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The Horse Agility Handbook: A Step-By-Step Introduction to the Sport [Paperback]

Vanessa Bee
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 27.95
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Book Description

Jan. 20 2012

All aspects of competing in equine agility are reviewed in this handler’s guide, including explanations of the basics of the horse itself, the reasoning behind their behavior, and getting and maintaining their attention before training. Respecting the animal but keeping safety in mind at all times, the appropriate attitudes for both horse and teacher are discussed along with maintaining the appropriate level of patience. Covering the safe construction and negotiation of obstacles, this all-inclusive handbook also demonstrates how to use imagination to develop the scope of even the simplest structure. Methods for safely approaching the horse to catch and lead it are presented as well as how to look for signs of compliance and acceptance, encouraging the horse to see the handler as an efficient leader. With an outline of competitive levels, tips on organizing competitions and training days, and a troubleshooting section, this study also features helpful case studies of real life situations.

THE AMAZING THING about horses is there’s one out there suited for just about every human. They come in all colors, shapes, and sizes, and we’ve trained them to excel at any number of riding sports that appeal to human personalities across the board. But until now, there hasn’t been an internationally recognized, competitive horse sport dedicated to those horse lovers who most enjoy working their horse from the ground. With Horse Agility, that’s all changing.

Over the past few decades, an evolution in how we go about training horses has encouraged horse owners to spend more time handling their horse on the ground in order to achieve good behavior, mutual trust, and a healthy partnership—before they ever think about getting in the saddle. This has created a generation of horsemen and women perfectly poised to pursue the competitive and social benefits of the sport of Horse Agility.
 
Think, for a moment, of the hugely popular Dog Agility classes you’ve no doubt seen—it is no secret they’re enjoyed by countless canines and their handlers, all over the world. With great exuberance and palpable enjoyment, a dog dashes around a colorful obstacle course, following subtle direction from his handler. Usually this occurs without a leash, and without other devices designed to “persuade” him to participate. The dog completes the course because he chooses to—NOT because he is constrained, forced, whipped, prodded, or bribed.

Horse trainer Vanessa Bee, founder of the International Horse Agility Club, says that we need to change the way we think about horses and the sports and activities we so often pursue with them. She sees no reason the horse cannot enjoy your time together so much, he will choose to “play” with you—over, under, and through obstacles, without a lead rope, even when loose in a large, grassy pasture.
 
Hard to believe? Try it for yourself! The Horse Agility Handbook has all you need to get started in the sport, including lessons in handling and body language, directions for obstacle and course construction, and information for managing competitions and “play days.”


Frequently Bought Together

The Horse Agility Handbook: A Step-By-Step Introduction to the Sport + Trick Training for Horses: Fun Ways to Engage, Challenge, and Bond with Your Horse + 101 Ground Training Exercises for Every Horse & Handler
Price For All Three: CDN$ 59.89

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  • Trick Training for Horses: Fun Ways to Engage, Challenge, and Bond with Your Horse CDN$ 16.35

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  • 101 Ground Training Exercises for Every Horse & Handler CDN$ 24.42

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Product Description

Review

"A qualified teacher with a degree in education, (Vanessa Bee) explains in 15 chapters the progression from attitude and suitability through working the horse at liberty to the construction of safe obstacles and the organization of playdays and competitions." —Lone Star Horse Report (June 2012)


"International Horse Agility Club founder Vanessa Bee offers the advice you need to get started in the sport of horse agility, including proper handling, body language, obstacle and course construction, and organizing events." —Horse Illustrated (August 2012)


"Using a basis of natural horsemanship techniques, . . . Vanessa Bee, covers all aspects of the sport, including instructions for construction of obstacles as well as the proper procedure for introducing this type of play to your horse. . . . This book introduces you to a fun, new way to bond with your horse." —Equine Journal (January 2013)

About the Author

Vanessa Bee is a professional horse handler who teaches safe handling, ground skills, and horse agility to equine students, wardens, equine clubs, and all equine staff, volunteers, and inspectors for Ireland’s Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

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4.8 out of 5 stars
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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Informative Feb. 12 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This was a great purchase as I was curious about the sport, and it has great step by step sequencing and helpful photos with concise text. I would recommend it!
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Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I'm enjoying the exercises and find her step-by-step approach easy to follow and very logical in their progression to more advanced games.
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Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Vanessa provides an excellent opportunity to learn how to interact with your horse in a fantastic relationship building sport. Whether you are a rider or just like to hang out with your horse this is a fun and productive activity book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great book, great book, great book Dec 8 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
but then i knew it would be.pretty hard to mess up on a book lol thanks for having it available
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars  27 reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Horse Agility Handbook Oct. 21 2012
By boettkd - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Book is well written and presents a lot of information. For those that already have a "natural horsemanship" background and are already used to working their horse through different obstacles, I feel the book needs more of the agility patterns. More direction on how to set-up a competition and adjust the courses for beginner, intermediate and advanced levels giving more detail on what is required to advance to the next level, etc.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tremendously fun and useful Nov. 30 2012
By Thomas G. Acton - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This book is exceptionally clear, concise, and logical. Vanessa Bee explains how to make yourself a trusted leader the horse WANTS to follow, the best foundation for all training. Her exercises, given in practical step by step terms, are valuable for everyday handling and relationship building whether you do agility or not. Obstacles are introduced in a way that builds the horse's confidence in himself and his handler.

The techniques are effective because they are based on how horses naturally think and learn. I put them to the test with a very anxious rescued pony. Originally fearful even of being caught, she was soon coming when I called her, and following me voluntarily. Her training has progressed without resistance or regression because she is focused, confident, and having fun.
Lynn A
Certified Riding Instructor
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent information on Horse Agility June 18 2012
By Raven - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is very easy to read & super helpful. Even if you are not into agility this book is great for bonding with a horse and/or keeping manners fresh.
Love it that it is so much FUN!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars And now for something completely different! May 27 2013
By A. Burnhill - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is superb. With all the groundwork that is advised by various trainers, it is surprising this didn't occur to someone sooner. This is a really well thought out way of training your horse, without the necessity of riding. The main essence is the total bond and willingness of the horse/pony to do these courses because they enjoy it. You aren't touching them so it is totally voluntary and you cannot improve on that. Now if you cannot ride for whatever reason here is a superb alternative to enjoy with your horse/pony.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Horse Agility June 16 2012
By Kaimanawa Star - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The author has an obvious passion for her horses & the sport of horse agility. The instructions are clear, simple & easy to understand and include information on how a horse learns & thinks. It also includes how to make some obstacles, how to organise a competition and what to look for when judging. Overall it is a great book to introduce the sport and encourage people to give it a go. However, horses are complex and there are some behaviours and situations that are not covered by this book and the horse person should seek assistance from an experienced liberty instructor. Aside from that, I love playing at liberty with my horse & truly hope horse agility becomes a recognised sport.
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