Sweet Grass Obstacle Club

Rookie Central

Are you interested in obstacle work but don't know where to start? What to do? How to use obstacles to improve your horse and horsemanship? Save the dates - the first Saturday of May, June, July, August, September and October 2024 - for the inaugural season of the Sweet Grass Obstacle Club. It's a place for you and your horse to start or continue your obstacle journey and find out why this sport has stood the test of time. Whether you want to just enjoy recreational obstacle work and training or have a goal to compete, this is the place to start. Or re-start!

The 2024 Sweet Grass Obstacle Club happens on the first Saturday of every month for six months, May through October.

May 4
June 1
July 6
Aug 3
Sept 7
Oct 5

To encourage people to bring out their horses to introduce them to obstacles and obstacle work on a regular basis with a longer-term seasonal goal. 
To create a network of like-minded horsemen who can meet, mingle and mentor each other.
To enjoy a safe place with your horse.

Sweet Grass Farm, Orton, ON. We have both indoor and outdoor arenas and plenty of parking, all on a quiet, relaxed farm.

All horses great and small are welcome. All horsemen and horses from novice to experienced – some may be starting out, some may be looking to up their game. Western, English, or in hand. Competitive or recreational riders/handlers. No dogs please.

Each Saturday Club Meeting will run from 10 through 2. Arrive by 10, settle in.
Saddle up or work in hand, wherever you’re at is where you begin.
From 10:30 to noon, we’ll go through the lesson(s) of the day. These can be from my suggestions or from your requests, tailored to the group.
At noon, we’ll break for lunch (bring your own picnic) or continue to play on the obstacle and mingle until 2. I will be there to answer your questions. Come and go as you please depending on your personal goals.

RSVP required - limit of 6 horses per date, rain or shine. 
OE personal liability or equivalent required. 
Cost is $60 + HST = $67.80 per date, payable in advance by e-transfer. If you need to cancel you can have a credit or refund if you give 24 hours’ notice. No refund for shorter notice or no shows. Grooms are free; auditors are $15 at the door.

Some sample topics or bring your questions:
1. Small talk - introducing obstacles as opportunities for having a conversation with your horse. You’ll spend time finding out which obstacles your horse likes and which ones he has questions about and how he’s showing you the difference.
2. Things to go over, things to go through. How to guide your horse instead of micromanaging over bridges or through a squeeze.
3. Your part of the bargain: skills you could develop to help you and your horse get through obstacles. 
4. Using obstacles to develop your horse’s education such as serpentines and pole work or with simulations such as loading and unloading from a simulated trailer.
5. Working off your job horse. Typical job type obstacles such as the gate, carry, or drag.
6. Setting up safe obstacles at home. Learn how to set up some day-to-day obstacle opportunities without breaking the bank or having them getting in the way.
7. Competition strategies. Refining some elements of execution to help strut your stuff. 
8. The mounting block; mounting and dismounting. 
9. Handy ground work: the send, ground tie, working both sides, both ends of your horse.


photo credit Sutherland Images/Anne Lorimer/Karen Dallimore

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