By Jorien Buysse, Savvy Club Member
The internet is full of inspiring videos and pictures, and on occasion, you see something that you want to experience for yourself. For me, it was a video of someone riding her mountainboard behind her horse. At that moment, I did not have my own horse, but now I do, and I’m discovering this sport with him.
Horseboarding is a sport in which one person rides a horse and another rides a mountainboard behind the horse. However, I had a different idea; I wanted to do this with only my horse and without someone riding my horse, so we started to practice. We started out slowly, and now we’re making trips around 5 miles (8 kilometers) at the walk, trot, and canter. Parelli has helped me greatly to achieve this.
I’ve had my horse Vinur for two years now. He’s an Icelandic gelding of 9-years-old. His Horsenality is Right Brain Extrovert*. Therefore, it was very time consuming to learn horseboarding. The first time I grabbed my mountainboard, Vinur stormed out the stable. He didn’t trust that “monster on wheels.” So naturally, we started with the Friendly Game*. Fortunately, Vinur is also very curious, and soon he had one leg on the board. At the end of that first session, I could have already hitched a ride with Vinur.
Of course, we also did a lot of preparation by playing from Zones* 4 and 5. Vinur found it very difficult at the beginning. A strong Friendly Game is really essential. After that, we practiced our Driving Game*. Vinur is very sensitive. So if I turn my body, he goes in the right direction. To make this as easy as possible, we spent a lot of time playing Following the Rail (trail)*. Vinur can follow the paths very well, which means that I do not always have to steer him.
By combining all these skills, we quickly got on our way. At the beginning, we only went short distances and only in walk. As things improved, we were able to ride longer distances at a higher pace. Currently, we regularly make trips of 3 to 6 miles (5-10 kilometers), where we mainly trot and canter.
During this period, we discovered a new challenge. There is no equipment specifically for this sport. So at the beginning, I used only a surcingle. However, as the distances and speed increased, this proved uncomfortable, and I started to experiment. Currently, I’m working with the webshop Equiplay to develop equipment specific to this type of horseboarding.
I also created a Facebook page: Dutch Horseboarding. I get a lot of positive comments from people who want to try this too. For people familiar with Parelli, teaching their horse horseboarding may be a logical process, but for many people unfamiliar with Parelli, it seems daunting to get started. Using the Parelli Program for support along with 5 particular steps that I consider important for safety, I have been able to help others get started. It’s been a very rewarding experience.
I hope to inspire many more people. I am always trying to find ways to improve myself. For example, I am practicing the Weave* at this moment. I also like to jump over a small ramp. Recently, I saw a video of someone who did this without halter, so we are now training at Liberty in Zone 4 and 5.
Enough goals for the future! Curious about our progress? Follow us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/dutchhorseboarding.
*If you want to learn more about the following topics that Jorien mentioned in this blog and you are already a Savvy Club member, then sign in to find these lessons by going to your Dashboard and then following this pathway:
Right Brain Extrovert/Horsenality: Level 2 On Line Theory: Horsenality; Level 3 On Line Theory: Horsenality
Friendly Game: Level 1 On Line Friendly Game #1: Accept the Carrot Stick
Zones: Level 1 On Line Friendly Game #1: Zoneology; Level 3 On Line Theory: Strata of Zones
Driving Game: Level 1 On Line Driving Game #3: Move Away From Pressure
Follow the Rail: Level 2 FreeStyle Patterns: Follow the Rail
Weave: Level 2 On Line Patterns: Weave
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