This is part two of a three part series on training and tips for the Garrocha pole as used in Work Equitation. This article will be focusing on desensitizing horses to the “targets” used in Working Equitation Ease of Handling and the Speed Test.
The Ring & The Bull
The most common target seen in Working Equtation competition is the ring. In competition the ring is often attached to the “bull’s” back. The ring may be balanced on a cone that is sitting on a barrel or suspended from a pole with Velcro magnents. Sometimes there will be a series of rings suspended at different heights.
The silhouette of a bull is a very intimidating part of the obstacle for a lot of horses. Generally the bull is made out of wood and is quite flat sided. Due to the horse’s poor depth perception and the fact that the obstacle is generally completed in a straight line, a lot of horses do not see the bull well until they are close to passing by it. This causes a lot of horses to spook off the straight line the rider is trying to maintain. Working Equitation bulls come in all different shapes, colors and sizes in the competition ring. They are generally custom made, rarely do two bulls look alike. Even horses that are used to live cows are not sure about these two dimensional “bulls”. Therefore, desensitizing the horse to the bull must be accomplished before a rider can focus on the ring. Continue reading Training for the Garrocha Pole Part 2