This lovely game comes from Susie Bjorkland of Freedom Farm in Minnesota, where she teaches all of the lessons in groups of 4. I met her at the PATH Intl Conference and she was kind enough to share some great activities with me! She also was the 2014 Region 6 PATH Intl Certified Professional of the Year – Congratulations Susie!
The 6 Stations Activity
Supplies & Prep
- Objects with the rider’s names written on them. Susie used little pumpkins for fall.
- Box or bucket to hold objects.
- 2 Barrels
- 1 large dice
- Pen and paper or whiteboard.
- Station locations: Susie has sensory boards hanging all around the arena that riders can take off and put back on, so she put the station signs on these. You could also use barrels, the sides of the arena, Velcro on posts or poles, etc.
- Make station signs for each of the following. (Note: Adapt signs to station locations – put on sensory boards, add Velcro, etc. Consider putting the number big on one side and the instructions on the other, so the rider can easily find the number in the arena, then must flip it over to read the task.)
- 1) “There is only ONE you! Find your name.” (This stations will include the box of objects, through which the rider must search for the one with their name.)
- 2) “Horses need TWO things every day. Name them.”
- 3) “Name THREE feelings I have when I ride my horse. Happy. Excited. Calm. Joy.” (Nonverbal riders can point to one of the options, or verbal riders can say their own descriptive words. The pen and paper/whiteboard will be kept by this station to record the riders’ responses.)
- 4) “Give FOUR high-5’s to different people!” (Have fun seeing the rider can figure out who the fourth person is after their helpers – perhaps their horse, the instructor, or the other rider…)
- 5) “Name 5 horse parts.”
- 6) “Pet your horse 6 times.”
This is what her station signs looked like, using her sensory boards:
- 1 barrel at one end of the arena with 1 large dice on it.
- 1 barrel at the other end of the arena with Station 1’s sign propped up, and the box of objects.
- Other stations set up where it safely works for your program. Pen and paper/whiteboard with station 3.
- Meet at the dice.
- Rider rolls the dice three times – remember the numbers and order. If there are multiple riders, determine how you will handle this – take turns using the dice, have multiple dice and everyone roll at the same time, etc.
- Rider visits the stations according to the numbers and order of the dice rolled. For example, one rider rolls a 4, then a 2, then a 6. So they visit station 4, then 2, then 6. If there are multiple riders remind them about arena awareness and what you would like them to do if someone else is at their station.
- If a rider finishes before the others or there is extra time…
- roll again
- you assign the rider additional stations to visit
- ask the rider if they remember which station numbers they did not visit, and have them do those
Enjoy! I’m planning on using this game the last week of our quarter, but instead of pumpkins having Christmas Cards written to the riders from their volunteers!
Note: This is not professional advice, this is a blog. I am not liable for what you do with or how you use this information. The activities explained in this blog may not be fit for every rider, riding instructor, or riding center depending on their current condition and resources. Use your best personal judgement!