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PRACTICAL HORSEMANSHIP (NEW) -Guidelines.


The new practical horsemanship test has been designed to put the emphasis on practical applications and situations, rather than a dressage based test.
The idea is to show that the horse can be handled safely in a variety of challenging situations, and is not dependent on the horse’s athletic performance.
All competitors must show the compulsory elements, and then choose 5 of the optional elements. These are divided into 3 sections, and no more than 3 elements may be shown from any one section.


IMPORTANT NOTICE:
only choose elements that you have already practiced and that your horse can perform safely. Participation in this class is at your own risk, and neither Interdressage nor Kate Farmer/Thinking Horse accept any liability for damages, accidents or injuries incurred in connection with these tasks.
Compulsory elements and set marks: Max. possible marks
Halt and salute at beginning and/or end 10
Walk and trot led from the left and the right 15
Presentation (including turnout,
general impression, harmony between
horse and handler) 15


Maximum time allowed 4 mins 30 secs. Penalties of 1 point per 30 seconds will be deducted from the final score.


OPTIONAL ELEMENTS:

Advanced section: (each element carries a maximum of 20 marks)
Trailer loading and unloading (unassisted)
The horse should enter the trailer willingly, calmly and confidently either led by the handler or being sent in ahead of the handler. The horse should stand quietly while the handler fixes the back bar, or the side bars if you have a large, side loading trailer. To unload, the handler should open the back bar and ask the horse to back out, either by going to the head and
guiding the horse out, or from outside the trailer using the tail and/or lead rope. The handler should be able to do this all unassisted by a second person.


!!!! SAFETY NOTES:!!!!

1) NEVER TIE THE HORSE UP IN THE TRAILER UNTIL THE BACK BAR IS CLOSED (OR THE SIDE BARS IN A SIDE LOADING TRAILER). ALWAYS UNTIE THE HORSE BEFORE OPENING THE BACK BAR TO UNLOAD.
2) ALWAYS HITCH THE TRAILER TO A CAR, OR PUT DOWN AND FIX THE STABILISING STANDS BEFORE LOADING
3) WHEN UNLOADING FROM OUTSIDE THE TRAILER, STAND ON THE GROUND, NEXT TO THE RAMP. NEVER STAND DIRECTLY BEHIND THE HORSE.
Backing through 5 cones (serpentine)
Handler should back the horse through a line of 5 cones, set an appropriate distance apart for the size and stride of the horse. The backing should be smooth and willing, with correct diagonals and equal reach with fore- and hind legs in each diagonal pair. Buckets or other markers may be used if you do not have cones.
Pulling a plastic bag full of cans (left and right)
Handler to lead horse from the left and right while dragging a plastic bag full of cans, or plastic bottles and pebbles. The bag should trail on the ground, the idea being to demonstrate that the horse is not bothered by noise or movement in its peripheral field of vision.


Umbrella from left and right
.
Handler to lead the horse from left and right holding an open umbrella, to show that the horse is not concerned about large objects above its eyeline. The umbrella should be opened within the horse’s field of vision on each side, but can be opened close to the ground.
Stand then follow.
Horse to stand and wait while the handler walks around the horse at a distance of at least 5 paces away from the horse, and then come to the handler on command. (The lead rope may detached from the halter, looped over the horse’s neck or otherwise safely arranged so that the horse does not step on it.)
Rub all over with plastic bag.
Using a standard, supermarket plastic bag, rub the horse all over on both sides, including the legs and belly.
Intermediate section: (each element carries a maximum of 15 marks)
Backing around a corner.
Set up a right angle of poles (4 poles making a 90° corridor) and back the horse through this. Handler may choose the direction of the turn and the side from which they cue the horse.
Handler pulling a wheelie bin.
Handler should lead the horse while pulling an empty wheelie bin for a distance of at least 15 metres/yards. Handler may choose from which side to do this.
Picking up foot from opposite side
Pick up the left hoof from the right hand side of the horse, and vice versa. For maximum points this would be shown for all 4 feet.
Walking over a bridge.
Lead the horse over a raised surface of a different texture and resonance to the surrounding ground. All 4 feet should step confidently onto the “bridge”. It need not be high, but must be sturdy to be safe. A think plank of wood would do, as long as it is substantial enough to safely take the horse’s weight.
Umbrella (one side only).
As in the advanced section, but shown only on the horse’s preferred side.
Leading through a simple maze in each direction, once led from the left, once from the right
The maze should be made of poles set about 1 meter (just over 3 feet) apart, to include 2 left hand turns, and two right hand turns, e.g.:
| _______
| | | ____ |
| |___ | | | |
| ______ | | |
|
Both horse and handler should stay within the maze.
Stand while handler circles the horse.
Horse to stand and wait while the handler walks a complete circle around the horse, at a distance of at least 5 paces. (The lead rope may be used to “ground tie” or looped over the horse’s neck while the handler walks around.)
Basic section: (each element carries a maximum of 10 marks)
Backing straight between poles.
Place two parallel poles on the ground, approximately 90 cm (3 feet) apart, and back the horse straight between them.
Picking up feet with a rope.
There’s a description of how to do this as a part of the “picking up the feet” tip on the Thinking Horse website http://www.thinkinghorse.org/news/105-quick-tips-1-picking-up-feet


The idea is to show that the horse is not upset by something around its legs, and will give to pressure. The practical element is that if the horse gives to the pressure of the rope, it is less likely to panic if its feet get caught up in anything (reins, bits of fence etc) by accident, thus reducing the chances of injury.
Handler pulling a tyre.
Put a rope around an old tyre, and pull it behind you while leading the horse. This is similar to the wheelie bin and plastic bag of cans, but the tyre is less spooky and it is smaller and quieter. (If you don’t have a tyre, any Kwik Fit or similar establishment should be happy to give you as many worn out tyres as you can cope with before you can say “Kwik Fit fitter”!)
Walking over a tarpaulin.
Use a thick, sturdy tarpaulin or plastic sheet, especially if your horse wears shoes. The point is that the horse should step confidently onto an unfamiliar surface. All 4 feet should step onto the tarpaulin.
Leading through a simple maze.
The maze should be made of poles set about 1 meter (just over 3 feet) apart, to include 2 left hand turns, and two right hand turns, e.g.:
| _______
| | | ____ |
| |___ | | | |
| ______ | | |
|
Both horse and handler should stay within the maze.
Stand while handler leaves.
Horse to stand and wait while the handler walks 5 paces away from the horse, and then returns. (The lead rope may be used to “ground tie” or looped over the horse’s neck while the handler leaves and returns.)
**Filming tips:
If you choose the trailer element, this may be filmed separately if it is not practical to park a trailer on your arena. The loading and unloading must be continuous.
It is not necessary for the camera person to stay at C. They may follow you to each element, but please ask them to stand still and keep the camera as still as possible while you are performing it to allow the judge to see the detail of the exercise. Ask them to make sure that horse, handler and the element itself are in the shot at all times.
Please film at the highest definition possible, and make sure the light is suitable and the picture clear. In