Red Horse Equine Training: 1st Game Night

July 6, 2020

On Thursday I met Jenny for a game night hosted by Amanda Brunson in Louisa, VA. It was a little bit of a drive but doable, especially with little else going on. and I always have fun with Jenny who spoke highly of Amanda, so I gave it a go.

I arrived my usual, way-too-early, but had time to leisurely groom and tack Simon, reply to some messages and then wonder to the ring nice and early.

Amanda had all sorts of obstacles set up in the indoor which I was able to check out in advance while chatting with her.

When everyone was ready Amanda explained the first game. It was a pairs course with multiple obstacles. The two riders took turns with each completing an obstacle back and forth until all obstacles had been completed by one of the two riders. To start an obstacle the rider began from behind a basket, rode into a square of cones at the center, and then to the chosen obstacle. Each obstacle was paired with a ring or ball which the rider retrieved after navigating the obstacle. The rider then carried the ring or ball back to the starting point basket and deposited it signaling the next rider to go.

Obstacles included crossing over some flower boxes, crossing a bridge, walking over noodles, weaving through baskets, pushing a large ball, and using a pulley to retrieve a stuffed animal. Jenny and I started off, and thoroughly enjoyed the course. We than cheered on the other pair, Elizabeth and Anna. We took a second round of the course, speeding up our time, laughing the whole way. We both very much enjoyed this game and it played well for Jenny and I with our Mounted Games background.

The next game was similar to that electronic game “Simon” with lights that light up requiring the person playing it to hit the buttons in the same order, adding a new one each time. We lined up and started over the obstacles with rider one picking an obstacle, editing it in anyway they wished. After the last rider completed the obstacle they added another, and the circle continued. This was also a lot of fun.

The final game for the night was sort of an equine version of basketball horse. One rider selected one of two obstacles and added a twist. Each rider then took the challenge to do the same thing. We were all laughing and cheering each other on. Jenny managed a double MGAA Games style obstacle by “hoopla-ing” a tall cone, then dismounting and going through a hula hoop. Anna upped the challenge by putting the hoop over her horses head. And later Elizabeth upped the bridge obstacle, which was modified by crossing it twice in a figure eight, by taking off her bridle for it.

One challenge was to back a course through the cones. Jenny had just taught her pony, Seven to back, and the skill was stronger on the ground. So Jenny smartly dismounted and backed her with hand signals and cues. Very clever.

In the end we all won a prize and left with big smiles. Amanda has set a standing Thursday night game night date and I am excited to go to the next one. It was really a good time.

*Thank Amanda for hosting and sharing the photos and video.

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