We had a great Agility Clinic yesterday. We set up a course of just four obstacles and offered places to ridden and non-ridden partnerships. Each group was of four or five equines with their humans in a session which lasted for about an hour. Within that time we were able to check in with each partnership to understand how much agility experience they each had, how long the partners had been together, how much confidence each had in the other and how horses and humans were feeling and communicating on the day.
We checked out how each partnership reacted to every obstacle in turn, adjusting the "difficulty" according to what each horse and human needed at the time. For example, some pairs dealt with the tarp very easily at about one horse's pace width and so we extended it to more than double for the next level up, and then added trotting and a halt for the next level. Some pairs struggled with the concept of walking over the tarp at all and so we halved the distance until they were relaxed and then gradually built it back up again.
Every partnership had the opportunity and time to work on any obstacle that was causing tension, and every horse and human left the session having made improvements in their trust and confidence.
We finished off with a marked course of all four obstacles which everyone was able to complete to a really good standard - and smiles all round!
The wonderful ladies kept us very well refreshed with lots of hot drinks (as well as some other goodies!!!) and so despite the cold and rain we had a really rewarding day too! Its so good to see the differences that we can help to make!
One lady said, "Thank you both for your time, we all enjoyed it and the ponies are going to bed with brain ache tonight for sure!"
Thank-you so much for having us, and for your brilliant participation! Let's get another date in the diary soon.