The Gallop Report

Playday! Playday!

April 6, 2010

Check out some of the games that may be on tap for QuarterFest.

Holly Clanahan

What’s a party without party games? That’s why AQHA staffers had so much fun recently brainstorming about the games that will be part of the playday at the second annual QuarterFest: A Celebration of the American Quarter Horse, April 30 – May 2 in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. Our Facebook fans even got in on the game, suggesting some of their favorites. There’s a lot of people out there having fun with their horses, and that’s what it’s all about!

Although our playday agenda isn’t firmed up, here are a few of the games we’re talking about. If you’ve got other fun-day favorites, please leave us a comment!

Egg and Spoon Horsemanship – This is a spin on the traditional egg and spoon race, which has participants zooming from a starting point to a finish line, balancing an egg on a spoon. In horsemanship, riders are asked to perform a pattern. The one who completes the greatest portion of the pattern before dropping the egg wins. It’s a good test of horsemanship, because if you don’t have a steady seat and good balance, your egg will soon wobble off the spoon.

Cowboy Jousting – This requires a little engineering, but it’s well worth it. We use tall L-shaped frames made of PVC pipe with a string hanging from the top. Rings of various sizes (starting at about 6 inches) are attached to the string. These frames line the perimeter of the arena, and a rider carrying a jousting pole circles the arena, spearing the rings, which then release from the frame. This is a timed event, but skill obviously plays a big role, as well.

Boot Scramble – Riders start the game horseback in their stocking feet. Boots are piled at the other end of the arena. The riders race to the pile, then helpers hold the riders’ horses while the riders find their boots, put them on, then re-mount and ride back to the starting point.

Ride-A-Buck – Riders mount up bareback with a dollar bill tucked underneath their thigh, and the last one with the money still in place wins. Younger children or less-experienced riders can play this game in a saddle.

Ribbon Race – A team event involving two riders, each holding the end of a piece of crepe paper or toilet paper. Organizers can have the teams perform a pattern one at a time (such as going around barrels) or simply ride around the arena as a group. The last team still connected by an intact piece of paper wins.

Remember to keep safety first when playing horseback games. Check out these great safety tips from the Certified Horsemanship Association, an AQHA alliance partner.

Happy riding!
Holly Clanahan
Editor, America’s Horse magazine

Don’t miss the fun, educational and heart-warming stories in the print version of America’s Horse! It goes to all members of the American Quarter Horse Association, and it’ll also keep you in the loop on Association news. We want you to belong!