I have been a competitor in ACTHA competitions for several years and it has been fun and satisfying. I practice my horse's trail skills at home from an instructional list found on the website. Then I get to go to a lovely location to ride and get a "report card" on my progress. This is how it works:
A CTC is a 6 mile ride, with six judges, and six obstacles located about a mile apart. The course is marked, there are safety procedures, and usually breakfast and lunch are served!
An AOC is done in an arena or field with 8 obstacles with a gambler's choice option. It can even be offered as part of an open house for a ranch with a lunchtime demonstration.
In both cases, a detailed report from the judges is available online afterwards.
I have put on two AOC's at my ranch. It gave local riders a chance to see and ask about our Peruvians (we have 15 here) for publicity as well as I made over $500 with only 19 riders the first time.
Please consider attending or hosting some ACTHA events. I can be contacted for further information!