February 3rd - 28th closing date
Please note that for first competition of the year - the course/requirements/horsemanship skills
are the same for all the different classes and categories. Everybody starts from the same place.
The Horsemanship skills section is the "serious" part of the competition, here you are under the judges utmost scrutiny. This is where your opportunity to really showcase your partnership skills comes into play and where you can really bump up those scores.
So what is it we are looking for?
Relationship - Connection - Understanding. "Natural" Horsemanship Skills.
"Natural" as in natural to the equine and natural to you.
We are not looking for a performance of certain techniques or training methods, we don't want to see your equine doing "tricks" That is not Horse Agility.
We want to see a natural connection resulting in natural understanding. This can only be achieved by working with and not against your equines most basic instincts.
Horses are naturally flight animals, "spooking" is an entirely natural behaviour. Help him replace fear with curiosity, let his world become a playground, allow him the time to fully investigate an obstacle, let him test it by sniffing and pawing it, encourage the curiosity and watch it turn into courage.
Horse Agility should not "desensitise" your equine, you want him to always be curious of the obstacles, looking at and touching them, familiarising himself with them, allow his own natural investigation and calculation to build his confidence and trust in you, and of what you are asking him to do - an equines trust is the ultimate gift - one to be respected and nurtured.