The Rocky Mountain Riders (RMR) have received a boost from the Regional District of East Kootenay to construct an obstacle course for horse and rider.
The new course will be built at their Meadowbrook location on the corner of Thomason Rd., and will feature apparatus designed to spook a horse. The goal of the course will be for horse and rider to overcome those obstacles and become safer outside of the controlled arena environment.
"It's about changing the horse's attitude towards scary objects," said Torben Winther, vice-president of the club.
The RDEK funding will go towards the actual construction of the course, excavator hours to clear the area and a fence. It totaled $1,000.
Winther said the course will teach confidence for rider and horse as they tackle teeter totters, balance beams and podium-style obstacles. The course is done with the rider dismounted.
"It's all done from the ground," Winther said. "It gives the horse a purpose.
The club became interested in an equine obstacle course a few years ago, and has constructed a few item throughout the year that were used inside the arena. Now, they have decided to take it a step further and move things outside of the arena space.
Winther said the new course will have no age limit or be targeted towards a certain ability or discipline. Any horse and rider pair training for any type of riding, be it Western or English, can enjoy the course.
In their application to the RDEK, RMR presented a collection of images showing examples of what they plan to build.
"We have quite a few ideas we want to put into action right now," Winther said.
RMR boasts 35 to 40 active members using their riding ring in Meadowbrook and hosts a variety of fun, family events throughout the riding season. Winther said the funding will be a huge help over the year as the construct the course using volunteer hours.
"We're really grateful for that funding," he said.