Natural Horse World

Ideas for fun tasks


If you have a friend around, you can be even more creative when you play with your horses.
If you have a friend around, you can be even more creative when you play with your horses.

There are three L’s that can help when you get stuck for ideas for fun when tasking your horse;
LOOK around you, think LATERALLY and be LOGICAL if your lateral thinking gets stuck.

LOOK: What do you see around you? Flat pasture, trees, banks, ditches, hills, dams, fences, creeks, roads or tracks, gates, sheds/stable, horse trailer (if you’re lucky) – all available obstacles to play with.
Then there’s some additional items generally found around horsey places; drums, poles, logs, cavaletti, tyres, tarps to name a few.

If you want more ideas for building fun tasks you will love this DVD.
If you want more ideas for building fun tasks you will love this Horse Playgrounds DVD.

Add traffic cones, electric fence posts, wooden reels and pallets, hoops, balls, bags, umbrellas, rain coats, balloons or wine cask bladders, streamers, pool noodles, solid pallets or stands built for horses, chairs etc. and you have a huge variety of tasks you can develop with a little imagination.

LATERAL THINKING: Let your mind become child-like again, be creative, let it wander off track and ask yourself “now I wonder what if..”. Lateral thinking is a learned skill which gets better with practice. Brainstorming with others, watching what others do and learning to think like a horse all help and if all else fails, be….

LOGICAL: There are; 6 directions your horse can move in (forwards, backwards, right, left, up & down), 4 gaits (stand, walk, trot, canter), different lengths of ropes (6′, 12′, 22′ and 45′ are common), training stick(s), string, flag, 1 or 2 reins – how many more combinations of things do you want?

Like one of those ‘wonderword’ puzzles, try writing down all the different ways you can combine any number of the above ingredients with an obstacle to make a task. You’ll be surprised at how laterally you learn to think in the process of being logical.

Here are some ideas to help you get the hang of it.

Winter Play Ideas - Some people see winter as a time to put the horses aside, some even complain about the weather, short days and no time to ride. Then there are those who see winter as a time to focus on other horsemanship challenges and these are only limited by your imagination. One of the most beneficial things […]
More Interesting Challenges - As your horsemanship skills improve, it will benefit you and your horse to find ways of putting things into practice by playing with more obstacles and challenges. Below are some ideas photographed at various fun days and tournaments. Before trying the advanced versions such as at liberty or bareback/bridle-less, try them online and with headgear/saddle on […]
Tasks featured at the Agfest Challenge Tournament - The idea of this event is to have fun and complete as many of the challenges as you can in the allotted time. The total time is 30 minutes and each task successfully completed scores 5 points. You will be able to add 5 extra points for every additional part of a task marked with […]
Finding Challenges around Your Farm - Many properties will have natural obstacles that can develop your ground skills, and turn tasks into fun. Just be sure to asses them thoroughly for safety first by checking for sharp areas, things that could snag a rope or small spaces a horse could trap a hoof. Kristen and Snowy discovered many interesting things to play with […]

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