What You Need:
A Loud Voice
Simon Says is one of my favorite games to play with riders. It works very well with high-functioning riders, or riders who are easily distracted because it forces them to focus.
In case you need a refresher on how to play Simon Says, the leader calls out instructions and the players only follow the instructions if the leader specifies “Simon Says” beforehand. Here’s a simple example: “Simon Says arms out to the side” and riders put their arms out. “Put your arms down” and riders do not put their arms down since Simon didn’t say!
This is a good game to play during the warm-up or cool-down in the lesson, or anytime it is needed for focus. Riders first need to look at the instructor (read: ‘Simon’) to start the game so the instructor knows they are paying attention. Riders then need to listen closely to the instructions and make a decision on if they should follow or not. If you have advanced riders, make the instructions advanced: ask riders to circle or trot. If riders are not as advanced, use it for exercises like arms out, arms overhead, or hands on hips.
It is a fun game and a unique way to get your riders to listen to instruction. I have found it works very well in stubborn riders, distracted riders, and riders who tend to get bored easily. Let me know if you use it in a lesson and how it works for you!