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Rescue Horse Training Challenge Notes

BEHS congratulates and thanks everyone who has agreed to bring a foster horse to the Expo’s Training Challenge. I am hopeful that everyone is enjoying the journey with their foster horse by now in preparing for this year’s event. It’s going to be bigger & better than ever!

This year we would like to share the expectations of the Training Challenge early on with all participants so the handlers can show the horses to the best of their ability. Everyone will create a freestyle presentation and go through the obstacle course with their horse. The obstacle course will be posted here in a few weeks. The following scorecard will give you some expectations of what judges will be scoring in a freestyle session. These are things you can be working on now with your horse to prepare for the Training Challenge. 

Judges know that each horse learns in it’s own time and in it’s own way, and handlers will have different skill levels. It is important to know that not every item on the scorecard is expected in your freestyle presentation. Bonus points can be earned using more advanced or difficult tasks ( those marked with *) to include in your routine. Work mostly on the basics. Get them down as solid as possible and anything else is icing. Just show your foster horse as best you can and have fun doing it.

I encourage everyone to time their presentation and bring music that will enhance your horse’s performance. The music really draws in the crowds to watch the foster horses and their performance. Music makes it more enjoyable for everyone.  My best to each of you,

~Becky Strassner, Training Challenge Director

Bluebonnet Rescue Horse Training Challenge Freestyle Scorecard:2012                                                                                                                                                                                                 

Horse________________     Trainer_____________________  Judge___________________


Freestyle        Freestyle presentation: 0 points (not observed) to 5 points (ideal) on each line:


Horse’s Training and Responsiveness to Handler (0-5 pts)

____ performs gait requests willingly

____ picks up correct lead at lope/canter

____ responds to light cues of rider

____ smooth gait transitions

____ horse is balanced and relaxed through head and body throughout presentation

____ horse will yield hindquarters and shoulders

____ stops and backs at handler’s request

____ willing to respond to handler’s cues

Horse’s Behavior (0-5 pts)

____ relaxed; not spooky or tense, not swishing or wringing tail, or pinning ears

____ willing; does not show defensive behavior :kicking, bucking, rearing, bolting, or head tossing

Creativity and Presentation (0-5 pts)

____ creative use of props and/or costumes

____music enhances presentation

Bonus Points (1-3 pts)

____ horse will make a half or full turn on hindquarters*

____ side passes, leg yields or demonstrates lateral flexion/movement*

____ simple or flying lead changes*

____ ridden bitless, freestyle or horse performs at liberty with handler*

_____other: judge’s discretion for performance points not listed above: (up to 3 pts)




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