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Icelandic Horse Connection

Obstacles for Enhancing Your Groundwork

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Skumur
Skumur walking thru the star.

Be sure to lead the horse around the Star in both directions.

Skumur
Stepping nicely thru the tires.

Sometimes it takes a little encouragement asking the horse to step thru the tires. In this photo, it shows me walking with him thru the tires. At times, I will stand on the other side of the obstacles, facing the horse, and ask him to come thru.

Skumur
With two feet up.

The logs on the side of the bridge act as a visual tunnel to guide the horse to the center of the bridge. Skumur starts with two feet up, then we take a short rest.

Skumur
Skumur stands calmly on the bridge.

After a brief respite following the first two feet on the bridge, Skumur is asked to come all the way up. The photo shows him standing calmly before being asked to come all the way forward and "disembark" from the "deep end".

Skumur
Two feet up.

Skumur
All four feet up on the platform.

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A labyrinth is an ancient symbol that relates to wholeness. It combines the imagery of the circle and the spiral into a meandering but purposeful path. The Labyrinth represents a journey to our own center and back again out into the world. Labyrinths have long been used as meditation and prayer tools.

Walking the path in the labyrinth can be relaxing. It also can be balancing as you journey back and forth and then out again. Repeat several times in succession to get the most benefit.

A labyrinth is an archetype with which we can have a direct experience. We can walk it. It is a metaphor for life's journey. It is a symbol that creates a sacred space and place and takes us out of our ego to "That Which Is Within."

Labyrinths and mazes have often been confused. When most people hear of a labyrinth they think of a maze. A labyrinth is not a maze. A maze is like a puzzle to be solved. It has twists, turns, and blind alleys. It is a left brain task that requires logical, sequential, analytical activity to find the correct path into the maze and out.

A labyrinth is a right brain task. It involves intuition, creativity, and imagery. With a maze many choices must be made and an active mind is needed to solve the problem of finding the center. With a labyrinth there is only one choice to be made. The choice is to enter or not. A more passive, receptive mindset is needed. The choice is whether or not to walk a spiritual path.

At its most basic level the labyrinth is a metaphor for the journey to the center of your deepest self and back out into the world with a broadened understanding of who you are.

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Skumur and the Labyrinth

The First Turn:
Skumur
Skumur starting the first turn.
As we start the labyrinth, the horse is on my left--on the outside of the turn.

The Second Turn:
Skumur
Skumur adjusts to be on the outside.
As we approach the second turn, the lead rope is passed behind my back to the opposite hand and the horse follows the lead to go to the outside of this turn.

The Third Turn:
Skumur
Things are going good!
Again, the horse switching sides is "advanced". Some horses may have to work up to this.

The Fourth Turn:
Skumur
Still doing well!
Skumur did not hit any of the logs at any time.
He performed very well.

The Last Turn:
Skumur
Leading from the right.
Skumur usually has a problem with anything in his right eye, but possibly the concentration of the labyrinth helped him thru this.

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This is Tryggur's first time in the Obstacle Course.

Bridge to the Platform:
Obstacle Course


Obstacle Course


Obstacle Course


Stands on two with no problem:
Obstacle Course


All the way up:
Obstacle Course


Asking for a Pivot:
Obstacle Course


Asking him to get down:
Obstacle Course


Asking him to come thru the tires:
Obstacle Course


A little incentive:
Obstacle Course


Coming all the way thru:
Obstacle Course

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Uneven poles:
Obstacle Course


Obstacle Course


Labyrinth:
Obstacle Course


Obstacle Course


Star:
Obstacle Course


Obstacle Course


Bridge:
Obstacle Course


Obstacle Course


Obstacle Course

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