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buckle series begins Jan 1 2024

Welcome to HOPE Therapeutic Riding Center Inc. (HOPE). HOPE is a 501C3 nonprofit with a mission to positively impact the life course of people by connecting horses and humans. We strive to enrich the soul and improve lives by fostering hope and healing relationships through therapeutic, educational and recreational activities with horses.


HOPE sits on approximately 50+ acres on the North side of Rochester, IL and is made up of a unique and diverse body of members!  The organization promotes fun filled equestrian related activities for riders of all ages and abilities, with an emphasis being placed on family, fairness, and safety. HOPE welcomes all riders and breeds from a variety of disciplines and skill levels while providing a safe place for them to learn both in and out of the show ring.  Leaving Hoofprints Trail Challenge Buckle Series is offered to all participants!  Earn recognition and awards in our Buckle Series for the Obstacle, Riding and Volunteer Challenges. Join the 2024 Buckle Series for $25!



2024 Obstacle Challenges Series:

  • Participate in 3 Obstacle Challenges in order to qualify for LHTC.

  • Participate in 4 Obstacle Challenges in order to qualify for PMT. 

  • Earn awards including Leaving Hoofprints Obstacle Trail Challenge Grand Champion Buckle!

  • Opportunity to participate in surveys.

  • Early notification of upcoming events.


2024 Trail Riding Challenge Series:

  • Earn awards for completing each individual challenge.

  • Participate in 2 Trail Ride Challenges in order to qualify for LHTC Trail Rider of the Year Buckle!

  • LHTC has a total of 4 challenges; 1 during Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall.

  • PMT points earn the duration of the year.

Buckle Series Membership Rules:

  • Registration includes the ability to participate in the Buckle Series for each Obstacle, Riding and Volunteer Challenges for HOPE.

  • Membership is valid from January to December of the year that the membership application is submitted. 

  • Membership is personal and may not be transferred.

  • Membership fees are non‐refundable.

  • Only members are allowed to earn points for daily and year‐end awards.

  • Points are only accumulated after membership dues are paid.

  • Members may receive discounts for certain classes or events as determined acceptable and as published by the HOPE Board of Directors.

  • HOPE maintains the right to revoke membership.


Volunteer Challenge Series:

  • As a way of honoring and thanking our volunteers ALL volunteers are automatically registered into the Volunteer Challenge Series and can earn awards and compete for the Volunteer of the Year Buckle! 

  • Volunteers can choose to register for a Volunteer Challenge Bundle that includes

    • Volunteer T-shirt

    • Volunteer Name Tag

    • 35 sponsorship points

Be sure you complete and submit the LHTC Buckle Series Registration Form on the website. This form includes your yearly Liability Release and submission of your current coggins. Membership is activated once all forms have been submitted.



  1. Do I have to register in the Buckle Series to compete in challenges? No, you are welcome to participate in challenges; however, you will not earn points for year end awards.

  2. Do I have to register for both LHTC Buckle Series and PRT Membership in order to compete for awards? No, you do not have to register for both; however, you will only earn points and awards for the organization you are registered with. (Ex If you are registered for LHTC Buckle Series you can earn awards and compete for the Grand Champion Buckle for HOPE but you will not be entered into PMT year end awards.) 

  3. Do I have to fill out a membership/series form with each challenge registration? No, membership for the LHTC Buckle Series and PMT is an annual registration.

  4. Do I have to select and register for all the total challenges required to qualify for points when registering for the Buckle Series? No. You can sign up for all of the challenges at once if you choose or you can wait and register prior to each challenge.  

  5. Do I have to complete the total amount of points listed for Trail Ride Challenges to qualify? No, you do not have to complete the full amount of the points in order to submit and earn towards the Buckle Series awards.  However, you will earn additional awards and recognition for completion of the amount listed with each challenge!

  6. Do I have to register for the Volunteer Challenge to earn volunteer challenge points? No, ALL volunteers are automatically registered and can earn awards and points.  The Volunteer Challenge Bundle provides additional perks and points!

Become a member today!


HOPE is excited to announce our partnership with Premier Mount N Trail Association for Leaving Hoofprints Trail Challenge Events!  All Leaving Hoofprints Trail Challenges qualify for Premier Mount N Trail Association year-end awards for PMT members. LHTC follows PMT event standards. Download the handbook for standards and rules.

2024 Leaving Hoofprints Trail Challenges



Trail OBSTACLE Challenges requires horse and rider/handler to navigate trail obstacles with confidence, skill accuracy and precision. There are graded levels of difficulty to challenge participants from rookie to seasoned competitor.  All member challenge points accumulate for year-end awards and Buckle Series!

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Accumulate ride hours by riding, showing, driving, lunging, or leading your equine. Any time spent working with or training a horse will count towards the hours. Stall cleaning, grooming, hauling, feeding, and general caring for your horse WILL NOT count towards trail hours. All trail hours accumulate for year-end awards and Buckle Series!

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Our Volunteer Challenge honors and recognizes the powerful impact our volunteers are making in the lives of others! Accumulate volunteer hours by helping with any HOPE activity, event, or challenge. Any time spent helping at HOPE will count towards the hours. All hours accumulate for year-end awards and the VOLUNTEER OF THE YEAR Buckle!

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