Fun games to try with your pony

Games are not only fun for your and your pony, but they're also a great way to learn new skills. Here are a few ideas from the experts at the Pony Club:

Traffic light game

This group game is nice and simple. All you need is a coach (or a friend!) to call out different colours as you perform a series of different movements. Red means halt, amber is walk and green is trot.

Bean bag games

Try this challenge by riding with a bean bag on your hat! This tricky move will help you to improve your balance and your riding position.

If the bean bag falls off, ask your instructor to show you how to correct your position.

You can try this in walk, trot or, if you dare, canter. If you ride on a lead rein, try this in halt and walk. 

Try these: 

  • Can you sit on the bean bag in walk, trot and canter?
  • Can you keep the bean bag between your lower leg and pony – is it easier on one side or the other?  What about over a jump?
  • Can you keep a bean bag between your hands and still steer when riding circles?

Musical Markers

If you've got group of friends, this game can be lots of fun and doesn’t require much equipment.

The aim of the game is to ride around until the music stops, then head for a cone or marker.

There should be one less cone than there are riders and each time a rider makes it to a cone they get a point.

At the end of the game, the rider with the most points wins.

Scavenger Hunt

For this game, you need to be in pairs and it's best if you have more than two pairs. 

Have an adult help you and, once you're paired up, get your adult to send you to find things beginning with a certain letter for example; things beginning with the letter B might include; bark or bottle.

The Pony Club recommends that you have one older and one younger rider in each pair and that very small riders stick to walk.

Depending on the season, you might want to turn your scavenger hunt into a themed treasure hunt e.g. an Easter egg hunt, a Christmas gift hunt etc.

Apple Bobbing Race

This game can be played individually or in team, but you'll need some helpers to hold ponies.

To set it up, fill a line of buckets full of water and throw in some apples.

Riders have to race to the buckets, dismount, hand your pony to the helper then bob for apples with your teeth.

Once you’ve managed to get an apple out of the bucket, remount and race back to the start!

Sammy Snake

This one is by far our favourite Pony Club Game!

Sammy the Snake teaches you how to ride a three-loop serpentine.

To set it up, place two poles at A for you to ride between, another two poles on the centre line, then another two poles on the centre guiding you straight after second loop and then finally two poles at C to finish of the exercise.

Start at A or C (Sammy’s head!) and ride in between the poles until you finish at his tail.