Mounted Games – Have A Go At Home!

Freejump - Innovative Stirrup Solutions

Dressage, done it. Schooling, same old. Hacking, old hat! Don’t get caught up in boring, monotonous routines week after week. If riding your horse is beginning to feel more like a chore than a hobby, it’s time to shake it up! And, we’ve got an idea of how: Mounted Games!

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Just an old school gymkhana class for kids, right? Not at all! Many mounted games challenges were actually inspired by the techniques used by the cavalry. Way harder that it looks, mounted games is a true test of any rider’s skill, requiring excellent horsemanship, agility, control, co-ordination and much more. So, are you up to the challenge? Keep reading for some ideas that you can try at home.

Challenge Accepted - Solo Games

Weaving Poles

Level: Easy

Requires: Six Bending Poles or Cones

Something we’ve all tried at one time or another, there’s lots to learn using bending poles or cones. These are a great way to improve control, suppleness and responsiveness. Holding the reins loosely in one hand, start by teaching your horse to move away from light neck pressure. You can do this by bringing your hand over in the direction you’d like to go. Top Tip: Having your reins too tight will put pressure on the bit and confuse your horse, so try to keep them loose.

Once you’ve mastered it, have a go at weaving through a line of six poles, working up through the paces as you master the technique.

Fishing

Level: Intermediate

Requires: Cardboard Fish, Pole with Hook, Bin or Bucket

Way more exciting than waiting in silence to catch a bite, fishing just got fun! If you've ever had a go at hook-a-duck, the rules of this game will seem very familiar. Ride up to the bucket of fish, carrying a pole with a hook. Ask your horse to stand and wait while you get a fish, then you're off again! Believe it or not, this is a fantastic way to work on those walk/canter transitions, without it becoming boring!

Stepping Stones

Level: Hard

Requires: Five Buckets

We hope you're feeling athletic! One of the most physically challenging mounted games, are you ready to have a go at stepping stones? All you'll need for this game is some strong and stable buckets or steps. Start mounted up, as you approach the stepping stones dismount and work your way across them. When you reach the final stone, hop back on. How hard could it be? Requiring true harmony between horse and rider (not to mention trust), take a look at how it's done...

Challenge Accepted - Team Games

Mugs

Level: Easy

Requires: Bending Poles, Mugs

We're not trying to take you for a mug, this really is a great game to play with friends! Much like a relay race, the first rider will head over to the table, lean down, and pick up a mug. They'll then head back and pass it to rider number two. Rider number two will place the mug on the top of a bending pole, before heading to the table to pick up another mug. They'll then pass their mug over to the next rider. The process is repeated until everyone's had a go, so this can be played with 2 or even 20 riders, the choice is yours.

Pyramid Race

Level: Intermediate

Requires: Tables, Stackable Blocks

Stacking blocks is quite literally child's play, right? Harder than it might sound, this game requires speed, precision and skill. Mounted up, the first rider will gallop over to the furthest of two tables and pick up the largest of the stackable blocks, before placing it on the other table. Each of the riders after the first must pick up the largest remaining block on the far table, stacking them on the other to create a tower. If the tower falls, the rider must dismount and rebuild it.

Old Socks

Level: Hard

Requires: Socks, Bucket

We promise, you'll never have been in such a rush to pick up an old sock! A simple set up, old socks are balled up and placed on the floor in a circle. The first rider will start already holding a balled up sock. Mounted up they'll ride past a bucket, dropping the sock in as they go by. They'll then have to dismount to pick up another balled up sock, passing it to the next rider for their turn.

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There you have it! Six mounted games that you can try at home, either alone or with friends! Don't forget to share your thrills and spills videos with us in the comments or over on social media using #naylorsonline. To watch the pro’s at work, be sure to join us at this years Horse Of The Year Naylors Pony Club Mounted Games in October. Click here to get your tickets.

We’d like to say a massive thankyou to 1st Class Images for the HOYS photographs in this blog and to JTV Production for the HOYS videos.

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