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Digital Subscriptions > Young Rider > Nov/Dec 2018 > Overcoming Obstacles

Overcoming Obstacles

Trainer Jessica Dabkowski helps you calmly approach new obstacles that your horse may find spooky

Will your horse follow your guidance and approach any new obstacle, or does he spook and step away, not sure what to do?

Mustangs are masters at natural trail obstacles— water and log crossings are plentiful when moving with wild Mustang herds. But Mustangs haven’t seen plastic, tarps, pool noodles or artificial trees. These man-made obstacles typically found in trail competition classes are new and scary for them. They look to their handlers for confidence as they step up to these scenes. Mustangs—and all horses—feel most relaxed when they aren’t pushed, but are allowed to investigate and find out if new things seem safe. For Mustang Heritage Foundation youth events, 17-year-old Caroline Dunphy must lead her adopted yearling filly, Petunia, across spook-inducing obstacles at in-hand trail courses surrounded by onlookers. She gets training help from Jessica Dabkowski, a veteran Mustang trainer.

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YOUNG RIDER Nov/Dec 2018, Winter Horse Care Do’s & Don’ts, FOR KIDS WHO LOVE HORSES & PONIES, And More.....