WE 101 Maneability Trial

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This course is designed to give a full explanation of the obstacles and judging criteria to properly execute the obstacles at all levels. This course includes video, quizzes, diagrams and known techniques.

Lessons

#1 Wooden Bridge

Author: Randy Byers

The obstacle consists of a bridge comprised of planks over which the animal must walk. The obstacle should measure at least 4 m x 1.5 m, with its highest part being at least 20 cms above the ground. The surface must not be slippery. The obstacle should be made out of reasonably solid material and in such a manner as not to endanger either horse or rider.

#2 Figure 8 Between Drums

Author: Randy ByersComplexity: Standard

This obstacle was added to WE competitions to test the horse’s agility, training and obedience. Historically speaking, we can surmise that this obstacle could represent horseman maneuvering around different types of obstacles in the courtyard, such as barrels, rocks, stumps and other farm machinery in order to move farm animals from one place to the other.

#3 Pen

Author: Randy Byers

Some of the obstacles in Working Equitation competitions represent actual practical situations where horses were used to preform a task, but other obstacles are set up to test the submission, agility, bravery, and skills of European horseman. This obstacle comes from a long heritage and cultural herding of young farm animals like ducks, geese, pigs, goats, sheep, etc. into small pens to be sorted out for protection, sales, or slaughter. We find that in most other cultures there has always been some type of collection or herding farm animals into some type of holding pen regardless of the reason. Some cultures used horses, and others may have done it on foot.

#4 Earthenware Jug

Author: Randy Byers

Lets not lose sight what the practical application and purposes for the WE obstacles. Each of the obstacles represent a measurement or how to quantify the ability, talent, skills, obedience, utility, partnership, and compliance of the horse and rider. It is a lot of hard work killing your enemies with the sword, gun, or running bulls back to the barn. It is really hard to take a drink of water, wine, or beer out in the field if your horse will not stand still to take that drink.

#5 Remove Pole From Drum

Author: Randy Byers

This obstacle can be used as a stand alone obstacle or also can be used in association of the bull. The obstacle consists of a 2.5-3 metre pole, normally called Garrocha or Vara, standing in a barrel or container, that should be picked up with the rider’s free hand. At higher levels this is done in canter and it is optional to make a small circle around the drum when picking up the pole, which will give a higher score if executed correctly.

#6 Skewer the Ring with Pole

Author: Randy ByersComplexity: Standard

This obstacle represents the history of the bull in a competitive environment. You will learn ways to desensitize your horse to this obstacle as well learn techniques that professionals use to succeed.

#7 Replacing Pole in the Drum

Author: Randy Byers

The rider should approach the barrel and The pole is deposited with the butt end down in the barrel. The rider may circle the barrel one revolution while depositing the pole without stopping and without the horse appearing to take any notice. The horse should advance at a steady gait and not demonstrate any unusual reaction to the appearance of the barrel or the rider’s depositing of the pole.

#8 Switch a Glass from one Pole to Another

Author: Randy ByersComplexity: Easy

Can you picture yourself working on a cattle ranch back in the old days? What would you want to do after a long hard day of fighting bad guys or working cattle? Yes! Celebrate with your buddies with a nice cold beverage. There were times you needed to hand your buddy a beer or water, maybe you needed to move your horse around the herd to pass the beverage. Can you imagine how hard to pass beer back and forth without spilling it, if your horse was jigging or moving too much? This obstacle represents that camaraderie.

#9 Bell at the end of Corridor Bell

Author: Randy ByersComplexity: Standard

This obstacle was added to WE competition to test the horse’s agility, training and obedience. Historically speaking, we can surmise that this obstacle could represent horsemen maneuvering around different types of obstacles in the courtyard, such as barrels, rocks, stumps and other farm machinery in order to move farm animals from one place to the other.

#10 Backing up in L

Author: Randy ByersComplexity: Standard

This obstacle was added to WE competition to test the horse’s agility, training and obedience. Historically speaking, we can surmise that this obstacle could represent horsemen maneuvering around different types of obstacles in the courtyard, such as barrels, rocks, stumps and other farm machinery in order to move farm animals from one place to the other.

