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Hoofprints in the Sand 02-07-2014 09:14 AM

Creating a ditch inside?
For the upcoming Eventing season I would love to start ditch training my horse and getting her used to them early.

The problem - I live in the northeast so with all the snow on the ground, of course the cross country courses are closed for the winter. So I'm limited to the indoor arena at the barn I board at. Obviously I can't dig a ditch in the arena, since it's not my arena ;) So does anyone have any ideas for things I could create that would look like a ditch to my horse but could just be set up in the arena? Would something like a black tarp work? Any other ideas?
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Red Gate Farm 02-07-2014 12:31 PM

I think a black tarp would work, unless she's been trained to walk over tarps!

Hoofprints in the Sand 02-07-2014 01:23 PM

She has but she has only seen blue and silver tarps, never black - so might work!
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wren 02-09-2014 08:34 AM

I've used black tarp or paper. Just put a few ground poles on either side to simulate the edges of the ditch.
I can attest to it's power of gelding HATES ditches, and reacted the exact same way to this fake one as the real one the first few times. It must have worked a bit at our first event last year he hopped right over the ditch easy-peasy.
Good thing you brought this up, i better get the tarps back out for this spring. ;-)
Do you think a blue one set up the same way or with shiny paint on it might work for a water jump?

Hoofprints in the Sand 02-09-2014 03:35 PM

Awesome thanks!! I know blue tarp gets used as water all the time so I think that would work (if your intention is for them to jump over it rather than go through it!) if it's to go through it, they'll of course figure out it's not water once they step on it ;)
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Saddlebag 02-09-2014 04:56 PM

You can't desensitize a horse to everything so you need to build the trust. Since a horse is always more eager on the way home, that's when you cross the ditches. Don't even bother trying to cross when leaving home at first as he'll find every excuse to not do it.

Hoofprints in the Sand 02-09-2014 10:48 PM

Good tip Saddlebag!
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