Are you a riding instructor, looking for fun horse riding games to play with your students after lesson time? Well here are some great ideas to help teach them riding skills while having a fun time together!
1. Boot Game: With 6 riders, place 12 boots on the rail at one end of the ring. Riders can be on teams or individual – If they divide into teams, riders line up at the far end of the ring and trot or canter (depending on their ability) to the end where the boots are placed. They pick the boot up and travel to the center of the arena where a muck bucket is placed. They must drop the boot in the bucket and continue to the end of the ring where they started, tag the next person who then does the same thing. The first team to complete moving the boots is the winner. If the rider misses the bucket, they dismount, pick up the boot, remount, and drop in again. (If they are small or too young, you can skip that part!
The rider learns not to head the horse directly to the boot they want. Rather they learn to ride up along the rail and scoop it up. If the horse is facing the boot, the rider cannot lean over to pick it up. They also learn not to race to bucket quickly and throw in the boot. Rather, they learn to approach the bucket at the walk and drop it in carefully. It really teaches a lot of patience, planning and steering!
2. Musical Horses: This is a horse riding game that works just like Musical Chairs! Place ground poles parallel to each other, about 8 feet apart, in the center of the arena creating horse parking lots, for lack of a better description! The kids ride on the rail to music and must do whatever is asked for – walk – trot – canter – halt – half circle – reverse – circle. When the music stops the riders must continue in the same direction but get to a ground pole parking lot quickly. Because you have created one less parking lot than riders, one rider is left out and must exit. Then, you take away a pole and start the music again, and again until there is a winner. The kids love it!
3. Red Light Green Light: The kids ride in a straight line from one end of the ring to the other and listen for commands. “Red Light” means to walk your horse. “Green Light” means to trot your horse. If rider makes a mistake they have to back 5 steps. The first rider to cross the finish line is the winner. This develops the skills of eye contact and body language while encouraging control and calmness with the horse.
4. Mounting and Dismounting Game – I play this horse riding game with 4 older riders who can mount from the ground and 4 little riders with mounting blocks. One older rider is paired up with a younger rider. The younger riders are in center ring tagged up to the mounting block and keep an eye on their team mate. Commands are asked of the riders on the rail. When the instructor says “halt” the older rider stops on the rail and dismounts while the young rider runs from the center to her horse and partner. The older rider has to get to get the little rider on safely and then race back to the mounting block. The last person in that team is out. Now the little riders start their riding commands. The halt is called for and older rider runs to the little rider who is dismounting. The older rider mounts and little rider runs back to mounting block. By now, it is pretty funny as older riders are riding with no stirrups or in jockey style in little kids stirrups – teams are screaming for one another and it is quite CRAZY!! This continues until one team is left!
For more information about games on horseback, visit Horse Riding Videos.