ACTHA’s New “In Hand Division” Inspired by Parelli Natural Horsemanship

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In keeping with ACTHA’s expanded mission of better horsemanship and improved educational opportunities for their participants, they are pleased to announce their new In Hand Division in Arena Obstacle Challenges (AOC’s), inspired by a partnership with Pat and Linda Parelli. ACTHA embraces the goal of Parelli Natural Horsemanship, which is to help raise the level of horsemanship worldwide, for the benefit of horses and the people who love them. Pat and Linda have graciously provided educational materials and judging criteria, and have generously shared how developing skills and partnership in-hand leads to a better riding experience for horse and rider.

In HandThe In Hand Division will be available to ACTHA members only. Obstacles must be performed on lead, and all participants are judged on partnership and execution of the obstacle from the ground. Participants may choose to enter this class/division either as a stand-alone entry, or in addition to a mounted division. Judging criteria developed in partnership with Parelli Natural Horsemanship focuses on a willing partner and good communication skills with the horse. All equines can compete, including minis, ponies, donkeys, mules and horses. All styles of ground work are welcome and encouraged; it is the performance and partnership that is being judged.


ACTHA’s mission:

  • To create an enjoyable venue showcasing the wonderful attributes of the great American trail horse, and granting them the recognition they so richly deserve.
  • To create a registry open to all breeds and a point designation system that will stay with each horse for its lifetime, thereby adding to their value and distinction.
  • To create and enable humane treatment and employment options for horses in need.

For more information on ACTHA, please visit For more information on Parelli Natural Horsemanship, please visit

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