I happened to help some riders out on Sunday, opening and closing a gate for them. Litter had blown into the gateway, specifically a couple of plastic bottles and some of the horses stood on a bottle as they went through. The bottle, of course, made a plastic scrunching noise. Some of the horses that stood on the bottle were totally un-phased, but others got worried and went into "flight" mode. None went beyond their rider's control, but once again I was reminded that many of the Horse Agility obstacles do have some serious logic behind them - in this case the "bottle bank" is an ideal way to build your horse's confidence to cope with strange surfaces underfoot and things that make an unexpected or unfamiliar noise.
I started Horse Agility as a way of making groundwork more fun. It was something I could do with my semi-retired old boy and his small, cheeky, pony companion. What amazed me was how much it improved the ponies' general confidence in the process. I compete at Advanced 1 star level on line and at liberty.