donkey, pony, etc.) are welcome to participate.
  3. Only mares and geldings will be allowed to qualify. No stallions, lactating mares or mares in foal will be allowed to participate.
  4. Equines must be 60 months or older, well broke and possess a calm disposition. No bad habits allowed. Any equine that bites, kicks, or does not get along with the other equines will not be accepted, no matter how well trained.
  5. All equines must be in fit condition and capable of an endurance type pace.
  6. Riders must be 18 years or older and not be experiencing any condition which may impair their ability to handle an emergency on the trail. Riders should be able to walk a considerable distance while leading their equine with a person in the saddle, up and down hills, and may be in a challenging environment. They should be willing and able to handle emergency situations,
    for equines and people, on the trail and in remote locations with little or no assistance.
  7. All participants must have access to a horse trailer at all times.
  8. All Equines must have the ability to load in a variety of horse trailers, such as straight load, slant,stock, step up or ramp. Trailer doors must close and equine must then be transportable.
  9. Only one (1) equine per qualifying ride will be allowed to qualify. Another equine may be qualified on a different qualifying ride. Each rider and equine qualifies together as a team. The qualifying Committee or two members of the Executive Board must approve any substitutions on the day of the event.
  10. On qualifying rides, be ready to ride at posted time with tack and gear you intend to sweep ride with.
  11. All riders, when participating in any riding event with SOS, MUST WEAR A RIDING HELMET.
  12. To qualify or re-qualify for participation in SOS, the Qualifying Committee will expect you to present a safe/calm/confident/controlled team while performing the following:

a. Stand while tied to a trailer, tree, hitching post, etc.
b. Stand within a group or in the company of other equines.
c. Cross obstacles, such as mud, water, logs, etc.
d. Walk and/or trot in single file along narrow trails.
e. Back up a small hill.
f. Tail and lead your equine.
g. Near and off side mount and dismount.
h. Leap frog: lead, follow or be in the middle of a group of equines, single file on the trail at a trot or walk. Lead equine departs trail while others pass, then next equine and so on.
i. Reverse direction (turn around) on a narrow trail.
j. Back up and side pass.
k. Sensory exercises, such as passing a jacket or similar item from person on ground to rider, or rider opening a map while in the saddle.
l. Pony another equine or be ponied.
m. Displaying trail etiquette throughout the ride, including, but not limited to maintaining a SAFE following distance (one horse length) at all times.

13. NO DOGS on any qualifying ride or event.

14. The purchase of a vest will be required (for a nominal fee) in order for us all to be identified as an SOS Member at events.

15. A previously qualified Equine/Rider Team that successfully participates on any SOS sanctioned ride annually will remain qualified. If a Team does not participate on at least one of the approved rides in any given year they must re-qualify the next year.

16. It is MANDATORY that you sign up in advance for any Qualifying Ride.