Earlier this week I went to a Pony Club training evening, to jump through another hoop that enables me to teach at camp this summer. The theme was all about making flatwork interesting for kids.
Some of the games I’ve used before, but I liked the traffic light game, which I’m about to tell you about.
The first level of this game is ideal for young children. If possible, space then out on the same rein (two ponies lengths apart). Red means halt, amber means walk, and green means trot.
Then the instructor just shouts the colour, and the riders have to go into the correct gait (or halt). This gets riders riding independently, checks their preparation, and keeps them focused and alert. Once the progressive transitions are going well then you can put in a few red-green transitions.
There was another level of the traffic light game, which can be used for more advanced children, aiming at developing balance. The additional colours are;
- Purple – sitting
- Pink – standing
- Blue – light seat
In trot you can get the children to be in any of the above three positions, testing their balance and improving their lower leg position. They could do this in walk, but when the kids are looking really secure they can ride transitions whilst standing, sitting or in light seat. This should get lots of giggles as the kids wobble through the transitions. However their balance is improving!
I like the sound of this game for groups of kids, especially if you don’t know them particularly if they are of mixed abilities. That’s my lesson plan for the next rally I do!