Here’s a great way to have some fun while training your horse. Get a Nerf football or some other soft and lightweight ball that can be tossed around. Make sure it won’t hurt a horse if it hits them in the face or particularly an eye. Mount up three to five riders and play catch while seated on your horse. The exercise does several things for you. It is a wonderful way to build confidence in the rider. You end up bending, moving and reaching to catch the ball. As you do so, you gain confidence in your ability to ride without your hands.
Meanwhile the horses are learning to accept things being thrown from their back, stuff whizzing past their ears, and occasionally getting unexpectedly hit. The horse has to learn how to stand while this takes place and of course you can easily expand the activity once you are comfortable to playing catch while riding. Once really comfortable, you can go for long bombs and race out for the ball to land in your arms.
If you and your horse haven’t played before, you may want to start slowly and work up. A horse that is skittish or easily spooked may need some ground work before you start unless you are a really good rider. Keep in mind the ground where you may land if using an inexperienced horse. Always be looking for something new to challenge your riding skills and to establish a greater trust with your horse.