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Unleash Your Horse’s Potential with Creative Obstacles

Introduction to Horse Obstacles

As horse enthusiasts, we all want our horses to be calm, brave, and confident. But how do we achieve these traits?

One effective way is through the use of horse obstacles. Horse obstacles are structures that simulate real-life situations and can help train horses to become desensitized to strange or unfamiliar objects.

This article will provide an introduction to horse obstacles, their benefits, and cost-effectiveness.

Benefits of Horse Obstacles

Horse obstacles have many benefits which make them an essential part of any horse training program. One of the main benefits is that they help to desensitize horses to various stimuli.

The obstacles allow horses to face things that would normally cause them to panic or spook in a controlled and safe environment. By consistently exposing horses to these obstacles, they develop confidence, become less fearful, and react calmly in similar situations down the line.

Horse obstacles also promote agility and coordination. Maneuvering through narrow spaces, jumping over obstacles, and crossing pools, all help to improve the horses’ physical and mental dexterity.

These obstacles help horses build balance and timing, agility, and coordination. Additionally, regularly working with horse obstacles can have a positive impact on the horse’s mood.

It can lead to a sense of accomplishment and a feeling of increased self-esteem and better mental wellness. This, in turn, makes horses more relaxed, easy to train, and happy to learn.

Cost-effective Obstacles

Another great aspect of horse obstacles is their cost. Many of them are affordable and can be made from simple household items.

Some simple obstacles such as tarps, pool noodles, and cones can be found at home and cost less than $20. They can be used for a variety of purposes including weaving, jumping, and desensitization.

Amazon Prime is another great place to purchase obstacles at a reasonable price. There are numerous options under $200, such as cavalettis, agility hoops, and barrels.

They are versatile and can be used for a range of training exercises. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t have a lot of money to spend on horse obstacles.

Just be creative and you’ll be surprised by what you can come up with for under $20 or $200.

Balloons as Horse Obstacles

One creative and unexpected obstacle to use for horse training is balloons. Using balloons can help the horse work through fear of unfamiliar objects, in a way that is gentle and familiar.

They can also be used in many ways, from simple balloon obstacles to elaborate courses involving balloons of different sizes and colors.

Various Obstacles with Balloons

Pinterest is a great resource for finding various obstacles with balloons. These include balloons on poles that horses can circle around, balloons tied to cones that horses can weave around, and balloons above the horse’s head that they can slowly pass underneath, to name a few.

Using balloons in obstacle courses can excite horses and make training more fun and engaging.

Novelty Obstacle

Using balloons is also a great novelty obstacle to add to any training program. Novel obstacles, obstacles that are outside the horses’ experience, can be very useful in increasing horses’ confidence and building different skill sets.

Balloons may be challenging, but they can be a lot of fun once the horse gets the hang of it. The sense of accomplishment after successfully navigating a balloon obstacle will boost the horse’s confidence and make it more enthusiastic about training.


Horse obstacles are an effective way to help horses become calmer, braver, and more confident in unfamiliar situations. They are also affordable, with many options that can be made from household items or purchased online within a reasonable budget.

Incorporating balloons as a novelty obstacle can be a great way to introduce horses to new stimuli and make training more engaging. The benefits of horse obstacles, combined with the affordability and versatility, make them must-have tools in any horse trainer’s arsenal.

Plastic Balls as Horse Obstacles

Horse obstacles are an integral part of any training program, and plastic balls are a fun and affordable option to consider. Both DIY and commercial options exist with these balls, allowing for a wide variety of training options that can help your horse develop agility, coordination, and confidence.

In this article, we’ll explore plastic balls as horse obstacles, covering the benefits of using them, some DIY options to consider, as well as commercial options available.

DIY Ball Pit Obstacle

Creating your own ball pit obstacle is simple and can be done with objects you may already have lying around your home or barn. However, before we start, remember to ensure that any items used are safe for horses.

One great DIY option is to create balls using plastic bottles. Fill these bottles with sand, ensuring that they are not too heavy for the horse to move.

Once they are filled, you can seal them and begin to place them into a paddock or enclosed area like a round pen. When you have enough plastic bottles, place them all together, and you have a makeshift ball pit.

This DIY method is free and a great way to start with plastic ball obstacles. Your creativity is the only limit in this method.

Use different sizes and shapes of plastic bottles to make the ball pit more interesting for your horse.

