Game: Horse Basketball Drills

This is a game sent in by Steph, an instructor at Bit by Bit TRC in Oologah, Oklahoma. Thanks so much, Steph!

Horse Basketball Drills

Steph writes, “I thought I’d send in a fun game our students enjoy playing: horse basketball drills. Most students know what basketball is and have some idea how it works, thanks to gym classes at school or seeing it on TV.”

Set Up

“We have a large net mounted on the arena rail that serves as our hoop… Upright poles and ground poles are set perpendicular to this hoop and a big barrel containing all of our balls is set up in the middle of the arena. I use a variety of balls- big rubber balls, small squishy balls, even those nylon shower poofs!” Steph adds, “The goal is attached to the arena rail pretty much all the time. The horses are used to seeing it, and it’s easy to incorporate it into other games that way. (You know, when the lesson turns into “make it up as I go along”!) We hang a wreath on it for Christmas and have students toss ornaments through it in December.”

The Game

“Students receive a ball and follow instructions to shoot their balls. They may be asked to shoot close to the basket or far away, steer through (‘dribble’) through the upright poles and shoot, or walk over the ground poles and shoot. If a class has more than one student, they’re asked to pass the ball to a teammate for an assist.”

Skills and Benefits

“It’s a great exercise to get students listening, following directions, working on steering and stopping, and communicating to each other. Using different balls is also helpful for students that are working on sensory integration. Best of all, it’s fun for riders and volunteers! (You’d be surprised at how competitive the volunteers can get!)”


This is a photo of the general set-up of their arena:


This is a close-up of their goal:



Thanks so much for sharing your great game and photos, Steph!

If anyone else has a game you want to share, please write me!

What about you? Do you play something similar to Basketball Drills or have anything to add? Please leave a comment below!


Note: This is not professional advice, this is a blog. I am not liable for what you do with or how you use this information. The activities explained in this blog may not be fit for every rider, riding instructor, or riding center depending on their current condition and resources. Use your best personal judgement!

3 thoughts on “Game: Horse Basketball Drills

  1. Hi, Iam Gidge Dunn a instructor for WeCanRide 4H here in Michigan. I am instestered in games. Since our club meets in the summer only, we share a riding club arena and have to tear town at the end of classes. I am eager to find something different for my riders as I think they are getting bored etc.. Any suggestions—

    • Hi there! I am planning to write a post that compiles a ton of games I’ve found, seen, and been told about. So be on the lookout, I’ll post it soon! That would probably help you out. Also, I’d love to add any games you use on the list, if you could send me some through the “contact” page.

      Unfortunately I can’t make the Region 4 conference, but I would hope there’d be book sales there and you could find a good book for you. I would also recommend just talking to people and seeing what they do!

      Game on Horseback is a pretty good book, although a lot of the games are for more advanced riders, you can modify them.

      Good luck, and check back soon for the games list!

  2. Gidge Dunn again..
    I am going to PATH Intl region 4 conference at Michigan City, In.. Might there be a book there?

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