Monday, November 16, 2015

Fun and games

A lot of barns do No Stirrup November.  Trainer A is a big fan, as we all know.  But there are other themes to get us through the winter:

No Stirrup November
Dressage December
Jumping January
Football February

Three of those are easy to understand, the fourth is a bit harder.  Football February is the bomb proofing month.  It's a time for walking over tarps, ducking under pool noodles, and tip toeing across bridges.  The fun culminates in a game of horse soccer.  February is often the hardest month in New Hampshire since the weather has been foul for months, the ground is rock hard, and storms are frequent.  We can't ride anywhere except the indoor and even turn out can get dicey if we get hit by bad storms.  It's all about fun, different, and trying to not get our shaggy beasts too sweaty.

Since I'm married to the engineer, I'm helping to get the obstacles together.  I want Theo to be so numb to odd things by the end of that month,  he won't bat an eyelash at any judge's booth he encounters.  I've been instructed by the hubby to get a list of things together and provide plans.  So far I'm looking at:

Pool noodle pass through

 Arch with stuff hanging down (pool noodles, strips of plastic, tinsel, whatever)

A bridge with a small tipping point

A rope gate

And, of course, the usual array of tarps, bags, balloons, barrels, cones, and poles to make life just terrifying

I'd like to start getting tires involved, but they're heavy and a pain to move around.  I'll wait till spring.  Both Theo and the opinionated pony had trouble getting over tires at the three phase, so I think that's something they need to see more of.

Anyone have a favorite obstacle course type exercise I should add to the list?  Not that I think all of the horses will get through all of this, but I'm also not expecting to put everything away in March and never look at it again.  Poor Theo is well acquainted with the blue tarp and flat 'bridge' we have already.


  1. that sounds like fun to do. I was thinking of doing in the spring. :)

  2. Haha and this is why I love my OTTB. As long as I don't tell him judges and show decorations are scary, he thinks it's just a normal part of slow-circle-race day. Good luck with your obstacles!

  3. ooooh fun! we host a couple trail challenge clinics at my farm (tho i've never participated) and they usually add balloons and strollers and bicycles to the mix too. sppoooooky!

  4. What about a milk jug (or other similar thing) with rocks/sand/weight in it tied to a long rope to drag around?