Starting out on your Horse Agility Journey is relatively easy. The equipment you need is minimal, a headcollar and long rope for your horse, a few bits and pieces, poles, jump wings and the like from around the yard, and that's about it.
Your journey will lead you to enlightenment !
Ha ha I hear you say, but believe me, if you let it, it will change you and change your horse.
Believe in the power of groundwork .
We do not advocate Horse Agility as a training method. It is however a very valuable communication tool, but what does that mean?
The agility obstacles themselves pose the questions that together, you and your horse must answer.
Practising Horse Agility is about perspective, understanding theirs, and how it differs to our own, it's not having any fixed ideas about an outcome and about being open and honest with yourself and with your horse.
Your key words here are -
There is a saying "Your horse knows when you know and your horse knows when you don't know" Ray Hunt Ra
As an example, the very Scary Corner, lots of colour and movement, flags and bunting all in a confined space. You both approach the obstacle, the horse raises his head, the horses ears are pointing forward, he is looking at the obstacle, his eyes are wide, one ear twitches back, he starting to show concern, his mouth and nose are tight, he stops - now what ?
Here the conversation begins.
All the information about how you are feeling has just passed to your horse, through your right arm and the leading rope, through the energy field that surrounds you, your heart rate and your adrenalin level, all this without a conscious thought from you.
Learning to recognise the early signs that your horse is showing concern, anxiety and stress, will be invaluable to you in your everyday handling and training. Knowing your horses stress indicators, will allow you to assess a situation and adjust the circumstances before your horse has reached a high level of tension and before his adrenalin has triggered the flight or fight response.
Really getting to know your horses facial expressions and the way his body reacts to a concern, will enable you to have the confidence that your horse can handle and cope with a scary situation, and importantly, that you can to !
Aims and principles
Aim - to set the foundations for growth by creating a learning and listening environment, one in which optimal learning can take place.
Principles - Believe in the power of groundwork for your horse. The journey to better and absolute communication has begun.