Gymkhana

 Gymkhana are games on horseback generally (but not always) played by children.

The games require a lot of space if riders play against each other and the first across the finish line wins rather than using a stop watch.

Props are usually simple, such as an egg, a water bottle or a bucket.

Some games involve getting on and off of the horse, so having a short horse or pony can be an advantage.


KInds of Gymkhana Games
More being invented all the time



 Egg and Spoon - riders carry an egg in a spoon that they hold out to their side. The announcer calls for different gaits and maneuvers. The last one with the egg in their spoon wins.

 Simon Says - the judge tells all the riders to do something, such as "reverse at a walk". Riders must do it correctly without watching the other riders. If you get it wrong, you're out. The last one in wins.


Ribbon Race - two riders each hold one end of a ribbon and walk, trot, and canter. The last team still holding the ribbon wins. This is harder if the two horses don't get along well.


Apple Bobbing - riders gallop to a bucket of water, dismount, and try to catch an apple that is floating in the water between their teeth. When (or if ) they catch an apple, they mount the pony again and gallop back to the finish line with the apple in their mouth.



 Donut Race - two riders hold donuts on strings above their partner's head. They have to eat the hanging donuts without their hands. This is a lot harder than it sounds, but it helps if both horses are quiet and friendly.




Potato Race - riders pick up an object (not necessarily a potato), gallop by a bucket at full speed, and drop the object into it. This game is also popular for adults.



Bribe A Horse - a great game for the Breyer horse that loves to eat.
The rider dismounts and removes the horse's saddle and bridle. Then she picks up a bucket of grain and lets her horse see it. Before he can eat any, she starts running down the arena and around a cone or barrel. Most horses will chase the bucket, but a few will give up after a couple seconds. Of course, after the run, the horse is rewarded with a treat.

The fastest time wins. The horse can wear a halter if he is hard to catch.


Sit-A-Buck - a fun game played bareback. Riders place a dollar bill under their leg and try to keep it from falling out while they follow the judge's commands. The last rider still sitting on their dollar wins.

Other games include musical chairs, keyhole, sack races, Push Polo and relay races.

What tack do I need?

An All-purpose English saddle, a bridle with a snaffle bit and a cavesson noseband. Or a Western saddle if games like barrel racing is offered.

Boots are optional. Tack rules are less strict than in other classes. The tack can be brightly colored, especially in a kid's class.

What clothes does the rider wear?

Either hunt seat clothes, a Western shirt and jeans, or casual English riding clothes ( jodhpurs, jodhpur boots, a shirt). Helmets are required sometimes, like in a 4-H gymkhana. Your rider can wear a safety vest to protect her in case of a fall.

What model do I need?

The Breyer Cantering Welsh Pony is a good model. The Classic Halflinger pony could be doing Simon Says, Egg and Spoon or the Ribbon Race.

Almost any horse or pony will work.

Classic Halflinger Pony

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