TASKS - these tasks are a good way for all levels to interact together
while riding their horses.
CARROT STICK CATCHING - ride with saddles and 1 rein.
Have more riders than carrot sticks and toss the carrot stick to
each other like its hot. Do this at the walk then try trotting.
Don't hold onto the carrot stick for more than 10 seconds. Its handy
to have someone on foot to pick up dropped carrot sticks.
This game helps the horse become calmer and the rider to develop
an independant seat and focus.
LA BAMBA SQUEEZE - ride bareback or with saddles and 2
Place 2 44' gallon drums 22' apart and have 2 people stand on the
drums, holding the 22' rope up high. Riders have to squeeze under
the rope as it gradually gets lower. Riders are out when they touch
the rope. See who can go the lowest! (Usually the smallest pony!)
rider focus and flexibility and is a good emotional squeeze game
for the horse.
BULLFIGHTER GAME - ride with bareback or saddles and 1
Have people on foot with carrot sticks pretend to be bulls. They
can only charge (slowly) at zones 2 and 4 with the riders using
either an indirect or direct rein to avoid being 'horned' by the
Great for controlled catastrophe and mental, emotional and physical
HANDSHAKES - ride with saddle and 2 reins.
Ride straight towards someone and as you meet, shake hands while
turning a full circle then ride onto the next person. Develops an
independant seat, mental, emotional & physical fitness.
FIGURE 8 - ALTERNATE CROSSOVER - ride with saddle &
Evenly space riders on a circle and walk then trot while staying
evenly spaced. Then have a lead rider start the 2nd circle of a
figure 8. Riders should crossover alternately as they walk then
Develops focus, Don't change gait and look where you are going.
HORSE SHOE CANTER WITH LEAD CHANGES - ride with saddle
& 2 reins.
Form 2 even groups of riders with one group at each end of a horse
shoe. One rider at a time canters around in a horse shoe shape towards
the other group, bends to a trot then canters back to their group
on the correct lead. Riders from each group take turns. Try this
at the trot first.
Develops focus, independant seat and drop to trot changes.
PASSENGER RIDING - Bareback or with saddle and 1rein or
no reins and carrot stick.
In an enclosed area, practice being a passenger. Ride at all paces,
practice transitions of gait without touching the reins unless you
need to avoid a problem situation. Let the horse go wherever he
wants but keep moving at the pace you want.
Develops Don't change gait, look where you are going (horse), independant
CARROT STICK POLO - ride with saddle & 1 or 2 reins
+ carrot stick. Large ball required.
Starting slowly, everyone to take turns at hitting the ball with
the handle of the carrot stick.
Once mastered this can be developed into a game of 2 teams with
goals and a goal scoring area marked out. Develops focus, independant
seat, mental, emotional & physical fitness.
HORSEMAN'S STRING CONNECTION - ride bareback or with saddle
and 2 reins.
Riders form pairs, connected by holding (easier) or sitting on a
horseman's string while negotiating a course at various paces. Develops
CLOVER LEAF WITH SENTRY - ride bareback or with saddle
& 2 reins.
One rider at a time is to stand in the centre while all the others
ride around in a cloverleaf pattern. The 'Sentry' (standing rider)
must keep horse still and relaxed while others ride close by. Swap
riders after 2 - 3 minutes so everyone takes a turn at being the
Develops emotional fitness for the horse and don't change gait or
direction + focus for the rider.