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Flying P Ranch's Obstacle Park

Spanning 1.25 Acres, our obstacle park is home to a variety of permanent and adjustable obstacles from many different obstacle disciplines such as IMTCA, Extreme Cowboy, Equine Trail Sports, Working Equitation, Trail Trials, and more. Permanent obstacles are located outside of our arenas in a dedicated but versatile course, while many adjustable obstacles have the flexibility to be set up inside an arena or in the park, all nestled safely within our secure property. 

Why obstacles?

 

Using the principles of horsemanship to work horses over obstacles builds trust and confidence and will strengthen even the strongest of partnerships. The horse learns that he can face new and potentially unsettling situations and live if he follows our lead. We learn to trust our horse as his bravery grows. As confidence abounds, so does the partnership we share with our horses. Plus, it’s just fun!


How do obstacles challenge us?


To successfully navigate obstacles with our horses, we must improve our horsemanship across all four pillars. That means we must master our ability to influence our horses, as well as control our own, Speed, Direction, Body, and Emotions. By improving our horsemanship in these areas we become laser focused and more tuned into our horses than ever before; as a result, our timing and feel improve and we are able to navigate any obstacle in our path. 
 

What types of obstacles can I do with my horse?


There are really only four types of obstacles that we can do with our horses. There's stuff you need your horse to go 'On, Over, Under, or Through', like bridges, tunnels, and trailers. There's 'Scary Stuff To Get Past', like that mysterious killer bush on the trail or our Wacky Inflatable Tube Man, Erick The Red. Then there are things that we need to 'Interact' With, like gates and mail boxes. Finally, there are things that require us to 'Desensitize' our horses to them, like bouncy balls, spray bottles and sprinklers. To navigate each obstacle category we must utilize one of the four pillars of horsemanship: Speed, Direction, Body, and Emotional Control. Wondering which pillar you need to master to conquer each obstacle category?We go into this in depth in our Horsemanship Over Obstacles Clinic, but here's a quick overview.

  • On, Over, Under, or Through --> Speed Control

  • Get Past Scary Stuff--> Directional Control

  • Interaction --> Body Control

  • Desensitization --> Emotional Control​​

How do you determine an obstacle's difficulty?


Obstacles increase in difficulty over five levels, L1-5. Ratings are determined by how many pillars of Horsemanship (Speed, Direction, Body, and Emotional Influence) are required to complete the challenge, the category of obstacle (On Over Under Through, Get Past Scary Stuff, Interaction, and Desensitization) as well as by the obstacle itself. Please keep in mind that ratings are subjective as each horse and rider combination is unique; what may be a L1 obstacle for one, could be a L5 for another. Consider our ratings as recommendations and approach each obstacle as if it were an L5.

Our Rating Scale
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Level 1: Suitable for all levels. Tests Horse &/or Rider in 1 area.

Level 2: Challenging for novices. Tests Horse & Rider in 1 area each.

Level 3: Challenging for most. Tests Horse & Rider in 1-2 areas each.

Level 4 : Challenging for all levels. Tests Horse & Rider in 3+ areas each.

Level 5: Our most advanced obstacles; usually include a ‘spook’ factor. 

Our Obstacles

Here are just a few of our obstacles. 

We have close to 100 different obstacles and add more every time we host a clinic; if we showed them all this site would never load!

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