Horse shows and other equestrian events might be on hold for the time being, but that doesn’t mean fun with your horse is cancelled this summer. Gather the whole family and maybe a few friends and plan a day of horseback games instead! Here are 10 ideas to try:
Red Light, Green Light
As in the non-horse version, a designated person calls “green light/red light”. Riders move around the arena or pasture, but if they fail to halt at “red light”, they’re out!
Egg and Spoon
You’ll need plenty of eggs and a spoon for each rider, and this game can be played as a relay race, where riders pass the egg to one another or as an individual game where each rider carries the egg in their spoon as they race toward the finish line. Anyone who drops their egg must start over with a new one.
Just like the non-horse version, the players who don’t do what “Simon says” are out!
Riding a Pattern
Come up with a pattern suitable for the level of participating riders; it could be a simple figure eight up to a reining pattern or dressage test.
Design a course in any fashion you’d like and have riders pass a baton or another object to each other. The first team to cross the finish line wins!
Use cones, barrels, or whatever you have on hand to come up with a fun obstacle course to complete.
Toilet Paper Race
This game requires two horses, and each rider holds an end of a piece of toilet paper. The team that makes it across the finish line first without breaking their toilet paper wins!
If you have an area suitable for timed races, this is a fun game where you place a can with a small flag inside on top of a barrel. Have a starting point, and riders race to get the flag and back. You can use a stopwatch to determine the winner.
This is another timed game where you create a keyhole shape with cones, lines drawn with flour, or poles. Riders race to the keyhole, turn around, and race back. Anyone who steps out of the boundaries of the keyhole is eliminated.
Fill the Pitcher
Set up a bucket for each team at opposite ends of the arena or pasture. Riders carry a dry sponge or cup to the bucket of water, fill it, and then ride back where they dismount and fill the empty bucket. The first team with a full bucket wins!
Casie Bazay is a freelance and young adult writer, as well as an owner/barefoot trimmer and certified equine acupressure practitioner. She hosts the blog, The Naturally Healthy Horse, where she regularly shares information on barefoot, equine nutrition, and holistic horse health. Once an avid barrel racer, Casie now enjoys just giving back to the horses who have given her so much. Follow Casie at www.casiebazay.com.