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All Horses | Gymkhana | Speed and Action

Updated on July 29, 2008

You begin the Speed & Action pattern by running through the "box" ... a rectangle with cones for corners and the lines drawn in with chalk or lime.

Your time starts when you cross the line as you exit the box. You run to the far end of the course, turn the center cone to the right or left, and run back to the box.

On return, you must stop your horse INSIDE the box, without any hooves touching the line or leaving the box, and without turning more than 90 degrees either way, to complete the pattern.

It may sound easier than it is, or maybe even more difficult, but it is a LOT of fun!

Titan in Speed & Action

The pattern:


Speed and Action

A box that is 16' x 16' is outlined with lime or flour and is located three (3) feet behind the timing line. A barrel to run at is placed 125' from the starting line. This barrel may not be closer than 15' from any fence. Mounted rider enters the rear of the box and settles horse/pony for 5 seconds. On judge's signal, contestant runs the pattern. The rider must exit the front of the box (nearest barrel), ride around the barrel, either left or right and then reenter the front of the box for 5 seconds. The time starts when rider crosses timing line and stops with recrossing of timing line. The barrel must stay in place for the entire class. Rider may touch barrel in an attempt to prevent it from falling over.


There will be no time if the rider does not enter the rear of the box, if the barrel is knocked over, the horse/pony does not stay inside the box for the two required five (5) second timing periods, if the horse does not reenter the front of the box, for a broken pattern, or separation of rider and horse/pony during timing period.

(These rules may vary by region ... they aren't quite how we do it here.)

Speed & Action on YouTube

Anyone can try it!

Once again, it is not always the fastest horse that wins in this event. Many times, the "hotter" horses fail to stop within the confines of the box, and are disqualified.

A good quick turn, a burst of speed, and a solid WHOA are all you really need to compete in Speed & Action, and have a lot of fun doing it!

check out my other gymkhana lenses!

check out my other gymkhana lenses!
check out my other gymkhana lenses!

Are you a speed & action pro?

Which is more difficult:

You really should understand bits.

Let me point you to a lens created by an Internet acquaintance of mine, who posts on horse-related forums as Stormie and is the "resident" bit expert at many.

All About Bits is an informative introduction to the types of horse bits and how they work. (Additional, related pages such as All About Snaffles are underway.)

Your bit should not stop your horse. Its purpose is to send a message to your horse that you would like it to stop.

Some bits send this message in a calm, rational "voice" ... while other bits (and even some bitless varieties of control such as hackamores) figuratively SCREAM at your horse.

Pain avoidance should not be your horses' reason to come to a complete stop on your cue. Please educate yourself on proper bit usage, for their sake, and to better your communication and horsemanship.

Get started now!

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