Horse games are truly where you separate the weak from the strong.
Gaming classes require speed, timing, and some luck to win.
also the most entertaining and action-packed classes to watch at a
horse show. At a typical weekend horse show you will likely not see
speed classes mixed with the pleasure classes.
are separate speed shows for the game
horse that can be held on weekends. If you are at a breed show or an
upper level world/national show, you will likely have speed classes
offered. There are also some hefty prizes to be awarded to these speedy
There are a variety of different speed
classes you can consider. Each
one has a different skill set required for horse and rider. It is also
common to see a game horse competing in more than one speed event.
In this event you are competing for the fastest time around a series of
3 barrels set in a cloverleaf pattern. You can choose to complete the
pattern by beginning with one left or one right turn around the first
barrel followed by turning twice in the opposite direction from the
first barrel. So if you started with a right turn around the first
barrel you follow with 2 left turns around the next two barrels.
You can compete in barrel
racing in rodeos, weekend jackpots, or local family clubs. At
the higher levels you will be competing for money prizes. Top
performing barrel horses can cost as much as $50,000 or more.
In barrel racing, the fastest time wins. So hundredths of a second
means the difference between winning and losing. Precise control over
your horse is required to win. Racers running past a barrel and off
pattern will result in a "no time" score which means disqualification.
Knocking over a barrel results in a time penalty (5 seconds) which will
usually push horse and rider out of a winning time.
A flying lead change will help when making the transition from the
first to the second and third barrels.
Another timed event at a horse games show where horse and rider weave
through a series of six poles arranged in a line. You can compete in
pole bending at high school rodeos (if you are young enough), stock
horse breed circuit shows, and many gymkhana shows.
When showing your game horse in pole bending you will begin by racing
past all the poles and turning at the last pole. You will then weave
through the poles in a serpentine pattern changing leads as you go.
When you get back down to the end you started, you will continue to
weave your way back through the poles. Then you will race back past the
poles to the entrance for your finish.
Any poles knocked over will result in a 5 second penalty added to your
This is a speed event that can get a little tricky for horse and rider.
A game horse competing in a keyhole race will have to be very precise
to avoid being penalized or eliminated from the class.
White powder, usually flour or powdered chalk is poured on the ground
in the shape of a keyhole. The class starts when horse and rider race
past the timer and into the keyhole pattern on the ground. The trick in
this horse games class is to stay in the lines. When the horse reaches
the largest part of the keyhole shape, it performs a turn to either
direction without stepping over the chalk.
Next the horse exits the keyhole back to the timer and the class is
finished. Stepping outside the lines usually warrants the adding of 5
seconds to the overall time, or disqualifying the team from the class.
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