Guest Author - Kim Wende
Horse Agility is an unmounted equine sport that rewards relationship and communication while navigating different obstacles on the ground. It is great for anyone who can't or doesn't want to ride, but it is also for those who do ride too.
This sport is also great to help those who have been in a riding accident to get their nerve back and possibly ride again.
Any horse can do horse agility from miniatures to draft horses and yes even mules and donkeys. It is great for horses that are too small to be ridden, young horses and horses that can't be ridden for physical reasons.
You will find that horse agility takes your horsemanship to a new level. When competing you start online through the obstacle course and then as your progress you can do the course at liberty. For those that are new liberty this is where your horse has no halter or lead and they stay with you through the course.
Horse agility improves communication and builds a solid relationship. It also improves the horses confidence and prepares young horses to be ridden. During the winter it is something you can do to keep your horse's mentally sharp especially on the days you can't ride.
You don't need any fancy tack as you will only need a halter and lead. You also don't have to have a horse that is perfectly groomed.
For the handler horse agility helps develop your leadership and communication skills. It also helps develop your confidence in handling the horse and it really helps you get clear with your body language. Developing the skills on the ground will transfer to when you are in the saddle.
Although some think that horse agility is only for those who are afraid to ride which may be true, but there are those who do ride and choose to do this because of the benefits received by both horse and rider.
There is no shame for those who have a fear of riding as horse agility gives them a purpose it is fun and for some it gives them their life back with horses. Some of those individuals gain enough confidence to start riding again! It does not matter if you ride or not horse agility creates a rock solid partnership that will last a lifetime!