The New and Exciting Sport of Horse Agility Explained
What is Horse Agility?
Horse agility is a new exciting sport for horse and handlers in the UK. It is done on the ground and so is suitable for horses of all ages and ability. The best way to describe it is as dog agility but with much bigger obstacles! Horses must successfully navigate 12 obsticles as well as a walk and trot obedience section.
Can my horse take part?
Any horse can take part but they must be at least 2 years old. There is no upper age limit and as long as your horse can manage the obstacles safely they can take part. As a horse does not have to be ridden it allows companion horses to compete in their own right. Each competition is broken into three height categories; small pony(up to 10.2hh), pony(10.2hh to 14.2hh) and horse(14.2hh+).
What sort of obstacles will my horse have to deal with?
The obstacles range from walking through a tunnel, going over a bridge, walking through a curtain to standing on a podium, navigating an s-bend and stepping over a tarpaulin.
In every competition there is an obedience section which involves walking, trotting and halting in perfect harmony with the handler.
What sort of equipment do I need to take part?
All your horse needs is a head collar and a lead rope which is at least 10ft long. The handler needs to wear suitable footwear and a hard hat at all times.
Why is horse agility good for my horse?
Horse agility helps to build a close bond between horse and handler. The horse has to trust the handler in order to tackle the obstacles. It helps the horse to become more confident and can help spooky horses to overcome some of their fears. It keeps a horse's brain active and improves their fitness so is great for horses that cannot be ridden for medical reasons or those getting on in years.
How do I get started?
Competitions are being run right across the country. Before you can take part you have to join the Horse Agility Club and make sure you have the correct insurance. More details on your local venues can be found on the horse agility club website here: http://www.horseagilitygb.com/index.html
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