By Sarah Banks
Looking for new things to do with your horse? Check out these 10 fun games that you can play with your horse.
Most of us probably played tag when we were kids, and tag is a fun game to play on your horse with a group of friends. You can make up rules, such as you can’t go faster than a trot. You can use a long dressage whip so you can tag your friends easier while on the horse, or even a pool noodle. This is also great way to help desensitize your horse.
(Photo Credit: http://www.Instagram.com/photograliya)
With some training, you can teach your horse to push around a big ball and then play soccer with your friends, or even alone. It is not hard to get your horse to learn how to push a ball around, they should pick it up pretty quickly.
3. Red Rover
Here’s another game that many of us probably played as kids, red rover is a great game to play with a group of riders. To play, you divide up into two groups. Then, each group yells, “Red Rover, Red Rover, Send ______ right over!” That person then has to go to the other team’s side and touch the fence or other object, going through the team without getting tagged. If they can do that and make it back to their side, they stay on their original team. If they don’t make it, they have to join the other team.
(Photo Credit: http://www.Instagram.com/fasthorsephotography)
4. Egg Relay Race
An old favorite for many young and old riders, the egg relay race. Riders must balance an egg on their spoon while doing different things, which can depend on the riding level. For advanced riders, this could include cantering, galloping, even jumping while balancing an egg. Older riders can do a different form of this game by using wine in a glass and not spilling it.
5. Save a Dollar
Riders must keep a dollar underneath their leg while they ride. It can be placed underneath the knee or thigh, depending on the level of the rider, and the more advanced riders can do this bareback for additional challenge. Riders have to trot, canter, jump, do half seat, etc. while keeping the dollar in place. If it drops, you are out. The winner, the rider who lasts the longest, is who usually gets to keep all of the dollars.
6. Collect the Rings
Get two barrel and two cones, plus diving rings that usually are made for pools. Set the barrels close to each other, put the cones on top, and put the rings all over the area that you are riding around in. The game is that you have to collect all off the rings, then race to put them all on the cones. You can play with a group and whoever has the fastest time wins.
7. Dizzy Stick
Riders have to take a stick on the ground, put their forehead on it, and spin around in a certain number of circles to make themselves dizzy. Then they have to mount their horse and get to the other side of the arena. This can be an amusing game as many riders will have trouble just mounting their horse, let alone riding straight to get to the other side. The fastest person wins.
8. Musical Mounting
Someone plays music and, when the music stops, the riders halt their horses, dismount, walk around their horses, then mount up on the other side. The last person to mount back up is out for that round, and the game goes on until only one person remains.
(Photo Credit: http://www.Instagram.com/amyrhianphotography)
9. Riding at the Rings
This one may be harder to set up, but is a great skill game and can bring out the inner medieval in you. Knights used to play this game. Rings are set up suspended in air by a string, and the rider takes a lance and has to collect as many rings as possible while they ride by at a gallop.
10. Bucket Ball
A fun game to add in to a day filled with games, bucket ball requires some hand-eye coordination. Riders must throw the ball from their horse at a certain point into a bucket. If they don’t make it, they have to dismount, remount, and try again until they get it. You can make it into a team relay by having each team stay at one side, and each member has to gallop across the arena, throw the ball and get it in, then gallop back to their team so the next person can go.
I hope this gives you some great ideas to try the next time you want to play mounted games!