Commercial Ball Options

If you want to purchase plastic balls for your horse, shopping online may be your best option. Look for colorful plastic balls that come in large packs.

Aim for balls that are approximately 3″ in diameter, as these are the perfect size for horses to push around with their noses or kick. One great option to consider is a pack of 300 plastic balls.

These commercially made balls are affordable and readily available in different colors, providing more aesthetic options for your horse. You can also use these balls for other purposes, like keeping your dog entertained.

Giant Yoga Ball as Horse Obstacle

If you’re looking to incorporate a larger, more challenging obstacle, consider using a giant yoga ball. These balls are available in a range of sizes, making them perfect for training horses of varying heights.

In addition, these balls are a great tool to develop core muscle strength in horses and can help to improve balance.

Types of Yoga Balls

When it comes to yoga balls for horse obstacles, there are distinctions to make. Generally, there are three different types of yoga balls, including exercise balls, beach balls, and balls made for horses.

Exercise balls are the most common and versatile type of ball, typically used in fitness classes. These balls are made specifically for human use, but they make great horse obstacles too.

They are available in various sizes and colors, making it easy to choose an exercise ball that fits your horse’s needs. Beach balls are another option, and they are lightweight, easy to handle, and affordable.

These balls are also available in a range of sizes, but they may not last long for horse play and tend to deteriorate quickly. Horse-specific yoga balls are the most durable and made of stronger materials such as PVC.

These balls are designed specifically for horses, and are usually heavier and more durable than any other ball option. In addition, most horse-specific balls come with a protective cover.

Ball Cover Options

A ball cover is essential to protect your ball from scratches, punctures, and other damage. It is also necessary to extend the life of the ball.

A cover will add a new element to the obstacle by providing new textures and shapes. When you’re looking for a ball cover, it’s important to choose one that is durable and fits your ball perfectly.

Ball covers come in a range of materials, from thick nylon to heavy-duty PVC covers. Choose a ball cover that is made specifically for the type of ball you intend to use.

A horse-specific ball will usually have a protective cover included when you buy it online or at a store.


Both plastic balls and yoga balls can be valuable additions to your horse training program. They are versatile and affordable options that provide a host of benefits to your horse’s agility, coordination, confidence, and physical wellness.

Whatever option you choose, make sure to always prioritize your horse’s safety and start with smaller balls or obstacles to build trust and confidence before moving on to larger, more challenging obstacles.

Training Cones as Horse Obstacles

Training cones are a versatile tool for horse training. Cone obstacles can be used to teach numerous skills, from groundwork to riding, and can be utilized in various activities.

Some of the benefits of incorporating cones in horse training programs include enhancing a horse’s agility and coordination, building their confidence, and increasing their obedience level. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at training cones as horse obstacles and explore their versatility and benefits.

Size and Color Options

One great benefit of using cones as horse obstacles is the variety that is available. Training cones come in a range of sizes and colors, offering limitless possibilities.

Small cones are perfect for training exercises and to teach accurate stops and tight turns. On the other hand, larger cones can be used for bigger targets during lunging exercises or to create bigger obstacles.

Choosing bright colors like lime green, red, or yellow can help the cones stand out, which is particularly useful during training, especially for beginning horses. Cones can also be used to create patterns on the ground or to teach horses not to nose or step on them.

Cones can be placed in a variety of sequences or patterns, requiring the horse to perform specific actions, such as halting with their front legs on one cone and their back legs on the one behind it.

Versatile Cone Uses

Cone obstacles are very versatile and have a range of potential uses when it comes to horse training. Here are some of the most common ways that cones are utilized:

  1. Side Pass

    Cones can be used to teach side passing exercises.

    By placing cones in a straight line and moving the horse side-to-side, it will help them develop better coordination, balance, and core strength.

  2. Color Pop

    By placing cones of different colors, horse owners can create a visual cue to which a horse can react.

    This will help the horse develop response time and become more attentive.

  3. Flower Holder

    Cones can be used to display flowers in a horse show or can be used as a mailbox that a rider drops something into with improving aim.

Inflatable Toys as Horse Obstacles

In addition to cones, inflatable toys are another creative option to consider as horse obstacles. These toys are popular and can provide a fun, stimulating challenge for your horse while training.

In addition to being an obstacle, inflatable toys can be part of a “play” session between horse and rider. Incorporating inflatable toys into your training program will help break up the monotony and keep things fresh.

