Here are two neat prop ideas and an activity for you this fine day from Susie Bjorkland of Freedom Farm in Minnesota, who I met at the PATH Conference!
Do your riders have trouble reaching the items on the barrels? Use a barrel extender! I forget exactly what she calls this, but it’s like a raised table on the barrel, so riders can reach over to what is on it, instead of reaching down or having the item be out of reach as often happens with barrels.
Pony Express Mailbox
This is a nice mobile mailbox based on the Pony Express style mail box.
Pony Express Activity
Susie wrote all her students letters on the last day of the session. She adapted the letters to the students – if they need big letters, just pictures, etc. Then she puts them in the Pony Express Mailbox.
After mounting, she tells them an elaborate story during warm up that goes something like this: “Guess what happened last night?” (Give them time to think about it and guess.) “A rider on a big horse came in. What was he wearing?” (Give time to guess.) Make something up about what he was wearing. “And then, all the horses got loose. How?” (Give time to guess.) Continue the story, then end in “He brought the mail!”
Let the riders collect their letters from the mailbox. They must think about how to take turns, who goes first, and what to do while they are waiting. When they get it, help them figure out to go somewhere else to open it so their friend can get their own letter. Let them open it up and read it.
Thank you so much Susie for sharing!
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!