The trail course is in operation and has proven to be a great tool to help horses learn to face scary things and trust their rider to keep them safe. It is situated in the woods next to the private road, with a bridle path around the outside and the obstacles on various trails criss-crossing the woods. You can ask your horse to go over two sets of cavaletti, do a clear round over the wagon wheel cavaletti, back through the L shaped logs, open and close a gate and mailbox, go over a 24 foot bridge, walk through a carwash (made of three tarps cut vertically into 4 inch strips that hang down flopping in the wind), over the teeter-totter, up or down the four step set of stairs, and over the single log jump, the three log jump, or the six log jump. If that all works, you can pick up rain slickers, flags, umbrellas or a bag of cans hanging off off of hooks on the trees. We attended the Trail Trials in Albany in November, 2006, and came away with an even longer list of obstacles to add to our obstacle course. We’ll keep adding obstacles as they occur to us to help our horses get braver. If you have conquered all the obstacles going forward, try doing them backwards or sideways and watch your horse come alive with interest.
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