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Uncommon horse activities you enjoy.

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  • Uncommon horse activities you enjoy.

    PA Farm Show is this week and I went to the horse pulls last night.
    I love watching horse/pony pulls but it's not something you really see that often, fairs are the only place I've ever seen them. There's something special about seeing the big guys do what they do best.

    So, what uncommon horse activities do you enjoy?



  • #2
    I also enjoy the horse activities I usually only see at fairs -- the pulling/sledge classes, the cowboy mounted shooting.
    If thou hast a sorrow, tell it not to the arrow, tell it to thy saddlebow, and ride on, singing. -- King Alfred the Great

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    • #3
      I like to watch these horses go:

      https://vimeo.com/251084154

      I have only seen them in videos, not in person.
      I keep expecting to see one of those mechanical toy keys to wind them up show on the other side when they turn around.

      Those gaits are so ... unique.
      It would be hard to have to ride that for too long, not going anywhere so fast.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Bluey View Post
        I like to watch these horses go:

        https://vimeo.com/251084154

        I have only seen them in videos, not in person.
        I keep expecting to see one of those mechanical toy keys to wind them up show on the other side when they turn around.

        Those gaits are so ... unique.
        It would be hard to have to ride that for too long, not going anywhere so fast.
        I have ridden one, just briefly. There is a guy with a barn around here that has them and shows them. He brought them to a benefit paper chase my equestrian club puts on. When we were all amazed by them, he let us try them! Since then, we have all visited his facility too.
        Flickr

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        • #5
          I compete in Competitive Mounted Orienteering- basically a little like a distance ride while testing your map and compass skills (along with your eyesight lol). I'm a member of Maryland's only team.
          "You'll never see yourself in the mirror with your eyes closed"

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          • #6
            Blanket hoarding?

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            • #7
              I love Pasos. I have ridden a few, including one who could do that gait completely in place, like a piaffe. Amazing.

              I love to watch saddle seat classes, too. I'd love to try it sometime. And I want to learn to drive.

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              • #8
                Something that is gaining popularity around here is Ski-joring. I've got a couple of acquaintances who are getting quite into it and there's a big competition around here sometime soon that I want to go watch.

                I might be brave enough to try it behind my mini, maybe!

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                • #9
                  Although it is gaining popularity, for now my Mounted Archery Club is made up of me. It is a bigger sport in the SW and NW areas of the US, but I just love it. I am so done with dressage, reining, showing, and everything else, that I wanted something different --something I could do at home that didn't need a lot of expensive equipment or years of training with an instructor to enjoy. Something that even a very senior citizen could do well at. Mounted Archery fits me. My original mounted archery horse was older (19) but sound --cantering 90 meters while I shot a bow off his back was do-able --he really enjoyed walking the 90 meters back to the start much more, but some archers do walk-trot division. When the weather is great, we spend a half hour to an hour shooting targets in my pastures or on my course. [90 meters and 3 targets on a fence line] I did have to stop giving my horse a treat every time I hit a bulls eye because he learned to stop on his own when he heard a certain solid "thunk" followed by a whoop of joy.

                  When the weather sucks (like today --cold and snow) I set up my targets in the barn aisle and shoot from the ground. It isn't as much fun, but any practice is good practice since nocking the arrow and shooting are 90% of success (can't hit a target if your bow isn't on the string!) --a good archer can nock and shoot 12 arrows in 10-14 seconds. I can do 6 consistently, so I have a way to go. Some people travel all over to compete in mounted archery --I stay home and compete with how I did yesterday. I have been to one competition --nice people --but found myself wishing I was home on my own course. Some people compete on rented or borrowed horses at competitions --I only ride my own two. I did buy a lovely younger (12) gelding who is spot on for mounted archery (former mounted shooting horse --knows the drill). But my main love is to go out on a pretty day, shoot a quiver full of arrows at my four targets set out in different locations, then listen to the cheers of the crowd ---ok the crowd is in my head --but when I do a great run --they do cheer loudly. And archery is good exercise for the upper body! Added bonus is my DH loves to sit in a lawn chair and watch me shoot. Just last month he started going to the range with me (there's a nice coach there who helps me to improve my ground shooting about once a month). DH has taken two lessons and wants to do more. Don't know if he'll ever shoot off my horses (he does ride), but for now, it's fun to have something to do together.

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                  • #10
                    Back in my 20s I attended a 4th of July celebration at a local historical park (basically an 18th century farm setup with craft demos, heritage livestock, etc.) In addition to their infamous "anvil shoot", which was two anvils placed on top of each other and packed in-between with black powder to shoot the top anvil straight into the air when lit (hilarious, BTW!), they did a program with their jumping mules that I loved.

                    A full-size mule was led by halter and lead rope up to a four-board fence. The handler climbed over the fence, and the mule proceeded to jump the fence from a standstill like the thing was only a foot high. The mule was then jumped back the other direction, and a second mule was brought out to do the same thing. It was awesome, and the mules looked like they were having a ball.