Non-pool Inflatable Options

Inflatable toys come in various designs and sizes. Non-pool options include inflatable punching bags, dinosaurs, cacti, and even tacos.

These toys can be used to simulate real-world scenarios, such as interacting with a child’s toy or other unusual objects. Inflatable punching bags are an excellent way to teach horses to deal with unexpected movements around them.

Meanwhile, using cactus or taco inflatables can be an effective way to desensitize horses to strange shapes and textures.

Fun Photography Accessory

In addition to being a fun way to train and challenge horses, inflatable toys can also have other uses for horse owners. They make a fantastic addition to photographs and can help horse owners take more interesting photos with their horses.

Adding props like inflatable toys can help generate interest in the photos, making them more engaging and memorable.


Incorporating training cones and inflatable toys can add an extra element of fun and stimulation for horses during training. Training cones can be utilized in unlimited ways and come in various sizes and colors, while inflatable toys offer a new obstacle experience.

Always prioritize safety when using inflatable toys, as horses can become spooked and present unexpected behavior. Regardless, both options can be great ways to break up the monotony of training, teach horses essential skills, and promote confidence and good physical fitness in your horse.

Tarps as Horse Obstacles

Tarps can be a great addition to any horse obstacle course. Training with tarps can help horses gain confidence in dealing with unusual obstacles and can help desensitize horses to different textures, sounds, and smells.

Tarps come in many different sizes, colors, and thicknesses, making them a versatile tool. In this article, we’ll go over the benefits of using tarps as horse obstacles and some of the various ways they can be incorporated into a training program.

Tarp Colors and Sizes

Tarps come in many different sizes and colors, and their versatility makes them one of the most useful tools in your training toolbox. For example, a tarp can be used to cover the ground of an arena entirely or hung from poles to simulate curtains.

The sight of the tarp flapping in the wind is great for training horses to be less reactive or nervous in windy conditions. Tarps of varying thicknesses are also available.

While lighter tarps are easier for horses to move, heavier tarps provide an added challenge. Using a heavier tarp will require the horse to put in more effort and build more strength.

When using tarps, it’s essential to choose the thickness that is appropriate for the desired activity. Another option is to drape the tarps over objects like poles, PVC pipes, tires, or cones.

Draping can create an obstacle that is low enough for your horse to step over or high enough that your horse has to jump. The different colors and textures of the tarps can keep your horses engaged and interested during their training.

Tarp Use in Obstacle Course

There are many ways to use tarps in an obstacle course. One common obstacle uses a tarp for walking over, simulating a stream or other obstacle that horses need to cross.

You can use other items, such as pool noodles, to create “rocks” to step around while crossing the tarp. Another common use of tarps is for sacking out.

This is where a light or moderately heavy tarp is placed near a horse, and the horse is encouraged to investigate, touch, and sniff the tarp. This process can be used to help horses get used to weird or different objects, which can help them become less reactive to new things.

Incorporating tarps in an obstacle course is a fantastic way to increase your horses confidence while testing their physical ability and confidence. Tarps are affordable and straightforward to set up and provide an excellent challenge for your horse.

Rain Slicker as Horse Obstacle

Most of us think of rain slickers as protective gear that is critical for outdoor activities in wet weather. However, rain slickers can also serve as a handy obstacle during horse training.

Here we’ll explore some reasons why rain slickers can be used as an obstacle and how they can benefit your horse’s training.

Common Obstacle Challenge

The process of putting on and taking off a rain slicker can be a significant challenge for horses. Many horses can become skittish when asked to wear foreign objects, even gear designed to protect them from the elements that they may be familiar with.

With consistent training, however, horses can develop trust and confidence and learn to stand still and remain calm while their caretakers put the gear on or take it off. Standing quietly and calmly wearing a slicker can be challenging for horses, especially if the slicker is flapping around due to the wind.

Capturing these moments through the aid of obstacle courses can help strengthen a horse’s ability to remain calm and less reactive in the face of potential challenges.

Dual-Purpose Clothing

Given their usefulness as an obstacle during horse training, rain slickers can serve a dual purpose. With their water-resistant properties and durable construction, rain slickers are perfect for people who are active around the barn.

They can help keep horse caretakers dry in wet weather or when cleaning stalls.

Rain slickers can be used for other activities too, making them a versatile piece of clothing.

Because they are lightweight, they

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