Our farm has a show series that we run every year for our students to compete in. It gives them a goal to work toward, as well as a relaxed show experienced, and it's great for first-time show riders. We don't require special attire and all the students receive a written comment sheet with their ribbons. It has been very popular at our farm for years now.
The other thing that has been very popular is the awards banquet that we have each year. We have a party at a hall nearby. We serve light refreshments and dessert (of course!). The kid's favorite part is the division winners each receiving their trophy.
Besides the awards giving and eating junk food, we also always try and find a few games to play to spice things up! We ensure anyone can participate, even if they are a loved one of an award winner. In other words, games that don't require horse knowledge. If they are specific horse knowledge questions, we try to make them true or false. That way they at least have a 50/50 chance of getting it right! Also, sometimes we divide the guests up into teams. A variety of people will make for a variety of horse knowledge and that makes things a little fairer.
This year I have plans to make a horse jeopardy game. I'm planning on making all of the questions specifically about the horses at our farm or our farm in general. I plan on having a good variety of jeopardy questions that everyone has a fair shot at getting right! Plus, if they work in teams they can vote on the answer.
We are also going to play "put the bridle on the pony", which is our version of pin the tail on the donkey. I think it's going to be a blast.
We usually make themed centerpieces for each table. Then we put a sticker or a piece of tape on the bottom of one chair at each table. RIght before everyone leaves for the evening, we have them check under their chairs and see who gets to keep the centerpiece.
There are so many fun things you can do at these sort of events. I just so happen to know a whole lot of them from planning summer riding camp.
It doesn't matter if it's an awards party or just a barn family get together. It is a chance to teach the kids good sportsmanship and have a little fun in the process. Everyone will have fun and enjoy the camaraderie!