July 25th,  2022

By Karine Vandenborre

10 fun exercises with a tarpaulin on the ground

1️⃣ Leading your horse over it in the lead position, the partner position, and the drive position in walk and trot.

2️⃣ Circling your horse over the tarpaulin in walk, trot, and canter.

3️⃣ Asking your horse to halt and then back up on the tarpaulin.

4️⃣ Put a tarpaulin at the entrance of the field/paddock/box.  Your horse has to walk over it to be able to go into the field/paddock/box. 

5️⃣ Put 2 or more tarpaulins next to each other and practice with this “huge” tarpaulin (this is fun!!!).

6️⃣ Practice The Corridor, The Domino, pole work, The Fan & The Labyrinth,  on a tarpaulin (so put your cones/poles on the tarpaulin).

7️⃣ Spray a bit of water on the tarpaulin. When that goes well, you can put more water.

8️⃣ Teach your horse to “wait” on the tarpaulin while you walk away and come back.

9️⃣ Put the tarpaulin in the arena/field when you are doing Liberty Training and try to invite your horse to walk with you over the tarpaulin in liberty.

🔟 If your horse trusts the tarpaulin on the ground for 100%, then you can start practicing putting a tarpaulin on his body.  Then try some exercises with a tarpaulin on the ground while the horse also has a tarpaulin on his body.

All these exercises (and other obstacle training exercises) are very valuable to stimulate your horse mentally, to overcome his fears, to help him to stay calm in difficult situations, to practice to guide your horse in challenging situations, and much more.

Have fun!