The horses in this video navigate obstacles, including jumps, bridges, and teeter totters, all with their handlers alongside. What is the purpose of this? This is equine agility.
Equine agility is a growing sport which can be performed mounted or unmounted. Agility is a great option for any horse since it's low-impact enough that a young or retired horse can easily participate. In equine agility, a horse and handler must navigate a course of obstacles. They are judged on each obstacle, and the handler cannot put pressure on the lead rope to guide the horse. Agility is a competitive horse sport, and there are meets available at different levels so anyone can participate.
When you work on equine agility with your horse, you will be developing your communication with your horse. Your horse needs to be well-trained to perform agility, so you'll learn all about training methods and how your horse thinks. Agility can be a confidence-builder for horses, making it a popular activity.
Would you like to get started in equine agility? According to the International Horse Agility Club, you really only need a few supplies to get started. You will need a halter and a lead rope, ideally between 10 and 15 feet long so that you can gradually work your horse on a looser rope. If you opt to use treats as a reward as you train your horse, then you'll want a supply of small treats that you can feed.
As far as training your horse goes, you'll start by teaching your horse commands to move forward, backward, and to the left or right. You'll also train your horse to halt and stand still. Gradually, as your horse's training progresses, you'll introduce obstacles, and eventually, your goal will be to work your horse off of the lead.
There are many resources available to help guide you through getting started in equine agility. You'll find that there are various books and DVDs, but it's also helpful to look for a local equine agility club for in-person help and guidance.