Horse Back Riding Games

Frequently at rodeos and other horse shows there is an event called Gymkhana, which are essentially horse back riding games. They may be smaller versions of actual competitive events, or just some fun competition between riders. These games also help develop riding skills, and are common at riding camps and with children's horse back riding lessons. 

  1. Keyhole is a popular horse back riding game both at horse shows and in the lesson arena. Each rider lines up outside the arena on their horse. When given the single riders enter one at a time and instructed to either turn their horse left or right. They then must exit the arena from the same gate that they entered. 
  2. Pole Bending is an exciting horse back riding game that is very popular. A line of about five poles is set up and the horse and rider must weave in and out of the poles as fast as possible, turn around the last one and then race back to the finish line. This can be played as individuals, or as part of a team.
  3. The Pairs Race is a favorite horse back game. One rider races the horse to a second rider where they must switch spots and the second rider races back to the finish line. This can be done with or without a saddle, and usually provides a lot of excitement for the horses, riders and spectators.
  4. The Sack Race is the classic game we all know, but of course with a horse twist. Riders race from the starting line towards their potato sacks. The riders then must dismount, pull the potato sacks up over their legs and then lead their horse while hopping in the sack back to the starting line. 
  5. Apple Bobbing is a classic favorite horse back game. Riders line up and race towards a barrel full of apples. Once there the rider must dismount, remove their hat and catch an apple from the barrel without using their hands. Once they have caught the apple they must replace their hat, mount their horse and race back to the starting line with the apple still in their mouth. This game provides a lot of amusement for everyone involved and the horses earn an apple in the end!
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