What You Need:
Pictures of saddles
This game can really be played with any piece of tack, but saddles are easy to start with. This game teaches riders horsemanship skills and jargon (tacking is an important part of riding and ‘saddle’ is a word used in the equestrian field).
This game requires a small bit of prep work, but the prep only needs to be completed once. Gather all different sizes of saddles and include any saddles that your clients use (English, Western, Australian, etc.). You can use toy saddles, saddles from stuffed horses, mini saddles, full size saddles, and pictures of saddles. For the pictures of saddles, laminate the cards so they won’t get destroyed on first use. I like to gather different sizes and textures to show clients that, although unique, they are all saddles because of some key similarities.
From here, you can make the game your own. A matching game if there are cards for each saddle, a hide-and-seek game to work on short-term memory and independent steering, a direction game to follow simple instructions, or any combination.
Here’s one way to play:
- Make cards of all different saddle types and sizes. Have at least two copies of each card. Laminate the cards and place one set of cards in the arena, face down (or in to the rail). Add Velcro strips to the front of one set and back of another set.
- Keep one set of cards in hand. Introduce the game to clients and show them one card.
- Clients go turn over the other cards until they find a match. Have clients ride back, get the original card (from instructor), and Velcro it on to the matching pair.
Let me know if you try this game with your clients!