In this article, we present you the ultimate mini-tests (obstacles) of trust which every horse and rider would benefit from. They are simple, interesting, and probably they’re on every horseman’s wishlist, or they are going to be after the following list of 9 Trail Obstacles.
1. A Killer Bridge
Due to sounds, reverberations, and invisible bridge trolls, bridges can be sensory and emotional explosions for horses. There are two things that make a good bridge: structural integrity and stickability. Probably, one of the main shortages that a homemade bridge has is a slippery top surface. This will only make you and your horse nervous, and it can also cause a legitimate accident. In order to avoid that, you should add a layer of acrylic grip coating to your bridge. This will allow better grip and also protect your magnificent creation from the elements.
2. Balloon Obstacle
This balloon obstacle is quite easy and cheap to prepare. All you need is a 3×3 piece of plywood, some duct tape, and a bulk bag of balloons. This obstacle will help you to test your horse’s hearing. It is important not to blow the balloons up too full. You will need them to stay small and close together so that your horse can’t wedge between balloons and skip all the fun.
3. The Barrel Machine
This one takes a bit more construction, but in the end, it totally pays off. The top barrel allows your horse to push it with his chest and protrudes enough that they won’t step on the mechanism as they go forward. This will help to build the confidence between the two of you.
4. The Spider Jump
This is short enough for your horse to step over but yet terrifying enough that your horse will never be afraid of a plastic bag ever again. Also, they are quite easy to be found. You can find them at your local pool supply store or ranch store.
5. “Car wash” obstacle
You can make your own “car wash” obstacle with a tarp, some soft wonky objects, an industrial fan, and some carefully adjusted corral panels.
6. Water obstacle
Sturdy footing and multiple entrances and exits that accommodate many levels of horse and rider experience.
7. Stump obstacle
This obstacle is a great introduction for a young horse on the concept of straightness, willingness, and trust. At first, your horse will noodle around to the left and right, looking for the easiest way out. But soon, your horse will learn to take a path with more resistance.
This is another invention using stuff you probably already have around. It will test your horse’s space bubble, water bubble, and jump bubble all at once.
9. Pool Noodles
This is cheap, colorful, and versatile. You will both have a good time!