BY KAITLYN YOURKOSKI
In the midst of show season, we often spend a lot of times with our barn family and friends. As the nights get longer, it is the perfect opportunity for a barbecue. Trying to find activities to please all ages is difficult, but there are a few activities that as an equestrian you will never get bored of. From arts and crafts to competitions, here is a guide to a fun horse themed barbecue!
1. Mini Horseless Horse Show/Puissance
Time to put your foot jumping skills to the test. Can you beat the buzzer or have a perfect hunter round? The horseless horse show can feature many different events. You could set a hunter course of 8 jumps or even do a handy round. Or a jump off with 12 different jumps. Maybe one round is on two feet and another is on hands and feet. Another great way to show off your jumping skills is a mock Washington Horse Show Puissance. Can you get over the 6 foot wall, well maybe make yours around 3 foot. Who will win and get the first scoop of ice cream when dessert comes out?
2. Horse Shoe Toss
Did someone pull a shoe this week? Well as annoying as it is, it will be perfect for the horse shoe toss! All you need are a couple things, a few horseshoes, two stakes to put in the ground. The rules are simple, place the stakes 40 feet apart. Both players one at a time throw their shoes towards the opposite stake of where they are standing. The closest shoe to the stake equals one point and if it hits the stake they earn three points.
3. Hobby Horse Races
Giddy up, we are off to the Kentucky Derby! Take out the Hobby horses and go to the ring. It is simple. Find a straight line so you and your friends can gallop down the long side. If you want to get more crazy than just race, you can even jump on the hobby horses. Jumping hobby horses has become a revolution in Finland. Girls in Finland jump their hobby horses over high jumps.
4. Wagon Races
The wild west is coming out, and we are wagon racing! Grab a wheel barrow and three friends. One will sit in the wagon and two will be the horses. Just like the hobby horses find a straight line to race down and whoever gets there first is the winner.
5. Apple Bobbing vs Horses
Have you ever tried bobbing apples? If you have you know it’s pretty difficult. But now instead of playing against your friend, you can play against your horse. This only makes the game harder because your horse is probably more motivated to grab the apple then you are. Take two buckets. One for the horses and one for the humans, fill them up with apples and begin!
6. DIY Stick Ponies
A fun activity to start with the younger kids is DIY stick horses (you could use them for the hobby horse races). This may be a longer activity with the help of parents. The instructions are easy and you can pick up all the supplies at any local arts and crafts store.You will need to buy 5/8″ x 36″ Dowel Rod, a pair of long socks (whatever color socks, that is the color of your pony) Buttons for eyes and nose. Poly Fil stuffing, tissue paper, styrofoam to fill the sock, ribbon for the bridle and reigns. If you want to add a mane then you can use yarn, which you can also use to tie around the base of the sock to keep the head in place, and lastly a glue gun. There are many different introductions online which are very easy to find along with YouTube videos of how to create a perfect hobby horse.
7. Pony Dress Up Competition
Time to go to Party City! You and you’re pony/horse need to find the perfect costume. With three judges, the winner will be decided by creativity, originality, and effort. The pony’s will line up like a jog and you can strut your stuff.