Trivia Challenge: What’s Your ‘Obstacle IQ’?

Answer the questions, then check at bottom for the key. For more fun and educational information about horses and horsemanship, read H&R’s ‘The Ride’ newsletter. (Not getting it? Sign up below.)

1. The easiest way to train your horse to cross water is to…

A) follow the lead of a seasoned horse that doesn’t hesitate at water.

B) dismount and calmly lead your horse through (wear old boots!).

C) keep him oriented toward the stream and just kick until he complies.

2. For your horse, obstacle work is like…

A) a safeguard against boredom.

B) cross-training at the gym.

C) both A and B.

3. True or false: Though it helps your horse, obstacle work can undermine your equitation in the saddle.

T / F

4. What event combines obstacle work (gates, bridges, L-backthroughs, more) with dressage and timed runs?

A) equicaching

B) working equitation

C) trail trials

HOW’D YOU DO? (Answers below.)

1. A is correct. The easiest way is to enlist the help of an experienced friend with a seasoned horse for your horse to follow. Alternatively, you can ride back and forth at the water’s edge, with turns that get you closer and closer until your horse’s feet start touching the water. Be patient and give your horse time to discover the water won’t hurt him.

2. C is correct. Obstacle work keeps your horse’s mind fresh and his body conditioned with movements and maneuvers not found in ordinary arena work.

3. F is correct. Navigating your way through obstacles can actually improve your feel as you learn to sense where your horse’s various body parts are at any given moment. And highly developed feel is what makes a truly polished rider.

4. B is correct. Working equitation combines all these elements and more.[DON’T BELIEVE US? Check out the sport of working equitation here.]

[LEARN MORE about the benefits of obstacle work for you and your horse.] 

[LEVEL UP! Train your horse over real-world trail obstacles.]

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