All obstacle workshops carry 15 points each.

Workshop

Name - Obstacles Podium 1.
Status - Available - Open


Required - 1 Podium - a strong flat topped box, with a non slip surface.
Height approximate 25cm - not greater than 35cm - width and length approximate 1m


Task.
A. Handler to halt the equine in front of the podium. They must then step up onto the podium and stand facing their equine. They should then step down backwards off the podium, still facing their equine.  Then ask the equine to step up, front feet only and show immobility. the handler must then step up, one foot only and ask the equine to gently step back and down, both should then circle away.
B. Remaining in the partnership leading position, the handler to lead the equine up and on to the podium, front feet only, show immobility and to be asked to step back and gently down, and circle away.
C. Remaining in the partnership leading position, the handler to lead the equine up and on to the podium, show immobility and then be lead forwards, over and off of the podium.
Halt, reward and thank your equine, you have finished !

 
Practice tips.
Be patient and allow the equine time to relate to the podium in a positive way.
Allow the equine to explore and touch with his nose and feet first.
Only "ask" from a place of stillness and relaxation.
Stand on the podium and show the equine it is a safe place to be.
Always ask for immobility and stepping down backwards first and only when confident in doing this, ask the equine to walk over it. Some less confident equines will use it like a spring board to come off it and frighten themselves.
Make sure if they stand on an edge that you counter balance it with your foot.
Judges view.
I am looking for a partnership that is working together and showing a constant communication exchange.
I want to see the equine look at and acknowledge the podium and to see that the handler is aware of this happening.
"Immobility" should appear to be relaxed and calm.

Workshop

Name - Obstacles 2. Tarpaulin
Status -  Available - Open.
Required - 1 Tarpaulin approx 1.5 - 2x equines length
Poles or cones for weighting it down.
Task.
A. Both handler and equine to walk over the Tarp together, maintaining the partnership leading position, showing a relaxed rope. Circle away.
B. Handler to "send" the equine over the Tarp, maintaining the partnership leading position, showing a relaxed rope. Circle away.
C. Both handler and equine to step onto the Tarp together, halt 4 seconds and proceed.
Halt, reward your equine, you have finished.

Practice tips.
Nose before feet. Allow the equine to touch and explore the Tarp with his nose, let him work out what it is.
Step onto it yourself, make some noise with your feet, show him it's safe.
Position yourself in the safe leading position, in front and to the side, and ask your equine to join you, don't hurry him.
Remember to use your breathing to slow him down.
Ask on an "in" breath and exhale slowly and audibly as he crosses the Tarp.

 
Judges view.
 
I am looking for a partnership that is working together, showing a clear communication exchange.
Both equine and handler should appear relaxed, confident and calm.

Workshop.

Name - Obstacles 3. S-Bend
Status -  Available - Open
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Required - see below
6 poles.
Task.
At the entrance to the S-Bend, halt.
Step in front of and face your equine, try to make the distance at least one arms length away.
Throughout this exercise you are required to walk backwards through the obstacle.
Your body position in front of your equine should be grounded and relaxed, feel your feet on the ground, keep your knees soft, your energy should be saying "I'm here, don't push through me"
When asking your equine to proceed forwards, incline the lower half of your body back and away from your equine, your energy is "drawing" your equine towards you, if he starts to rush, stand a little taller and "push" your energy back towards him.
There is no need to rush through this obstacle, it is the quality of the turns that is important.
Watch your equines feet, in doing so you will automatically make the adjustments to his body to negotiate the turns successfully.
You will want to see him stepping under and across and not shuffling from side to side.
Younger and older equines may have some difficulty, particularly on one side, it may be helpful to "warm" them up first, by asking for small tight turns, encouraging then to step under and across.
Try to remain mindful of the task, remember to breathe, breathe in and fill your lungs and exhale slowly, before your begin.
At the exit halt - "look and see" your equine, smile at him, let him feel your thoughts of gratitude.
Regain the partnership leading position, breathe in and exhale you have finished.

 

Practice tips.
This exercise is about control, not the control of the equine, but the control of your own thoughts, feelings and actions and how they influence the conversation between the two of you.
Break this exercise into incremental steps, first 2 poles, then 3 and 4 etc. 
You want your equine to feel calm and confident with the poles, for some they feel "trapped" in the obstacle and want to get "out" so take your time.

Judges view. 
I'm looking to see a handler "in charge" of herself. This obstacle demands you to be mindful of the task.
This obstacle particularly is about the asking and not the doing.
I want to see a constant backwards and forwards of conversation between the two partners.
A relaxed contact is important, take your time, I don't want to see you rushing through the turns.