What are Mounted Games ?
Games are a series of relay type races that are completed while on horseback.
All that is required is simply a sense of balance, co-ordination and determination, mixed with the desire for fun, friendship and good sportsmanship. MGAC is a dedicated, family oriented organization that encourages participants of all ages and abilities. We also have whole families taking part in this sport where the kids have a chance to cheer Mom and/or Dad to the finish line!
Team competition was the original format of mounted games. They are now also played by individuals and pairs of riders. As with many sports, mounted games can and are enjoyed by competitors of all age groups, all levels of riding ability and game skills levels. The same general rules, however, apply to all divisions: no whips, no spurs, no unsporting or bad behaviour. A team consists of five riders and ponies. In each game four out of the five take compete allowing the team the flexibility to play their four best riders for any particular game.
In pairs the race is run with two riders. It is often easier for two friends to train and compete together instead of organizing a team of five.
Obviously, in an individual competition, only one rider competes, and if any mistakes are made it’s easy to see whose fault it was. (The rider’s, not the pony’s – he’s only following orders!)
Riders range in age from youngsters of 7 years to “more experienced” in their 60’s! Until recently there was an age limit of 21 years but this has been changed so that there is no age maximum. Riders over 23 may compete in the Open Class and later they can move into the “Forever Young” class.
Top players and teams may prefer a particular type of pony, but anyone with a equine buddy can get started and have a lot of fun. Almost any horse or pony can become a Games Pony. Pedigree is not a requirement. With that in mind, your horse/pony will be subjected to a number of diverse challenges, including co-ordination, flexibility, obedience and a willingness to be with other horses. Both mount and rider will need to learn the requirements of each game, props, sounds (ie. popping balloons, flapping flags, etc.)
Another benefit is that this repeated exposure to these types of distractions helps the animal to be more stable for the rider. Thus making the horse /pony a much better riding experience for all levels of rider. These benefits can also prove quite valuable as well when exposed to other disciplines. Gaming is one ingredient that can help make riding in any discipline more pleasurable .
Official IMGA Rules can be found here in PDF format: IMGA Rulebook