What You Need:
A Loud Voice
Colored Cue Cards (optional)
This is a game that can be played in a private, semi-private, or group lesson. It works best for younger riders, but you can make it more advanced to appeal to older riders.
I start this game with riders at one end of the arena and me at the other. I usually play down the length of the arena, but to make it easier you can play it across the width (if you have an oval arena – think play down the longest space). I draw a line in the sand or have cones for riders to line up behind then face away from them. I yell out instructions (red light or green light) and spin around to see if they are following instructions.
This is a great game to teach riders how to whoa and walk on, follow directions, and steer their horse. If the whoa’s and walk-on’s happen quickly, it can help with balance and core strength as well. To make it easier, allow more time between the whoa’s and walk-on’s, make the distance shorter, or keep your leader hooked up. To make it more difficult, do the opposite!
In a group lesson, I might have the riders swap so one becomes the caller and the other riders need to follow their directions. This helps work on self confidence, listening to a peer, respect, and building relationships to name a few benefits. My riders rarely get bored with this game because it is so interactive, so I can play multiple rounds with them without boredom setting in.
Have you played this in your lessons before? Do you have other ways to tweak the game? Let me know in the comments below!
**As always, adapt this to what works with your space, volunteers, horses, and riders.