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Get Started in Horse Agility
What is the competition?
Directed by the handler the horse travels over a course made up of ten obstacles with a Leading Test for Starter Level between obstacle 5 and 6.
At present there are 10 levels of competition:
- Starter Level
- First Level
- Medium Level
- Advanced Level
- Advanced 1 Star
- Advanced 2 Star
- Liberty Bronze
- Liberty Silver
- Liberty Gold
- Liberty Platinum
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:
- Effectively negotiating the obstacle out of 5 marks.
- Good horsemanship shown whilst negotiating the obstacle out of 5 marks.
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.
There 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 does the League work?
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
|Starter +1 bonus||12 pts||8 pts||5 pts||3 pts||2 pts||1 pts|
|Advanced 1 Star||60||40||25||15||10||5|
|Advanced 2 Star||72||48||30||18||12||6|
The Liberty League Point Allocation table
|Liberty Bronze||12 pts||8 pts||5 pts||3 pts||2 pts||1 pts|
The Equagility League Point Allocation table
|Red||6 pts||5 pts||4 pts||3 pts||2 pts||1 pts|
**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.
When places tie, the points are allocated as per the placing. For example if 2 people tie for first place. They both get the same league points for first place and so on throughout the places.
If there is still a tie the number of wins in that season are taken into account.
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.