Dealing with Ditches

After our ‘ditch’ troubles last Sunday I decided I really ought to practise those trec obstacles I can recreate at home so I went out and bought a couple of small trays we could school over.  The first day I just put the trays across the doorway of Galahad’s stable.  If he wanted his dinner he needed to walk over them.  I just left him to it and although he thought about it he actually went in without too much trouble.  Taking the pressure off sometimes works well for him.

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I moved on to leading Galahad through a gap between the two trays.  He did hesitate slightly but then walked through easily.  I gradually moved the trays closer together and he didn’t object at all.  I didn’t want to push it so left it at that.

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In our next session I started lunging him through the gap – mainly because he is often braver when being led than he is when ridden.  I wanted to make sure that he would go through without having me to follow.  Obviously I was still asking him to go forward but then I would be when riding him as well.

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Again he went through with no problems but when I closed the gap he was having none of it.  I put in a couple of guide poles and suddenly it all clicked.

I realise he isn’t actually stepping in the trays but the point of the ditch in trec is for the horse to get over calmly – stepping all the way over is absolutely fine!

I am so pleased with the progress Galahad has made in just a couple of days.  Now I just need to get on and ride him over!

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