5 great games to keep you busy over the Christmas holidays

  • While away the long winter nights this Christmas with these great horsey games — some you can play on your phone and others are proper old school...

    Horse games: My Horse

    Remember those tamagotchis that used to be really popular in the 90s, and you had to feed them and pet them or they’d die? This game is a bit like that. Sort of. The idea is that you care for your horse, grooming, feeding and training it for events, then compete it in competitions. Will you reach the World Championships? Who knows! It’s almost exactly like having a horse of your own, so long as your horse is a tiny computer graphic that lives in your phone.
    Available for: iPhone
    Cost: Free with in-app purchases

    Horse games: The Really Nasty Horse Racing Game

    An actual real-life modern board game (gasp!), this is designed to appeal to your worst and most devious instincts. If you’re good at Monopoly, or cheating at cards, you’ll be awesome at this. Each player get six horses (one for each race), £20K in cash (not legal tender, unfortunately), a number of Really Nasty cards, and a betting slip. The object of the game is to win the most money at the races, and you can do that by getting your horse placed in a race – or by betting on winning horses. As you can imagine, this affords plenty of opportunity to play dirty and nobble your opponents… This is definitely a game to take to riding club camp!
    Available from: Amazon
    Cost £19.99

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    Horse games: Mary King’s Riding Star

    Talk about retro, this was originally released as a video game back in 1999! You can still find it as a PC download or as a Playstation game. Playing head-to-head against a real-life opponent or the computer, players compete in a 10 round grand prix season to become the champion. You can compete in dressage, cross-county and showjumping, or the full three-day event, and must also look after your horse, ensuring it’s fed, groomed and mucked out, in order to earn maximum points. Sounds exhausting!
    Available from: Amazon (second hand)
    Cost: A few pence

    Horse games: Buckaroo

    Another proper old school board game, this will bring back memories of evenings at pony club camp! You load up your plastic mule with blanket, saddle bags and other pieces of kit – you just never know when he’s going to kick up his heels and buck the whole lot off. Yee-haaa!
    Available from: Argos
    Cost: £17.99

    Horse games: Jockey Quest – Derby Champions

    If you can’t get enough of horse racing, and quite fancy competing yourself but without breaking every bone in your body or in fact sitting on an actual thoroughbred, this game is for you. It’s pretty straightforward – you choose your horse, and compete against other players round the world or the computer, to win the race.
    Available for: iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch
    Cost: Free but with in-app purchases

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