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Fun Show Ideas?

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  • Fun Show Ideas?

    One of the other barn girls and I are trying to coordinate a Saturday fun show.

    But we NEED game ideas...!

    We already have:
    water balloon and spoon
    Sit a buck
    Boot relay
    Toilet paper game
    Rider AND horse bobbing for apples
    Baton (crop) relay

    But, with only those classes, we'll have maybe a 30 minute show? So any and every idea is greatly appreciated!! Also, nothing that requires spending an excessive amount of money
    Proud member of the COTH Junior (and Junior-at-Heart!) clique!

  • #2
    Put a bell boot on their helmet and see who can keep it on the longest. If they jump, have them jump a course without dropping the bell boot.


    • #3
      you could throw in:
      -break & out
      -obstacle course (doesn't have to be crazy, just set up 4-6 "tests" at the rider's ability and time them. For instance, picking up a ball on one barrel, riding it to a bucket and dropping it in, then doing a 360 degree turn between four poles set in a square, dismounting and hopping over a fence (or through a hula hoop - the person not the horse), finding a specified name in the phone book and taking that page back to the starter, etc.)
      -ball and bucket. Far side of ring has a tennis ball (on the ground if you want dismounting, on top of a barrel if you don't.) middle of the ring has a bucket. Rider runs down, picks up the ball, drops it in the bucket on the way back across the line. If they miss the bucket they have to get off and put it in, then either lead their horse across the line or remount.

      Do you have enough for teams?
      -team poles - team is split on both sides of the ring, bending poles in the middle (or jump standards). one rider holds a 3' rope and bends through the poles to pick up rider #2. They BOTH hold one end of the rope and ride through the poles not letting go of their rope. At the other end rider #! drops out and #2 picks up rider #3 and they return. time stops as rider #3 and #4 come back across the line. You could run as pairs too I suppose.

      I always like the cup of water "race" better than egg and spoon for kids, because no one really gets eliminated. Each rider has an equal size cup FILLED with water. Ride like egg & spoon (it's not a race, don't know why we always call it that) and at the end if a visual inspection can't determnine who has the most water left you can always whip out the old measuring cup to get a number. We ran this one time with some advanced kids and set up a jump on one side of the ring that they had to go over, starting x-rail size but the kids were amazingly good at it and I think we had it up to 2'6" or so and they still had a lot of water in their cups!


      • #4
        Musical chairs or sacks played just like the children's game of musical chairs.

        Sock race--Tube socks placed in a row at one end of the arena. Horses and riders at the opposite end. Riders race to the other end, pick out a sock and place it on one of the horse's feet. Horses and riders return to the other end of the arena. First to cross the line is the winner. Returning entries can be mounted or led. Hint: the riders who jump on their horses and run back usually lose their sock within a couple of strides.

        Tunnel race--Large barrel, open at both ends, at the far end of the arena. Riders go individually and are timed. Riders ride to the barrel, dismount, climb through the barrel while their horse is ground tied. Return to their horse, remount, and return to the start/finish line.


        • #5
          One of the races they did at my barn's fun show last year was:

          Everybody walks as fast as they can up the arena without breaking gait, turn around and trots back as fast as they can, then get to the end and canter back up the arena then hop off and you have to run, leading your horse back as fast as you can go.

          And of course, you could do a costume class.

          Also, a trotting barrel race.
          The Trials and Jubilations of a Twenty-Something Re-rider
          Happy owner of Kieran the mostly-white-very-large-not-pony.


          • #6
            Indiana flag race at slower speeds? (Clover leaf barrel setup--the flag's in the bucket on one of the first two barrels, whichever side the rider prefers, they start by picking up the flag, running around the far barrel, and depositing the flag in the bucket on the third barrel.)

            Spearing a ring on a riding crop (like the military riding game where you do it with a lance or sword.)

            Down and back race--race to the end of the ring, dismount and LEAD the horse back, first over the line wins.

