Offered by Kim Gieseke, Promenade Horsemanship Academy
It is interesting how people take notice when you are the “world champion” in something. This past year, myself, and several students participated in the International Horse Agility video competition. When I first competed in this equine discipline, people who had no idea what it was would comment, “that is nice” and go on their way. Now, when a comment is made about my horse and I being world champion, horse professionals and owners ask what it is all about.
Every month there is a new course consisting of ten obstacles. Each obstacle is worth up to five points for doing the obstacle correctly and five points for horsemanship. There are two divisions where you maneuver your horse through the course on foot; online and liberty. Online, is with a halter and lead and the liberty you use only your voice and body language. There is also Equagility where you go through a five obstacle course on foot and then ride the same five obstacle.
The bragging rights of having three people from Promenade finish in the top five in the world is great but what is really incredible is the positive transformation of the human/horse relationship. Agility has had an incredible influence on the relationship my clients have formed with their horses. Owners who may be scared, inconsistent, or found excuses not to work their horse, became confident and found a way to better communicate with their horses. Agility helped create a safer and calmer horse.
If you are a horse owner feeling stuck with what to do with your horse, or want to build better communication, your question shouldn’t be “should I try horse agility” it should be “when am I going to start horse agility”. It is worth your time to invest in this discipline. Promenade holds two classes a week as well as privates to provide a fun and concrete way to build a solid relationship with your horse. Kim is a certified Agility trainer and will be a clinician at the Rocky Mountain Horse Expo March 9th to 11th.
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