Ease of Handling Event

 

Ease of Handling Event

Working Equestrian Competition – Ease of Handling Event.

 
Lusitano-Ease of Handling EventThe Ease of Handling Event exercises are directed to everyday things that a horse and rider have to do while working and normal every day riding.   It is intended to determine if the horse and rider trust each other and can work together without the need of excessive commands and instructions.   It is also designed to determine the fear factor on the horse because it is called to do many things which require that he trusts not only the rider but is also tame to the environment and things around him.
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Lusitano-Ease of Handling EventMost of the exercises the team will do in the Ease of Handling Event seem to be easy but if there is no confidence and trust between the team they can become difficult.   The horse must remain calm at all times and show no hesitation when approaching or doing an exercise.   These must also be done according to the set rules of the Ease of Handling Event and not in a disorderly fashion.
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  • Gate. The team must approach the gate at a canter and reach it while walking.   The horse must stand sideways besides the gate while the rider reaches with his free hand and opens it.   The team must enter the gate without touching any part of it while the rider holds on to the gate without letting go.   After they have crossed the rider closes the gate and they walk away.
  • Bridge. The bridge is made of non-slippery wood, between two and four meters long and one and a half meters wide.   The bridge’s highest point should be in the middle or close to it and be at least twenty inches high.   The team approaches the bridge at a canter and passes to a walk walking through the middle of the bridge without hesitation or doubt.   Neither the rider nor the horse can touch anything on the bridge except the horse’s hoofs as he walks on it.
  • Single Slalom Poles. A minimum of five poles are placed in a straight line, six meters apart.   The team must start the slalom at a canter and with every change of direction there must be a change of hand.   The changes will take place in between the poles and not while going over them. The team’s movements must flow through the exercise.   Any contact whether the pole is just touched or falls will be punished in the final countdown.
  • Parallel Slalom Poles. A minimum of seven poles are placed six meters apart like in the Single Slalom Poles, but in parallel lines.   Four on one side and three on the other.   If we count the first pole as ground zero the first pole on the three pole side will be three meters away from the first on the fourth side.   This will create a zigzag pattern with the seven poles.   The team will start on pole zero at a canter and move to pole one on the three pole side and back to the four-line etc.   There should be a change of hand in between each pole half circle.
  • Figure Eight Barrels. Two barrels are placed three meters apart and the team must go around each and through the middle forming an eight figure around them.   A change of hand is required when they cross the middle line between the poles.   No contact whatsoever must be made with either barrel and the run is made at a canter.
  • Three Barrel Triangle. Three barrels are placed between three and four meters apart.   This depends on the level of experience of the team.   The team enters in a canter and goes through the middle of the three barrels and around the first barrel.   Then across again and around the second one, finishing with a circle around the third barrel. A flying change must be made every time the team crosses the middle of the barrel triangle.
  • Livestock Pen. The Livestock pen is a semi-round structure with one entrance with a much smaller pen inside which sometimes has animals like chicken, pigs or something like that, the pen can be entered walking or at a canter, if either is possible, the teamers and completes the exercise at a canter will get more points than the walker will.   Sometimes two rounds are required to complete the exercise other times only one. The team must enter, go around once, exit do a hand change and a half pirouette before re-entering and going in the opposite direction they took on the first round.
  • Side pass. At least one pole is set five to ten inches from the ground.   The horse must side-pass across the pole slowly and keeping the rhythm without touching or dropping the pole.   Sometimes two or more poles are used and they are set in an “L” or “Z” shape. The team must start at one end with the pole between the horse’s front and hind legs and finish at the other end. It is supposed to be executed walking but doing it at a canter will give the team more points.
  • Pick up a Pole from the Barrel. This test consists of removing a pole 2.5 – 3.0 meters long from a barrel set on the ground. It is done walking but if the team does it at a canter and goes around the barrel once while the rider removes the “vara” or “garrocha” extra point will be given.   To be done correctly the horse must remain calm and not lose its stride while the pole is removed.
  • Spear Ring or Knock Down Ball.   The ring is set on a bull-shaped figure.   The team has to come up to it and without stopping.   The rider must pull out the ring with the pole he is carrying or hit the ball so it falls.   The ring is fifteen centimeters wide and sometimes more than one are in place.   If the rider hits another spot on the bull, instead of the ring, points are deducted from their score.
  • Replace the Pole in the Barrel.   The pole he removed from the barrel before can be carried around while doing other exercises.   Once it is time to put it back, the team must approach the Barrel in a straight line and the rider should put it in carefully to avoid missing or having it jump out because it was pushed in too hard.   If he misses or the pole bounces out the rider must get off the horse and do it again until he manages to leave it in place.
  • Cup on Pole. Two lines of poles are placed forming a corridor through which the team must ride at a canter to the pole with the cup on top.   The rider must take the cup and do a slalom between two poles and return to the inside riding to the opposite corner pole to place the cup in place.   If any of the poles is touched or dropped by either the rider or the horse, the rider must get off, replace it and start over again until he gets it right.
  • Bell at the end of a Corridor.   One point two meter corridor with a low fence on each side.   The corridor may be straight or shaped like an “L”.   The team must enter at a canter go all the way to the bell where the horse is halted so the rider rings the bell.   The horse is then reined back all the way to the place where they entered.   If the horse touches or drops any of the fences points are subtracted.   The ride must be done calmly and with precision.
  • Jumping. Normally this obstacle is made of hay with a pole above it.   It is never more than eighty centimeters high.   The team approaches it at a canter and the jump must be smooth and there should not be any hesitation at all.   The rider must maintain his poise and sitting position perfectly too.
  • Jug on Table. On top of a table one meter high and one point twenty meters wide sits a jug full of water.   The best approach is at a canter because it gives the team more points.   When they arrive besides the table, the horse must remain immobile while the rider leans down to pick up the jug.   He can drink from it or simply raise it over his head.   If the table or jug are overturned, the team will lose points.
  • Water Ditch. Usually three meters wide and ten to fifteen inches deep.   The horse must come up to the ditch and cross it without hesitation or doubt.   He will not need instructions or coaxing from the rider.   Any hesitation or change of pace by the horse means loss of points.
  • Bank. This exercise consists of a two meter ramp that leads to a sixty centimeter drop at the end.   The horse must either jump or drop down to the ground below without doubt or hesitation.   The rider must maintain his pose and seat while the horse comes off the ramp.
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    Lusitano-Ease of Handling EventThese are just some of the most common obstacles and tests that working equestrian competition include in the Ease of Handling part of the competition.   Again the idea is for the horse and rider to work as one and to trust each other on what each one has to do to get the maximum amount of points possible.
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