            I assume "sit a buck" is dollar bareback?
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            • #7
              When I was a kid we did a couple of fun ones:

              One where each rider piles their tack at the far long side of the arena. Then the riders lead their horses out to the opposite long side directly across from their own tack. At "GO" they lead their horses to their tack, tack up as fast as they can, mount their horse (there can be a mounting block with the tack for tall horses), canter (or walk or trot - up to the level of the riders and could have one competition for each level) around the ring 3 times then back to their spot and untack as quick as possible and lead horse back to where they started. Fastest wins.

              Flag race where there are buckets tied in several places along the rail each with a different colored flag on a stick stuck in it. Riders are timed as they enter ring, grab the first flag, go to second bucket, swap the flag in hand for the one in the bucket and move to the next, doing same thing at each one until they cross finish line after placing the last flag in their hand into the first bucket.
              Visit Sonesta Farms website at www.sonestafarms.com or our FaceBook page at www.facebook.com/sonestafarms. Also showing & breeding Cavalier King Charles Spaniels.


              • #8
                Costume class

                I always loved doing gambler's choice trot poles.
                "Sometimes the fear won't go away... so you just have to do it afraid."

                Trolls be trollin'! -DH


                • #9
                  The panty race is just like the sock race, but way funnier.


                  • #10
                    Catalogue Race-You need a thicker catalogue. I think we used to get a JC Penny or something. Put it on a barrel at the far end of the arena. Rider enters the ring. Announcer gives a random page number. Rider races down to the barrel, dismounts, finds page and rips it out, remounts, and races back to the finish line. Catalogue must be closed again before remounting. Fastest time wins.

                    Baby Bottle Race-Always a a fun class to watch. Requires riding double. Baby bottles are filled to a specified level with water or kool-aid and given to each pair but they can't start drinking until the class is called on the rail. The rider in front controls the horse and must hold the baby bottle over the shoulder while the rider in back drinks. Rider in back is not allowed to touch the bottle. Riders may be asked to walk/trot/canter/back/etc at judge's discretion. First pair to empty the bottle wins.

                    Chin Apple-Each rider is given an apple. When the class is called the rider must put the apple under their chin (the larger the apple, the harder it is to hold) and not touch it again with their hands. Judge may call walk/trot/canter/pattern/etc. The last person still holding the apple under their chin wins.


                    • #11
                      A friend and I put on open shows and always have games.

                      Bribe-a-horse; place a barrel in the middle of the arena. Contestants are allowed 3 small treats. The starting line is just inside the in-gate (remember to CLOSE the gate before starting. The horse must be free and the purpose of the game is to successfully bribe your horse to and around the barrel, and back to the finish line. It's a timed event and is a hoot to watch.

                      Australian Trotting Race- Place 4 cones in a large square inside the arena. Riders can start anywhere outside the square. At the "Go!" riders trot their horses as fast as they can around the outside the cones. If they are passed by another contestant, they are out and must go to the 'safe' area inside the square. And, if the horse breaks stride, they are out and must go to the 'safe' area. Last one still trotting is the winner.

                      Have fun!
                      It's only when a mosquito lands on your privates that you realize there is always a way to solve problems without using violence. fb meme.


                      • #12
                        Last fun show I ran we did a reality class. Did all kinds of things that happen in real world riding and see who spooked last--kids popping up on the side of the arena, paper bags, blowing across arena, dogs running loose through arena, dropping things out of the blue, knocking a barrel over and rolling it around, etc.

                        Funny thing was, I left that place because of the nut people, um "natural horse" people, who spent all of their time playing these "games." Guess who got eliminated first?


                        • #13
                          If it's safe with this group of kids, do a chase me charlie or a little mini gamblers choice.
                          Pairs classes are fun, don't have to be over fences, can be on the flat.
                          Could have a costume contest.
                          A bareback


                          • #14
                            We've had games where the slowest walk and the slowest trot wins. It's great if you have beginner riders that might be afraid of riding fast. You could also see who can back their horse the length of the arena quickest. I've had fun doing some of the western games (barrels, pole bending) at a nice controlled trot.
                            Crayola Posse - Pine Green
                            Whinnie Pine (June 4, 1977 - April 29, 2008)
                            Autumn Caper (April 27, 1989 - May 24, 2015)
                            Murphy (April 28, 1994 - May 5, 2017)


                            • #15
                              Musical horses (people walk/trot their horses in a circle around one person, not on a horse. The person in the center sings a song, and they suddenly stop in a random part of the song. All the riders leap off their horses and fast walk to a different horse. Whoever ends up without a horse is the center person. You need really mellow horses for this.)

