Friday, October 16, 2009

Two barrels and a pole

Here's a trail class idea for everyone showing standing or walking models. I saw this obstacle at a recent Aurora Horsemen's Association show, and I knew immediately that it would be a perfect fit for the model show ring. It's more interesting than ground poles but is no harder to set up. All you need is a model, a Western tack set, a doll, two barrels (painted soup cans work fine!) and a pole.

Horse and rider begin the obstacle by riding up to the first barrel and halting.
The rider reaches down and picks up the end of the pole.
He then asks his horse to move forward into a walk.
The opposite end of the pole remains on the other horse and rider make a circle around the entire obstacle.

Still circling.
Almost there!
When horse and rider reach the starting point, the horse halts and the rider returns the pole to its original position.
Not everyone completed this obstacle as easily as the pretty palomino. A lot of the horses got a bit spooky and had moments that looked like this:
Several riders made the mistake of holding the pole too close to the middle. Invariably they got stuck part way around the obstacle.
Probably not the moment you want to set up in the live show ring!
As always, feel free to use my pictures for live show documentation--just be sure to send me a picture of your set up!


  1. What a great idea! Nice, instructive photos.

    I make my dressage rides open and close gates and fences, move over so I can hang up my jacket, etc. I figure all around practical is always good.

    This is making me think of some practical exercises for off the leg engagement!

    Most likely can't do the wooden pole (injury potential on someone else's horse) but my mind is busy substituting...

  2. Hi Jane,

    I've been reading your blog for a while and just added it to my blog list today. Didn't expect you to find me quite that quickly, though!

    I'm pretty sure the pole was really PVC pipe. It looked hollow and pretty lightweight. A couple people dropped it and it didn't land with a big thud!

    Funny to have my model horse blog give other people real horse ideas :)

  3. I love this obstacle. I can't wait to get moved so I can unpack the models and tack and start photographing again.

  4. Braymere, it was a serendipitous thing, I forget to check my behind the scenes blog-ish stuff. I happened to look at it today, and there you were. So I came to say hi, and got some very good ideas and a nice reminder. Thanks again.

    Glad you've been visiting, be sure you snag some donuts and coffee while you're there! (Virtual, so calorie free!)