What You Need:
Let’s play some basketball! Basketball is a great game to play on horseback and there are so many variations of how to play. It’s good for group lessons or independent lessons and can be adjusted for any equipment you have.
There are lots of ways to play basketball, but I’ll give you the basics and some fun ideas to change it up.
First, I have the rider(s) find a ball. They can pick it up off a barrel or get it out of a bucket. I have different types and sizes of the ball so they can choose which one they want to start with. We are lucky to have an actual basketball hoop so I will pull that out and place it somewhere in the arena.
After the rider picks up the ball, we have a couple options. Option 1: Rider holds the ball until getting to the basketball hoop. Option 2: Rider needs to pass the ball. If the rider has sidewalkers, I usually pick this and have the rider toss the ball to sidewalkers. If this is too difficult at the walk, we do it at the whoa before moving on to the hoop.
Once the rider makes it to the hoop, we shoot the ball! I adjust the difficulty based on the rider. If the rider can toss the ball easily, I make her shoot from farther away. If the rider is very independent, I’ll change up the shot so we do a slam dunk, a layup, a three-pointer, a free throw, or a jumper. If you aren’t familiar with basketball terms, make up whatever you want!
If you have a group of riders, you can have riders pass the ball X number of times before getting to the hoop. Just make sure everyone has a chance to pass, catch, and shoot the ball!
Let me know if you use this in your next lesson and if you have success with it!