NAPHA is offering a test program to our members for their Peruvian Horses in conjunction with the Paso Fino Horse Association (PFHA). We are pleased to join our Paso Fino friends in their ongoing successful program which is open to all breeds.

The Trail Horse Test Program (THT) provides a way to demonstrate your horse’s ability to perform trail riding skills based on a series of tests that gauge the horse’s natural ability and training against a standard of performance. This is not a competitive trail obstacle course, but a measure of your horse’s abilities to complete the tasks normally performed before, during, and after a trail ride. The elements of the test are what we expect from a well-trained Peruvian pleasure horse.

The program is also a great opportunity for both adult amateurs and juniors to connect with like-minded horse owners in a healthy, non-competitive atmosphere. We want to share the joys of horse ownership and the skills of our pleasure horses.

There are three levels and awards for each level:

  • Junior Trail Horse

  • Senior Trail Horse

  • Master Trail Horse

NAPHA registered Peruvian horses may choose to have the level they pass entered on the horse’s registration certificate.

Objectives of the Trail Horse Test Program:

  1. Highlight the pleasure of a trained and responsive trail horse.
  2. Set non-competitive goals for the horse in an effort to improve both horse and rider.
  3. Provide a structured method to judge a trial horse.
  4. Recognize the harmony between horse and rider where there is good communication between them.
  5. Record the level achieved in the horse’s NAPHA registry. This will assist individuals who are researching Peruvian horses/bloodlines that are well suited to the trail.

The Three Levels of Achievement:

  • Junior Trail Horse

    A Junior Trail Horse is expected to show the disposition and temperament to be a trail horse. The Junior Trail Horse is expected to show reasonable obedience to its rider, to attempt certain tests and to have basic knowledge of normal commands. The Junior Trail Horse is not expected to be a fully trained horse but is a horse that shows willingness to obey the rider and does not endanger the rider.

  • Senior Trail Horse

    A Senior Trail Horse is expected to show all the attributes of a Junior Trail Horse plus be willing and consistent. This horse must be able to obey most commands calmly but with reasonable speed. It is a horse that is comfortable in most situations.

  • Master Trail Horse

    A Master Trail Horse is expected to be a finished and experienced trail horse. A Master Trail Horse is expected to show obedience to its rider’s commands and should be able to be trusted in any situation. Master Horses’ fluidness in their trail skills set them apart. The is the horse we would like to own and ride anywhere.

What the Judge Will Be Evaluating

Category 1: Trailer Loading / Unloading

Category 2: Grooming and Tacking the Horse

Category 3: Performing Ground Work Exercises – leading, lunging, turn on the forehand, turn on the haunches

Category 4: Performing Exercises Under Saddle – Walk, transitions to increase speed, leg yields, side pass, turn on the forehand, turn on the haunches

Category 5: Performance on the Trail – Interaction with other horses.

Category 6: Maneuvering through Trail Obstacles – that test the attitude and obedience of the horse.

Category 7: Temperament

Hosting a Trail Test

Any NAPHA member in good standing or NAPHA approved club may request to host a NAPHA sanctioned trail test. The test must be approved by the Recreational Rider Committee Chair. NAPHA or PFHA approved trail judges are required. The host is responsible for organizing the event, conducting the test according to the rules, and the financial management of the test.


The Trail Test fees are kept at a minimum to make the test accessible to many horse owners at a reasonable cost. The Trail Test host will charge fees for any expenses incurred which MAY include facility use, stalls, meals provided, and the judge’s fees and expenses. In some cases stalls are provided free. NAPHA will assess a small standard fee per test from the host to cover the cost of the program and awards. Each owner of certified horse may also request a change to the horse’s registry with the small fee required by CRLS.


NAPHA THT Test Overview
NAPHA THT Host Application
NAPHA THT Participant Application
NAPHA THT Participant Release
NAPHA THT Judges Score Card

A HUGE thank you to Virginia Foster of PFHA for sharing materials and documentation.

For more information:
Contact Tina Mewhinney: [email protected]