Monday, 22 December 2014

Brown Horse goes to a Gymkhana

On Sunday, my Riding Club held its annual Christmas Gymkhana. A Gymkhana is a series of different games/races played on horseback.
There were only 4 of us on horseback but there were quite a few spectators.

Everyone get all dressed up and humiliates their horses by dressing them up too!

Antlers and Fairy lights!
BH had his antlers on and fairy lights in his mane. I just had my red velvet hat cover and a Christmas jumper on. The lady that won the fancy dress painted her horse's hooves with sparkly red hoof oil and it was covered in tinsel and she was dressed as an elf.

Christmas Gymkhana
I like to say I just go along for fun but I definitely find myself getting over excited and rather competitive! This excitement transfers to the horse and it gets really exciting and a bit out of control then!!

 The games we did were:

The bending race - you have a series of cones or poles and you have to weave through them up to the end, turn round and weave through them on the way back. 
BH thought this game was great and he managed to win it although he was enjoying himself so much he didn't really want to listen to me telling him to steady up and slow down!

The potato race - you go thundering up to the far end or the arena where someone is standing holding out a potato. Try not to run the person down as you go round them and dash back to the start and drop the potato in a bucket. First to get their 3 potatoes in the bucket wins.
BH got way too excited at this one and nearly ran the poor helper over a couple of times and then trampled the bucket so I couldn't get the spud in it!
We didn't win this one because it ended up as a demolition derby and I can't remember which place we got.

The potato and spoon race - exactly like the egg and spoon race... but on a horse... at speed...
This is quite tricky to keep an eye on your potato and spoon and try to steer and control a horse that is enjoying himself way too much!
We managed it though and just scraped a win by a nose!

The sack race - race up to the far end, come back halfway, leap off your horse, climb/trip/fall into the world's smallest potato sack and leap down the arena and across the line.
I kept getting the heel of my boots caught on the bag so wasn't very quick! I think we might have come second but I wasn't keeping track of the scores. I was having too much fun!

Chase me Charlie - this is a game where they set out a single jump and everyone jumps it once then it goes up a notch. It keeps going up and up until there is only one person left in. If your horse refuses or knocks it down, you're out.
I had intended only to pop it a couple of times as BH isn't really supposed to jump due to his arthritis. He was absolutely flying and he felt so good. We got very competitive and ended up coming joint first at a height of around 3 foot! Oops! But it was so much fun! BH has done some really small (max 1ft) jumps over the summer but he hasn't really jumped for about 4 or 5 years so to have him flying something huge was amazing!
I will now be monitoring his arthritis closely with a view to letting him perhaps do a little bit more jumping next summer. He is a bit wild so I'll be keeping it to a very low level and preferably in a contained area!

We had a great afternoon and will be back next year to defend our title!

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