Game Idea: Ring or Bean Bag Toss

Ring or bean bag toss at a cone or bucket:

I know….not a fancy one…but this game can be adjusted to practice many different skills at many different rider levels.
See how this game is incorporated in Lesson Plan #1 (blog, video, and downloadable lesson plan template.)


Have students toss a ring or bean bag at a cone or bucket. This can be done at the halt, walk, trot, or even canter!


See Lesson Plan #1 Blog and Video for lesson plan incorporating this game and sample arena setup.


  1. Aids for transitions– Have students use aids (suitable to them) to halt the horse, toss the item, then use aids to ask horse to walk to next toss station.
  2. Rein acquisition– Practice putting down and picking up reins during the halt. Reinforce gentle setting down of the reins and appropriate hand position when picking them back up.
  3. Rein transfer from 2 to 1 to 2 hands– After the student halts by the cone, have them transfer the reins to 1 hand to toss the item then back to 2 and walk on. This can be done while walking if the student can toss the item on the move.
  4. Precision halts– have the student halt the horse in a specific location in relation to the cone or bucket. You can make this as easy or difficult as needed. Example: Halt the horse so the cone is by it’s right shoulder.
  5. Balance and comfort on horse– lift the bucket or cone up and hold in different locations to get the rider to stay centered over the horse while reaching or turning their body a certain direction. You can also incorporate 2 point or half seat position.
  6. Crossing the midline– have the student cross their midline by having them use the hand opposite of the cone or bucket to toss the item. Reassure them that tossing with their non-dominant hand may be more difficult and less accurate but it’s ok!
What other equestrian skills could you practice while playing this game?

Watch or Read about Lesson Plan #1 Discussion where this game is incorporated.

Saebra Pipoly
Hoof Falls & Footfalls Owner/Founder

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** I personally chose to use the term Adaptive Riding vs. Therapeutic Riding and avoid ‘horse therapy’ at all costs. Why? CLICK HEREThe thoughts shared in the  post above apply to not only Adaptive riding but also to other mounted equine activities and therapies offered at an EAAT (Equine Assisted Activity and Therapy) Program/Center/Barn.

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