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by Downunder Horsemanship

Training Tip: Broaden Your Young Horse’s Education

If you’re like a lot of people, you may not know what to do with your young horse from when you weaned him until he’s ready to start under saddle. You’ve taught your foal all of the exercises in the Foal Training Series, and now you’re not sure what more you can do with him before he’s ready to start under saddle.

Here’s the good news: There are a lot of things you can do with your yearlings to help develop their skills and build their confidence. The key is giving them a purpose to move their feet forwards, backwards, left and right. All of the exercises you’ve taught your young horse from the Foal Training Series can be put into practice over obstacles.

Think of an obstacle course like a big playground for your horses. It keeps things interesting for them, keeps them guessing about what you’re going to ask them to do and makes them responsible for their feet. Whenever you give a horse a purpose, they enjoy their jobs so much more.

While it’s certainly nice to have a professionally built obstacle course to use, you don’t need anything as fancy as the obstacle course I have here at the ranch. You can make obstacles out of materials you have around your barn and accomplish the same thing. The key is making sure whatever materials you use are safe and won’t put your horse in any danger.