Rounding Posts

Rounding posts is one of the Working Equitation obstacles that may be included on the Ease of Handling (EOH) courses or Speed trial courses. This obstacle may be used at all levels except Children or Introductory.

Two lines of three posts each. The distance between the three posts should be 2.5 – 3 meters apart (8-10 feet). The width between the parallel lines should be spaced exactly 1.5 meters (5 feet) apart. A cup is placed upside down on the top of each of the two posts at the destination end of the lines (this allows for left- or right-handed riders to navigate the obstacle).

Execution – At the Novice level, horses and riders may trot or canter to enter the obstacle and back straight between the posts to exit the obstacle. At the Intermediate level or above, horses and riders must canter into the obstacle, halt at the end, and round the middle post on the same side from which they removed the cup during the backing portion of the obstacle. For example, if the rider selected the right-hand cup, then they must round the middle post on the righthand line of posts for the backing portion.

In all cases, riders enter the corridor, halt, and remove a cup from the tip of one of the poles at the end of the corridor, keeps the cup in his/her hand throughout the execution of the obstacle, reins back in the designated pattern (depending on level, see above), then halts and deposits the cup on the tip of the post at the entrance of the corridor corresponding with the side from which the cup was retrieved. For Speed, the halt is not required at either end of the corridor.

If the horse or rider knocks over the post on which they must place the cup, the rider must
dismount, return the post to an upright position, remount, then place the cup on
top of the pole while mounted.  Failure to do so results in disqualification.

If the rider drops the cup, they must dismount, retrieve the cup with the same hand they used to retrieve it originally, remount, and complete the obstacle. Failure to do so results in disqualification. It is acceptable to use a mounting block if a mounting block is available within the arena.

If a horse or rider knocks over a “non-essential” portion of the obstacle, such as the obstacle number or a middle post, they will receive a negative score in the EOH trial and a 5 second penalty for each portion of the obstacle knocked over in the Speed trial. The rider does not need to dismount and remount to fix the fallen portion of the obstacle.

In addition to going off course, there are a number of ways in which a rider may be disqualified for incorrectly performing this obstacle, including:

  • The rider uses an inconsistent hand to retrieve the cup.
  • The horse or rider knocks over the final post on which to place the cup or drops the cup without properly correcting the course error.
  • The rider fails to place the cup on the designated post (corresponding with the side of the corridor from which they picked up the cup).
  • The combination fails to pass through the start and exit points of the obstacle before moving on to the next obstacle.

For complete details about this obstacle and its requirements, reference the U.S. Working Equitation Rules, here.

Last update 12/31/2018