                    I had no idea that mules could jump like deer!
                    "Dogs give and give and give. Cats are the gift that keeps on grifting." –Bradley Trevor Greive

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by chestnutmarebeware View Post
                      Back in my 20s I attended a 4th of July celebration at a local historical park (basically an 18th century farm setup with craft demos, heritage livestock, etc.) In addition to their infamous "anvil shoot", which was two anvils placed on top of each other and packed in-between with black powder to shoot the top anvil straight into the air when lit (hilarious, BTW!), they did a program with their jumping mules that I loved.

                      A full-size mule was led by halter and lead rope up to a four-board fence. The handler climbed over the fence, and the mule proceeded to jump the fence from a standstill like the thing was only a foot high. The mule was then jumped back the other direction, and a second mule was brought out to do the same thing. It was awesome, and the mules looked like they were having a ball.

                      I had no idea that mules could jump like deer!
                      You'd think this would be pretty high on the list of "things never to teach your mule to do." I wonder how they keep them in at home!

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                      • #12
                        Body clipping. Not a horse "activity" or discipline as I think the OP intended; but I really enjoy body clipping.

                        There is something cathartic about fresh clipper blades on a wooly, winter coat.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Displaced Yankee View Post
                          Body clipping. Not a horse "activity" or discipline as I think the OP intended; but I really enjoy body clipping.

                          There is something cathartic about fresh clipper blades on a wooly, winter coat.
                          May I add an absolutely non-PC "Me Too"!!

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by chestnutmarebeware View Post
                            Back in my 20s I attended a 4th of July celebration at a local historical park (basically an 18th century farm setup with craft demos, heritage livestock, etc.) In addition to their infamous "anvil shoot", which was two anvils placed on top of each other and packed in-between with black powder to shoot the top anvil straight into the air when lit (hilarious, BTW!), they did a program with their jumping mules that I loved.

                            A full-size mule was led by halter and lead rope up to a four-board fence. The handler climbed over the fence, and the mule proceeded to jump the fence from a standstill like the thing was only a foot high. The mule was then jumped back the other direction, and a second mule was brought out to do the same thing. It was awesome, and the mules looked like they were having a ball.

                            I had no idea that mules could jump like deer!
                            Oh, yes! It's my understanding that mules were disallowed from FEI show jumping (I think it's FEI) based on one mule that was clocking the butts of his horse competition. They're remarkable critters. And scary smart. A lady on a draft power message board I belong to had a Molly that decided that she wanted to be a mom when a neighbor's cow calved near the fenceline. She somehow managed to pull the newborn calf through the fence and stash it in the barn and was running the furious momma cow off from the barn like a cutting horse! Lol. Another one of the lady's mules kicked a syringe out of her hand without hitting her hand as she was preparing to give it an injection.

                            You have to convince mules that there's something in it for them for them to do what you want. They don't put up with tomfoolery like lunging like horses do.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by chestnutmarebeware View Post
                              A full-size mule was led by halter and lead rope up to a four-board fence. The handler climbed over the fence, and the mule proceeded to jump the fence from a standstill like the thing was only a foot high. The mule was then jumped back the other direction, and a second mule was brought out to do the same thing. It was awesome, and the mules looked like they were having a ball.
                              This is called a coon mule jump. they have them periodically at the fairgrounds in Raleigh, often with the draft horse pulls. It's very entertaining! Different classes based on heights and they can win $.

                              Life doesn't have perfect footing.

                              Bloggily entertain yourself with our adventures (and disasters):
                              We Are Flying Solo

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                              • #16
                                As a teen, I really enjoyed when our Pony Club had polocrosse lessons. Super fun, most horses and ponies got used to the ball pretty quickly, and seemed to enjoy it too!

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                                • #17
                                  One of my barnmates does jousting at the Renaissance fair every summer. Next weekend my mare and I are going to tag along to one of their practices. I'm so excited!

                                  I also weirdly enjoy body clipping...

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                                  • #18
                                    I'm currently experimenting with clicker training and teaching my horse tricks. We are barn bound as our home facility is encased in ice.

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                                    • #19
                                      Coon Jumping classes/shows. Years ago at the Astrodome I had to kill time at a large show. Walked into the mule rail classes and stayed to watch the Coon Jumping. It was an amazing class to watch and the place was packed with spectators once that started.
                                      Last edited by ici et là; Jan. 11, 2019, 02:52 PM. Reason: spelling

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by Bluey View Post
                                        I like to watch these horses go:

                                        https://vimeo.com/251084154

                                        I have only seen them in videos, not in person.
                                        I keep expecting to see one of those mechanical toy keys to wind them up show on the other side when they turn around.

                                        Those gaits are so ... unique.
                                        It would be hard to have to ride that for too long, not going anywhere so fast.
                                        LOL, that gait is called Fino, and it is very difficult to ride when you are a person who wants to go somewhere. I don't have the patience for a true Fino. Paso Finos also do a Corto and Largo which are much more forward, but usually still collected.

                                        On topic, it has become popular to play horse soccer with Paso Finos. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_dPM081hwUw One of the Paso rescues sells horse soccer balls (http://www.ranchodeladama.com/horsep...all-store.html). I have bought several for barn presents, and they hold up well.

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