Competitive Horse Agility

Competitive Horse Agility

What is the competition?

There are also competitions across open country called Wild Agility, walking only classes and fun classes run through the summer months, plenty to choose from.

Course plans are a member only privilege and you will not be able to access them unless you are logged in as a member.

No equipment other than head collar, lead rope (at least 10 feet long) and protective boots (where necessary) is allowed on the horses (except Freestyle Agility where there is no equipment on the horse at all except protective boots if necessary.)

No whips, sticks etc are allowed. All handlers must wear hard hats in all real time competitions. Video entrants make their own choice as to whether to wear a safety hat.

The Horse Agility Club recommends that you wear a safety hat when handling horses and ponies.The course consists of a number of obstacles from a given list. At least eight of the obstacles in the competition must be from this list, the remaining obstacles may be designed by the course builder to keep competitors on their toes!

At all levels the lead rope must be loose between horse and handler without any pulling by either. Any position of the handler is acceptable from just in front of the horse to no further back than the horse’s shoulder. The aim is to maintain this leading position.

Higher marks are obtained if the leading position is maintained, marks deducted if the position of the handler changes throughout the exercise.

The Leading Test
This test occurs between obstacles 5 and 6 at Starter level.Leading the horse on a loose rope – run at least 40m (about 150feet) (A-B-C) very fast turn walk back C-B very slow, stop at B stand for10 secs then walk very fast to C

What obstacles are there?

Passing through a Curtain
Weaving poles/cones
Crossing a Tarpaulin

Roll ball
Passing through a trailer
Carry a light load
Pick up feet
Step onto a podium
Stand still in circle
Pass through a narrow gap
Back through two poles

Back over poles
Walk through labyrinth
Climb through branches/poles
Crossing a bridge
Passing through a gateway
Picking up feet.
Crossing over an A frame

How is the competition scored?

Each obstacle is given a mark based on effectiveness and good horsemanship at completing the obstacle.

These marks are then added together.

Each obstacle is marked out of 10 made up of two parts:

  1. Effectively negotiating the obstacle out of 5 marks.
    Good horsemanship shown whilst negotiating the obstacle out of 5 marks.
  2. Criteria for marking can be found in the Rules and Regulations of the Horse Agility Club Handbook available after becoming a full member of The Horse Agility Club.

Horse Agility A-frameThere is no time limit in the first two levels, Starter and First Levels however subsequent levels may be competed against the clock (See rule book for penalties incurred on timings).

A mark is deducted for each refusal at one obstacle. A refusal is deemed to be a horse stepping back, turning away or refusing to move towards the obstacle even when asked by the handler.

The competitor may miss out that obstacle and move onto the next one.The competitor must attempt every obstacle even if the horse does not show any inclination to complete it.

A horse may be eliminated if he is deemed unfit to compete, given any outside assistance or found to have been doped in accordance with current rules. Any complaints must be lodged in writing.

These points can be entered into the Horse Agility League Tables for a Trophy at the end of the year. People can choose to opt out if they wish.

Are there any rules?

Competitors must be aware of the Rules and Regulations of FIHAC.

  • All competing horses and ponies must be registered with The Horse Agility Club.
  • All horses and competitors must carry their own insurance if competing in real time competitions. The Club does not require video competitors (OLHA!) to carry their own insurance.
  • Horses and ponies must be at least two years old to compete there is no upper age limit.
  • For physical safety and emotional stability it is recommended that horses do not start training until at least 18 months old though elements of the obstacles can be introduced as part of daily routine, eg. Leading through a trailer, tying up etc.
  • No horse under 3 years of age can compete above Medium Level.
  • Horses must be measured and enter in the correct height category.
  • Small Pony (up to 10.2hh), Pony (10.2hh to 14.2hh), Horse (14.2hh upwards)

How the Horse Agility League works

Every time a competitor is placed from 1st to 6th place they are awarded league points. These are different for each level:

The OLHA League Point Allocation table

Score 100-98 97-95 94-92 91-89 88-86 85-83
Starter +1 bonus 12 pts 8 pts 5 pts 3 pts 2 pts 1 pts
First 24 16 10 6 4 2
Medium 36 24 15 9 6 3
Advanced 48 32 20 12 8 4
Advanced 1 Star 60 40 25 15 10 5
Advanced 2 Star 72 48 30 18 12 6


The Liberty League Point Allocation table

Score 100-98 97-95 94-92 91-89 88-86 85-83
Liberty Bronze 12 pts 8 pts 5 pts 3 pts 2 pts 1 pts
Liberty Silver 24 16 10 6 4 2
Liberty Gold 36 24 15 9 6 3
Liberty Platinum 48 32 20 12 8 4


The Equagility League Point Allocation table

Score 100-98 97-95 94-92 91-89 88-86 85-83
Red 6 pts 5 pts 4 pts 3 pts 2 pts 1 pts
Orange 7 6 5 4 3 2
Yellow 8 7 6 5 4 3
Green 9 8 7 6 5 4
Blue 10 9 8 7 6 5
Indigo 11 10 9 8 7 6
Violet 12 11 10 9 8 7

**Liberty is open to anyone at any level and league are awarded as per team’s current level.

All the total scores and league points are collated and published on the websites and social media pages worldwide so that at any time competitors can see where they are placed in the league both Internationally and within their own country. In the event of a league points tie the cumulative scores are taken into consideration.

A class will be considered non competitive and no league points awarded if the class consists of 2 competitors or less.

How do I work up through the levels?

Everyone starts competing at Starter Level moving up through the levels as they accumulate league points.

The levels are as follows:

  • Starter is for anyone with 0 -11 points
  • First is for anyone for 12 – 72 points
  • Medium from 73 – 199 points
  • Advanced 200 – 380 points
  • Advanced 1 Star 381+ points

Individual profiles for each competitor show the level at which they are currently competing.