                              Pole bending (or, as the case may be, cone bending)

                              You could get creative and decorate the jumps with briht strips of aluminum foil, tie stuffed animals to the poles, etc. And see who has the most bombproof horse that can jump a course of those


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by Murphy's Mom View Post
                                We've had games where the slowest walk and the slowest trot wins. It's great if you have beginner riders that might be afraid of riding fast. You could also see who can back their horse the length of the arena quickest. I've had fun doing some of the western games (barrels, pole bending) at a nice controlled trot.
                                LOVE this~ thanks!
                                It's only when a mosquito lands on your privates that you realize there is always a way to solve problems without using violence. fb meme.


                                • #17
                                  Don't know what it was called, but a friend's barn had riders pair up, then each held on to one end of a crepe paper streamer. They started at a walk, then trot, then canter. When the paper broke the team was disqualified. Last pair with an intact paper won.
                                  In memory of Apache, who loved to play. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MjZAqeg7HyE


                                  • #18
                                    I really like the Bribe a horse race idea - maybe because the pony would be a sure fire winner.
                                    Don't forget that any class that is one at a time - like a reality obstacle class - can take quite some time! Five minutes per person with 10 entrants - that's an hour. And you know that for every minute finisher, if this is a local fun show, there'll be a fair share of the five minute guys. I just was looking at the show bill for the games held yesterday and they had a couple of goodies - let's see if I can find them online.

                                    ETA, well they don't have the descriptions online, but there was a team tacking race and a pony express which if I remember rightly was to ride up to your "postmaster" take your loose mail, ride to the mailbox and put the mail in, then ride back. There were a couple of obstacles in the way too.
                                    Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
                                    Incredible Invisible


                                    • #19
                                      Musical stalls. Liek musical chairs, but you set up "Stalls" of two groundpoles, with one less than the number of horse/rider teams. When the music stops, the horse/rider has to go into the "stall." Really fun!

                                      Command class - like "Simon Says" but use the word "now."

                                      You could do a "trail" class with all kinds of obstacles (maybe a Halloween theme).

                                      Relay races are always fun!
                                      In loving memory of Chutney (1977 - 2008)


                                      • #20
                                        We did a "bribe your horse" class at our last fun show and it was the most popular game we did! BUT ours was a lot more difficult-they had to basically do a trail course (weave cones, cross the bridge, trot from point A to Point B, walk past a pile of hay, and step over a crossrail) They could use whatever treat they wanted as long as they could hold it in one hand and there was a five second penalty for every time they touched the horse or its halter on course (and feeding a treat or part of one before they crossed the finish line counted as touching).

                                        We also did a command class where announcer gives a command and the rider has until a count of three (about 1/2 second per count, or 1.5-2 second total) to do it, and then they have to continue to do it until another command is given. If a horse breaks gait or moves a foot on a halt, or doesn't make the command by the three, that pair is eliminated. AS fewer are left in the ring, the announcer can make the commands harder, like halting from a canter or hand gallop (which is HARD to do on a count of three!), counter canter, back up, reverse diarection at canter (they have to be completely reversed, so it can't be a big circle and they can't break) a REALLY long halt, etc. It can go quickly as everyone rides at once, but can also take a long time if some are really good.

                                        A slow race is fun, too. We did a trot slow race and a canter one, and they had to complete the course, a square around 4 barrels, in the slowest time without breaking gait (each break was a 5-second penalty). Harder than it looks, and the kids had a good time!

                                        One a couple more we did were the bubblegum race (ride down, get a piece of bubble gum like Dubble Bubble, must stay and chew until they can blow a 1" bubble and then race to finish. If they don't go one at a time with a timer, you need a volunteer for each rider to verify the bubble before they can ride back. On a similar vein is cracker and whistle-ride down, get three saltine crackers, they must eat them all and then whistle before they can race back. One warning on this one, the volunteers waiting for the whistle need a sense of humor, because they will get a bunch of wet cracker crumbs blown all over them while kids try to get the whistle out as fast as possible!