Since 2009 Kimberly Garvis has come to Winsong Farm to present Working Equitation Clinics. We now have a permanent outdoor obstacle course. We also have matching obstacles that we can set up in the indoor arena.
Working Equitation attracted me because of the harmony between horse and rider. With no obvious cues the team goes through an obstacle course. This is a delight to watch. Another plus is the rules for the obstacles. Each element is precisely described in the rule book. There are no surprises when you travel to a competition. The elements are always the same dimensions. The “home court advantage” is greatly reduced!
Ellen Cameron came to Winsong Farm and photographed several of our horses doing the obstacles.
Row 1 Left: Here’s Zelador walking forwards through the “L”. At the end he halts and the rider rings the bell. The next step is to back through the “L”. Right: Sophie Lapin riding Kye sideways over the pole. At the highest level of competition the World Champion, Oxidado, did a canter full-pass for this obstacle.
Row 2 Left: Zelador is doing the slalom. The first pole is on the horse’s right side. Right: Spring Song with the rider placing the garrocha pole and the ring in the barrel.
Row 3 Left: Sophie Kalpin is riding Kye around the pen. The “animal” in the middle is a very large toy bunny. In competitions there are live animals in the pen, often baby chicks or ducks. At one competition Kimberly rode around an adult turkey. Right: Spring Song on the bridge.
Row 4 Left: Zelador understands the garrocha pole routine perfectly. He’s all business as the rider heads for the ring. Right: Zelador is at the gate obstacle. A cloth or rope gate is quite common at a competition because erecting a wooden gate can be very time-consuming, costly and create holes in the ground for sturdy posts. Often the posts are only needed for the event and have to be removed afterwards. All of these factors led to the simpler cloth/rope construction.