obstacles allows the horse to gain more
confident feet placement. Equally,
leading your horse out of the obstacle
before completion keeps the exercise
diverse and avoids natural anticipation
tactics from your horse.
Stand calmly with your
horse for a few minutes
once they are confident
enough to step into the
water box. Encourage
them to smell the obstacle
and use your training stick
to rub them while you
stand at a 45 degree angle
to the horse’s shoulder.
Once your horse is meeting your pace
and respectful of your guide through all
stages of the water bridge obstacle, you
can focus on making the actual obstacle
execution pleasant to watch. Focus on
your own foot timing and try to match
walking strides with your horse through
the obstacle. Encourage your horse’s
head downward at the standstill first,
and then while walking to demonstrate
the horse’s confidence over the obstacle
and to help slow their steps.
Take your time exiting any
obstacle you work through to
reinforce proper exiting and to
teach the horse to meet your pace.
If your horse falls off the obstacle
or gets pushy, immediately back
them up and around to the
beginning of the obstacle.