Friday, August 31, 2012

Gymkhana Folllies

A gymkhana is actually a sports contest of any kind, but the word seems to be most used in the horse world.  In a gymkhana, you play games on horseback and it's all about being silly and having fun.  No dressage, no formal attire, no ribbons on trophies.

My kind of competition.

We had a gymkhana at the barn last week and it was the most fun I've had since I've been riding.  And it was silly and crazy and basically, a bunch of women and one man in a tizzy on horseback.

Here's what we looked like to start:

It looks like we're starting a race,  but it was just so everyone could be in a picture together.  13 people on horseback in an indoor ring.

It sounded like a recipe for disaster.  I was sure some horse would pick that situation to pull a total nutty and go storming into another horse and someone would die.

Amazingly everyone behaved.  No one kicked or bit anyone else. 

The horses didn't either.

My favorite part was that we were all bareback.  No saddles, no stirrups and no saddle pads.  This was my first time and I'm hooked.  As my sister a-ster said, it's hard to imagine how you can move up and down and do anything without stirrups, but it's magic.

We played 3 games and I was a total loser at each one.  Thank GOD there were no prizes or I would have been mad because I am a tad competitive.  There wasn't much organization and the "judges" didn't do their jobs.  Bascially, it was a bunch of people doing their own thing!

First, we all had to put a dollar bill under our right upper thigh and it had to stay there throughout a whole course of things.  Mine stayed on for quite a while, but I was the first one out.

Some people  never lost their bills, so it didn't quite work the way it was supposed to.  People were supposed to lose them left and right and the winner would get everyone's dollars that dropped but it was a sweaty night and people were cheating, so the bill stuck pretty well!

Here's a view of what it looked like.  I don't know where I am.  I must have been out at this point and in the corner.

Then we all got a spoon and had to carry an egg around the ring.  I was fine until I started trotting.  I don't have a video of that one.

And the final task was to hold a length of toilet paper between 2 riders and ride around together.

I was with a girl I've never seen before and her horse had a little bigger stride than mine, so we didn't last too long, especially once we had to make a circle!

These people seemed to ride forever before theirs ripped!
I ended up liking bareback so much, I did a whole lesson bareback!  I think it has to improve my riding by leaps and bounds!

Linking here! and here


  1. That is so awesome. I never heard of this before. I love the video. How did you get into it? Very cute!

    1. I always wanted to ride and it never occurred to me that as an adult, I could still learn. One day, a student of mine was talking about her riding lessons and I asked where she took them. When I found out it wasn't too far from home, I thought maybe I could try it out. It's not rocket science, it's just physical work and time consuming. I have good balance, I'm not afraid of horses, I don't mind getting dirty, I'm fit, and for now, I can afford it, so I asked the woman if she'd teach an adult with those qualifications and she said sure. This is the best money I've ever spent, besides spending money to build the outdoor shower :)


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