Granby Horse Council hosted Equine Obstacle Play Day
By Joan Davis
On Sunday July 13, 27 riders converged on the horse exercise area in Salmon Brook Park for the first Obstacle Play Day. Taking horses through obstacle courses is an activity which is growing in popularity among equestrians. Leading or riding horses, ponies, donkeys and mules through, over, under and around various objects builds confidence, courage and trust in the rider and the animal.
There were pool noodles to walk through, over and under. Horses stepped on the bridge, pedestal and tarps. The humans dragged pots, balls, tarps, trash bags full of cans, tree branches and poles beside their horses. Some horse and rider pairs enjoyed pushing the giant soccer ball, while others tried “jousting” with bamboo poles and rings. Riders had to weave around the cones while picking up a cup and carrying it to another cone. Many practiced opening and closing the rope gate and turning a 10-foot board around the barrels. Everyone had fun while learning new skills and creating brave horses. Most participants also rode the trail system between the park and McLean Game Refuge.
The Granby Horse Council offers many other activities. It hosts numerous trail rides each year in Connecticut, Massachusetts and at East Beach in Rhode Island. Members also perform demonstrations and appear in parades. You do not have to be a horse owner or even a rider to belong to the council. Non-riders enjoy the social activities, helping with fundraisers and supporting the riders. Club funds are used for maintaining two riding arenas in town, the scholarship and other charitable donations. New members are welcome to join at any time. Non-members are welcome at all meetings, which are held on the third Wednesday of every month. An educational or entertaining program is part of most meetings. See the website www.granbyhorsecouncilct.com or the Granby Horse Council Facebook page for more information.