All of the gymkhana games at our recent Halloween barn party were conducted in-hand. Although a few horses wore saddles, bridles and Halloween costumes, the majority were outfitted in a plain stable halter and lead rope.All of the games followed the same basic pattern. Each contestant led his or her horse through a row of cones, turned the horse around a barrel and then led him back through the cones. For safety reasons, cantering was not allowed.
The first game was egg and spoon.
Handlers balanced an egg on a spoon while negotiating their way through the cones. Since this was a race rather than an elimination class, every handler who dropped her egg needed to return to the starting line and try again.
Next up was the back up race. Instead of simply leading their horses around the barrel, each contestant had to turn it around and back it up.
This sounds simple in theory...
but in practice...
it was surprisingly difficult!
The last race was the bubble gum race.
After weaving their way through the cones, handlers had to unwrap a piece of gum (which had been placed atop the barrel), chew it and blow a bubble.
Once again, this proved to be easier said than done...
although most of the horses tried to help!
If you're looking to give performance a try, these are some easy ways to do it without spending a lot on tack or props. As always, feel free to use my photos and class descriptions for your live show performance documentation. And don't forget--I'd love to see a picture of your entry!