S - Bend
Lets get this right !
3 different lengths - as above.
Handler and equine to halt at the entrance.
Handler to step in front, and face the equine.
Take a moment to connect, breathe, get those shoulders down and relax.
Proceed to negotiate the obstacle.
Throughout this obstacle the handler must remain facing the equine and walking backwards.
To successfully negotiate the obstacle without either the equine/handler touching or stepping out of the poles.
The handler should remain soft and relaxed throughout, creating a relaxed rope contact with the equine.
The handler should remain focused throughout, helping the equine to focus and successfully negotiate the turns.
This is an exercise in "energy" control.
The position of the handler in front of the equine helps the equine to stay focussed.
The handler should "push" the energy back towards the equine if he is trying to rush, and draw the energy back to encourage him forward.
Feel your feet and move with soft knees.
Good timing from the handler is essential.
The judges point of view.
I am looking to see a partnership that is focused and working together.
The handler being able to remain focussed herself and able to keep the equines attention and focus.
The overall appearance should look relaxed and fluent.
I am looking for quality in the turns, with equine stepping under himself and not shuffling from side to side ( this may take some practice, especially with an older horse, it is not athleticism that is required, just correct movement.)
The equine should not look as though he is pushing through the handler and trying to rush.
Partnership is priority, the handler asking, the equine responding, mutual communication.