Building Yourself a "Horse Course"
Part two: Wooden Bridges
We trail ride so we wanted all the horses to be able to handle unusual footing, including walking across wooden bridges. We built this one out of four 16ft 4"x8" planks which we tied together underneath with slats made out of 2"x6" pieces.
We lined the bridge with two old telephone poles in order to keep the horses "guided" onto the planks. We also made a "V" shaped entrance at one end so that on the horse's first encounter with the bridge, his focus would be focused toward the wooden deck which we wanted to cross.
We have found that it doesn't seem to make much difference if the bridge is over a ditch or on flat ground, so we moved it to a flat area where we can also get the horses used to crossing over it sideways, stepping over the poles, onto the bridge, and off the other side. (This would obviously be difficult if the bridge was set over a depression.)
Note: When working around any obstacles, you need to pay careful attention to your situation, your horse, any distractions and what others nearby are doing (what impact they may have on you and what impact you may have on them). Some horses may react unpredictably and you need to be prepared to guide them through any situation... or get competent assistance if you are not sure how to do so!
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