What You Need:
Animal Cards (optional)
This is an easy, fun game to play with your riders that can be played in the arena or outside on a sensory trail.
First, hide the animals around the ring (or on trail). In the arena, you can use buckets for this or hide them along a rail or in open view. On the trail, use tree branches, rocks, or built-in shelves. If you have animal cards, ask the rider to identify the animal on the card and then go find that same animal in the ring/trail. If you don’t have cards, tell the rider which animal to find.
Once the rider finds the animal, have them carry it to the designated spot. I like to make up specific names, so if the riders are hunting for barn animals (cows, horses, pigs, etc.) I have them bring the animals home to the “barn.” If they are hunting for forest animals (squirrels, rabbits, deer, etc.), I have them drop the animals off in the “woods.” You can use a bucket, barrel, or anything else to collect the animals.
Riders need to whoa, steer, stretch, communicate, and identify animals in this game. The game can be adjusted for rider skill levels by adding obstacles the riders need to get through in order to drop off the animal (e.g. open a gate to bring the animals into the barn, or cross a bridge to bring the animals to the woods). It can be made simpler by helping the rider identify the correct animal and holding the animal with one or two hands on the way to the drop-off point.
Let me know in the comments below if you use this game in your lessons and how it worked out for you!