Horse Games

by Sarah Macey

Horse Games

Horse games are a wonderful way to bond with your horse, increase your horseback riding abilities and engage your horse in challenging tasks that require thought. Below, I have listed numerous horse games that I love and have enjoyed playing with my horses. I hope they inspire you to engage with your horse in different ways. Read on to discover my top 6 horse games of 2017.

Simon Says

This game is a simple concept and has been used at many parties. This game is an excellent way to improve riding skills in a fun and creative way. The person playing ‘Simon’ can be on a horse or not, but all others playing the game should be mounted. Riders can practice instructions such as gaits, seat, posting and other riding skills – perhaps even riding with no reins, depending on skill. This game is a wonderful way to gain confidence and skill. Furthermore, since the riders must listen to Simon, they must react quickly to instructions and encourage their horse to do the same. You will see the abilities of horses and riders alike improve drastically by playing Simon Says.

Follow the Leader

Follow the leader is an excellent game for horse riders as it teaches good riding technique and exercises the horse simultaneously. Make sure each rider has a turn at being the leader, as it is likely each rider will differ in ability. When leading the group, the leader needs to ensure they ride at a similar level to the rest of the riders in the group, so that nobody should do something they aren’t ready for. This helps keep everyone safe and feeling comfortable. This is an ideal game for building confidence in new riders.

Musical Buckets

This game is played just like musical chairs. The mounted riders ride to music around a circle of overturned buckets. Ensure there is one less bucket than riders. The riders circle the buckets to the music and when the music stops, they must encourage their horse to place a foot on the bucket of their choice. The rider without a foot on a bucket is out.

Every round, one bucket is removed until only one rider remains. That rider is the winner of the game! For more experienced riders, you can increase the challenge by making the riders trot in a circle, the added speed will make it more difficult. You can also instruct the riders to dismount from their horses and put their own foot on the bucket nearest them to increase the difficulty.

Egg and Spoon Relay Race

Think of the classic egg and spoon race and then place the contestants on the backs of horses. Each rider will need a spoon and a hard-boiled egg. Split the players into two teams and place a cone at the other end of the paddock. When instructed to go, the first two riders in each team must start off as smoothly as possible, balance the egg on the spoon and go around the cone before returning to their team members to pass the egg and spoon onto them. The first team to have had each member complete the egg and spoon race without dropping their egg wins.

Red Rover

Divide riders into two teams and place each team at opposite ends of your paddock. One team calls over the riders from the other side. The shout “Red Rover, Red Rover, send XXX right over,” and that named rider must then get to the other side of the paddock without being caught by the team that called them.

If they make it safely past the opposing team, they win a point. If they get caught, they are made to join the team that caught them and become part of the opposition. This is a difficult game and helps improve the skill of riders, agility and quick thinking.

Save-A-Fiver

This is a game that is generally played with more advanced riders as it requires players to ride bareback. A five-pound note is placed under each thigh on the legs of the rider. Alternatively, you can use pictures or pieces of paper but money seems to encourage riders to keep a tight hold.

To play the game, all riders must line up in the middle of the ring. One at a time, each rider must ride around the ring while keeping hold of the note under their leg. The riders who succeed in completing the task without losing the money, win and get to keep their winnings. This is a fantastic way to encourage good riding skills, posture and concentration.

Final Words

Whenever playing games with your horse, it is important you wear a helmet and stay aware of any potential hazards. Always make sure each rider is at the appropriate level before playing any of the above games. It is important you do not expose your riders or horses to any potential safety issues.

Playing games with your horse is ideal for teaching him new things and increasing the bond you have with each other. I hope you have enjoyed my game suggestions. Horses also enjoy playing in water, playing with balls and pushing toys around their pastures. There are so many options for keeping your horse interested and alert. Horses love interacting with people and playing games with them is ideal for fostering relationships between horses and their owners. So, why not try it out?

If you would like more information, or if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to get in touch with the team here at Prime Stables. We would be more than happy to advise you!

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