IMAGINATION AND INSPIRATION
There are three L’s that can help when you get stuck for ideas for fun when tasking your horse;
LOOK around you, think LATERALLY and be LOGICAL if your lateral thinking gets stuck.
LOOK: What do you see around you? Flat pasture, trees, banks, ditches, hills, dams, fences, creeks, roads or tracks, gates, sheds/stable, horse trailer (if you’re lucky) – all available obstacles to play with.
Then there’s some additional items generally found around horsey places; drums, poles, logs, cavaletti, tyres, tarps to name a few.
Add traffic cones, electric fence posts, wooden reels and pallets, hoops, balls, bags, umbrellas, rain coats, balloons or wine cask bladders, streamers, pool noodles, solid pallets or stands built for horses, chairs etc. and you have a huge variety of tasks you can develop with a little imagination.
LATERAL THINKING: Let your mind become child-like again, be creative, let it wander off track and ask yourself “now I wonder what if..”. Lateral thinking is a learned skill which gets better with practice. Brainstorming with others, watching what others do and learning to think like a horse all help and if all else fails, be….
LOGICAL: There are; 6 directions your horse can move in (forwards, backwards, right, left, up & down), 4 gaits (stand, walk, trot, canter), different lengths of ropes (6′, 12′, 22′ and 45′ are common), training stick(s), string, flag, 1 or 2 reins – how many more combinations of things do you want?
Like one of those ‘wonderword’ puzzles, try writing down all the different ways you can combine any number of the above ingredients with an obstacle to make a task. You’ll be surprised at how laterally you learn to think in the process of being logical.
Here are some ideas to help you get the hang of it.