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Horse Games

Published: 9/23/2008
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There are several Fun Shows scheduled this summer at Andwemet Farm.
Click here to check out the Events page.

Click here to check out another Games story.

By Maddy B. Gray

I have to admit it. When I read the list of classes, I was a bit baffled. “Bat Race?” “Musical Bags?”  Whatever these events are, we do them with horses, right? There were less mysterious classes like “Broom Polo” and “Double Speed Barrels.”
Broom PoloThis should be interesting, at the very least. It could be fun!
And so off we went to our first day of games.
You might want to understand where I’m coming from: developing the relationship with my horse is Priority Number One. Getting a personal best time or ranking or qualification means nothing to me.
And so it was with many of us at the Andwemet Farm Fun Show, where the emphasis was on fun. [Take Note: There's another Fun Day on October 4.]
Shea and I did about half of the 16 classes, starting with the Egg & Spoon carry: we walked, trotted, loped, and then dropped the egg. That was fun!
We played Musical Bags, trotting around the arena with many other riders, listening to Shania Twain. When the music stopped, we raced to dismount and jump on the nearest grain bag. Each time, there’d be one less grain bag than horse.  There were eight horses. Then there were seven. And then, by just dumb luck, there was just us. That was fun!
Double Speed BarrelsThe Bat Race gave new meaning to Designated Driver. Race the length of the arena. Dismount and place forehead to the end of a baseball bat. Spin around 10 times. (Can we say, “one tequila, two tequila…”?) Then, assuming you are still standing, mount back up and race to the other end of the arena. That was fun! Ok, nauseating, but still fun!
My favorite was the Speed Trail Class. I figured Shea and I would do wicked well in this one because there was a little bridge to cross. Like backyard Ninja Warriors who set up their own course, we had our own little bridge at home.
But, of course, there were other obstacles, too. And we stunk at backing through poles and making side passes. Oh, well. Still it was a blast. We watched a woman named Maria and her big Clydesdale/Thoroughbred breeze through the poles and the side passes. They obviously understood each other very well. It was so nice to see the clear connection.
Ground TyingIt was a “Fun Day” for sure and one that challenged horse and rider.
Sure we were rewarded with brightly colored ribbons. (My kids were very impressed). But even better, we went home with a nice To Do list of things to work on together. For the next Fun Day!
Please note: Special Thanks to Sharon Higgins of Andwemet Farm, Cindy Eggleston and Deb (MaineHorseCommunity.com) for taking photos!

View Reader Comments:

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3/11/2009 Mary
Yes! It's a great way to connect with your horse and laugh a little, too.
3/12/2009 Jim
Horse games are fun at home...but they're much better with an audience and competition. Thanks for the story.

   
"Here lies the body of my good horse, The General. For years he bore me around the circuit of my practice and all that time he never made a blunder. Would that his master could say the same." - President John Tyler's epitaph for his horse