#11 Rounding Several Posts or Obstacles

Author: Randy ByersComplexity: Easy

Can you picture yourself working on a cattle ranch back in the old days? What would you want to do after a long hard day of fighting bad guys or working cattle? Yes! Celebrate with your buddies with a nice cold beverage. There were times you needed to hand your buddy a beer or water, maybe you needed to move your horse around the herd to pass the beverage. Can you imagine how hard to pass beer back and forth without spilling it, if your horse was jigging or moving too much? This obstacle represents that camaraderie.

#12 Slalom Between post

Author: Randy ByersComplexity: Hard

Flying changes every few strides will showcase your foundation training, or show off all your flaws. This obstacle requires that you have a solid foundation in the basic lateral work like: haunches-in, leg-yields, half-passes, shoulder-in, etc. There are a lot of things that can go wrong all in one obstacle. The key to being successful with this obstacle is having mastery over shoulders, haunches, speed and directional control.

#13 Slalom Between Parallel Posts

Author: Randy ByersComplexity: Hard

Generally speaking this obstacle is very similar to the single-pole slalom except that we add a second row for added complexity. This obstacle consists of a minimum of six 2 meters (6.5 ft) high poles, each fixed to an outside base that is not secured to the ground. For lower levels the poles are laid out in two staggered parallel lines, with a distance of 7.5 meters (~25 ft) between the rows. The poles on each parallel line are 7.5 meters (25 ft) apart. For upper levels, the poles are 6 meters apart.

#14 Gate

Author: Randy ByersComplexity: Standard

Historically speaking there are no surprises where or why this obstacle is included with Working Equitation. Most if not all cultures had horseman that needed to pass through different fields and work areas to tend to their responsibilities and duties. Opening gates a must for daily activities.

#15 Jump Over Bales of Straw

Author: Randy ByersComplexity: Standard

This article focuses on key ideas to create a solid foundation and offer a positive introduction to jumping with your horse. We will not concentrate on the quality of the horse’s jumping style, but rather on the safety and presentation of starting your horse over low Working Equitation jumps and your ability to go with him. It is our responsibility to always practice good horsemanship and realize that each horse has an individual learning style. Horses have a natural ability to jump – if something in their environment gets in their way and they need to get to the other side, they will jump it.

#16 Sidestepping Over a Log(s)

Author: Randy ByersComplexity: Hard

There are two types of WE obstacles. One type of obstacle represents the heritage or an actual challenge or task in the field. Other types of obstacle like this one was added to WE competitions to test overall submission, precision and partnership with horse and rider. This obstacle demonstrates a huge amount of control of the haunches and shoulders. If you have mastery over these two parts of the horse, there is not much else you can’t do without a little practice.

#17 Riding Through a Water-filled Ditch

Author: Randy ByersComplexity: Standard

Field workers and cattle workers had to move cattle in every weather conditions, snow, rain, sleet, etc. A good well rounded working equitation horse should not fear walking through rivers, creaks, streams, or puddles. This obstacle represents a competitional trial to test the horse’s bravery, obedience and willingness to please.

#18 Bank

Author: Randy Byers

This obstacle is similar to a show jumping or eventing obstacle. Due to the nature of this obstacle and the difficulty in constructing it, the bank obstacle is rarely used. Regardless of whether it is used, you should always be prepared to execute this obstacle when asked to do so. It consists of a ramp leading to a two-meter platform from which the horse has to jump or drop down. It is normally around sixty centimeters high. Again the horse should approach the drop with confidence and not hesitate.

#19 Drums

Author: Randy ByersComplexity: Hard

This obstacle was added to WE competition to test the horse’s agility, training and obedience. Historically speaking, we can only surmise this obstacle could represent a horseman maneuvering his or her mount around different types of obstacles in the courtyard or pastures, such as barrels, rocks, stumps and other farm machinery, in order to move farm animals from one place to the other.