What You Need:
This is a fun summertime game that can incorporate a mounted and unmounted activity. It is very hot here in Colorado and July hasn’t even given us the normal afternoon thunderstorms to cool things down overnight. To make riding a little more bearable in the heat of summer, here’s a fun game to play.
Set up 3-4 bathing tools on one end of the arena. A sponge, a squeegee scraper, a rubber grooming mitt, a jelly curry, shampoo, and a comb are all good options. Provide several different textures, sizes, and weights of items for riders. Place a water bucket at the opposite end of the arena.
If you have multiple riders, this can be set up as a relay. Have riders ride to the bathing tools then ride back and drop them in the water bucket. The riders need to gather all tools and put them in the bucket. At the end of the lesson, riders can grab the water bucket and bathe their horse with the tools they collected.
This can also be a matching game. Have a card for each bath tool and ask riders to find the matching tool. If you hold up a picture of the shampoo, riders need to go get the shampoo. Matching games are great for improving focus, increasing ability to find similarities and differences in objects, and help with short-term memory. It also makes the game fun for private lessons.
As with most of my games, this can be scaled up or down depending on rider’s skill level. If riders trot, have them trot back to the water bucket. If riders need to work on core strength and lengthening their muscles, have riders stretch up, down, or across to get the tools. If riders don’t do an off-horse component, then explain why horses get baths and what the tools are used for in the mounted lesson.
Let me know if you try this!