Our Saturday group lesson played with precision obstacles in the shade of the covered arena this morning. We set up a water station where horses and humans could get a drink and a refreshing spray from the hose as needed. We set up puzzles that required thoughtful solutions, rather than a lot of physical exertion.
The Pick-Up Sticks challenge your horse in carefully placing their feet. They challenge you to find the right balance of “go” (so as not to get stuck in the poles) and “whoa” (so as not to rush through and trip).
The Hi-Low provides an opportunity to line up along an obstacle and relax, which is good practice for mounting and for trailering. It also challenges us to sit or stand while asking the horse to circle, move sideways, back up, yield forehand or hindquarters, or guiding other movements without moving our own feet.
The Three-Lane helps students send horses around them at different distances. This obstacle helps build communication skills as the horses really show us how clear (or not) we are when asking them to go somewhere. It also works in reverse, having the horse stay in the hoop while you walk through the lane!
Staying hydrated in the shade and keeping the activities mellow gave everyone a fun morning of play and relaxation while improving skills.