Liberty Challenge 3

See if you can challenge yourself and your horse to trot as much as possible through this course and see if you can stay on your horses right side.

1) Back horse between two obstacles like barrels. (Make obstacles wider apart and low for horses new to these challenges. For newbies also you could come forward and then back through two obstacles. For those that are good at liberty set your barrels upright and close together)

2) Trot over a bottle bank. (A bottle bank is a small or large area set upwith 4 poles made into a square. Put as many, or as few if new to this, flattened plastic bottles as you can into that area. As you progress you can fill it up a LOT…for newbies walk through this or if your horse is frightened then YOU walk through it and horse around it…remember it makes quite a noise to get used to! Build it up over the month to where you can walk or trot horse through bank)

3) Trot tight weave – handler to stay on one side of the cones, horse to weave. (Place cones or obstacles about 4-5 paces apart, 4-6 obstacles if possible. If new to this then walk you and your horse through the pattern. If good at liberty then trot through them and make it slightly harder than the normal wider apart obstacles but don’t make it impossible for your horse to achieve some success with this..again build up the level of weave during the month)

4) Trot horse between two flags – handler to walk outside obstacles. (For newbies just ask your horse to walk through the flags and make flags a big distance apart. For those who are good at liberty challenge you and your horse to trot through flags only 1 large pace apart)

5) Trot fig 8. (Horse to do the fig 8, handler to stand just outside the pattern. For newbies you may want to walk the fig 8 with your horse by your side first and build it up gradually)

6) Familiarisation with small tarp. (Horse to stand still whilst you play with small tarp around and on horse…start small and open up as you go. For newbies you may want to use just a small plastic bag)

7) Transitions: walk/trot/halt/backup/walk/trot/halt/backup (Looking for sharp connection in the up and downward trans, using breath in to go, breath out to halt. Newbies don’t have to do backup or trot but try it all month to see if you can get another transition in your repetoire)

8) Carry two pillowcases for 10′ in walk or trot. (Have two pillowcases or sacks or plastic bags if your horse is not frightened by them, fill them with something soft like scrunched up newespaper, hay, straw or even old teddy bears, tie them at the tops and tie them together so that there is a cord or rope between them so that they can go over the horses back safely. For newbies make sure your horse is happy with the unfamiliar item, play with it a LOT before trying it at walk, keep your hand on the bag nearest you so that you can take it off if necessary)

9) 2 or 4 feet on a pedestal. (If no pedestal just put something strange or unusual for the horse to put 2 or 4 feet on, not a tarp though, something like an old carpet, old towel, piece of flat wood, rubber mat etc?)

10) Off pedestal and ask horse to stand still whilst you skip around him/her. (You can keep one hand on horse whilst gently walking around him, you can trot around him or you can skip, whatever you and your horses level)

Always remember to have FUN with these challenges

  • Shelley – Horsesavvy