A challenge you can do with your horse at liberty but also online or even ridden.
These challenges are not about being perfect but about getting ‘Connected’ to your horse and about learning new things by taking yourself and your horse out of your comfort zones a bit on maybe one or two tasks each month. None of the tasks has to be done in this order or even with these items, (ie. if you don’t have cones, use polypoles, or tyres or anything you have as markers) do what you can for you and your horse and later push yourselves a bit to progress. With this I mean that if your horse is frightened of a particular thing then do something you horse can do to start with to help with confidence but make things harder as you and your horse get more confident with things.
SO, if your horse is worried about going over a jump then just walk over a pole on the ground. If your horse is worried about a hulahoop then see if he can put his foot/feet into a box made from 4 small poles. If your horse is worried about tarpaulins then try asking him to go over something not so worrying like a piece of carpet. Use your imagination but also use your common sense and never push a horse into or over anything they are worried about. Use approach and retreat to help your horse find confidence to do the tasks you ask over the month,
Try to set up all the obstacles/tasks so that they flow nicely from one to the next either in a circle or a fig 8 shape.
Ultimately and hopefully you will graduate to doing these things at liberty and maybe liberty ridden too. Remember it’s about having FUN and that means fun for you and YOUR HORSE. Enjoy
LIBERTY CHALLENGE 1 – (in walk with horse on your right)
1) Walk a circle together to the left in walk
2) Walk a circle together to the right in walk
3) Halt for 5 seconds
4) Walk through a narrow gap of two poles, handler on the outside
5) Weave through 4 cones together
6) 1 or 2 feet in a hulahoop…you choose which feet
7) Small jump together (either jump with horse or walk alongside outside of jump)
8) Walk over a tarp
9) Walk over a pole without hitting it
10) Halt and back up so that horses back feet are at or very near pole you just walked over
- Shelley – HorseSavvy
For anyone interested in Competing in Horse Agility then there is the International Horse Agility Club and you can compete from home using video’s. Check out the website here: http://www.thehorseagilityclub.com/online-horse-agility/