Horse Race

In this energizer, participants will stand in a circle, and they will all become horses. The only one who knows the race track is the facilitator, so each horse must follow their instructions. The facilitator gives out these instructions as a commentary on the race (see an example of a commentary below) and also takes part in the energizer itself.

The instructions include these movements:

  • Clapping on thighs with both hands in the same rhythm as the facilitator. This movement is done throughout the whole energizer (before and after every movement) and simulates the sound of hooves touching the ground.
    Tips: The facilitator should increase the rhythm as the race progresses.
  • An obstacle: The participants have to jump over an obstacle when they hear the word “Jump!”. A loud sound of a horse accompanies this movement: NEIGH!
    Tips: Imagine this movement as if you were jumping over a fence. The facilitator can always add more obstacles as they need them (two or more in a line) and make them “bigger”/”smaller”. The sound is also the genuine sound that a horse makes, don’t just say the word Neigh.
  • Left turn: Stand on the right leg and raise up the left one with a loud shout: WHOAH!
  • Right turn: Stand on the left leg and raise up the right one with a loud shout: WHOAH!
  • Photographers: The participants will forget they are horses for a while and pretend they hold a camera and want to capture the best picture while also making the clicking noises of the shutter when they hear the word “photographers”.
  • Gamblers: The participants have bet on the wrong horse again, so they hold their heads with both hands and shout: WHAT ARE YOU DOING?! when they hear the word “angry/unhappy/devastated”.
    Tips: You can choose a word to your liking.
  • The Queen of England: The participants will pretend they are kings and queens by looking confident (but joyful) and waving around with one of their hands from side to side when they hear the word “Queen”.
    Tips: Do the waving with the palm “rotating around its axis” instead of a regular wave.
  • The viewers stand: The participants hold their hands high, clap, jump and cheer because the race has finished.
    Tips: As the explanation suggests, use this movement as the last one. Make sure that the pace of the clapping on thighs is fast before reaching the finish line to raise the tension.

An example of a commentary:

“Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the Horse Race 2000! The weather looks lovely, and we certainly hope it stays this way because at the start, we have many beautiful horses of different shapes and ages waiting to be let out on the race track. Everyone is ready for the starting whistle… and the race begins! (Everybody starts clapping on their thighs). The start was slow for some horses, as it usually is in the morning, but the pace is getting faster every second of the race. The horses should slow down though, because a first obstacle is coming their way, and the horses jump! (The participants jump and make the sound of the horse: NEIGH!). That didn’t look bad at all, but let’s see how the horses handle it now because there’s another obstacle on the way, even bigger than the last one… and the horses jump high! (The participants jump even higher and make the sound of the horse). This was harder for some horses, but let’s look at the front of the race, where we have the strongest individuals, who should be careful because there is a left turn! (Participants stand on the right leg and raise up the left one with a loud shout: WHOAH!). And it’s followed by a sudden right turn! (Participants stand on the left leg and raise up the right one with a loud shout: WHOAH!). The horses have it difficult as there are two obstacles in a line, and they jump and jump again! There is another left turn… and the horses have come to the half of the race. However, we can already see some people not enjoying the race so much since their horse is not the one leading the race, and oh my, they look devastated! (Participants hold their heads with both hands and shout: WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!). Thankfully, not all is looking bad as we have some photographers around the track capturing the fantastic moments of this exciting race! … Ladies and gentlemen, are you kidding me right now? This is unbelievable! The Queen of England,  yes, you hear well, Elizabeth The Second has come to see today’s race! The crowd is going wild as she greets them with a cheerful wave! And the race is slowly coming to an end! We have another obstacle, and the horses jump over it! The pace is fast now as the horses go into a right turn and another left turn. The designer of this track should rethink his life choices because three obstacles are coming in the way! And the horses jump over the first one, they jump over the second one as well, and let’s see how they manage the third obstacle… aaand they jump over it with ease! We can already see the finish line, the tension is high and the pace is fast! People are sweating as their favorite horses run on this sunny day! Who is going to win? Who is it going to be? Aaaaaaand here’s the finish! (The participants hold their hands high, clap, jump and cheer because the race has finished.) … Oh my, the race was exciting until the very end. It looks like we have to check the photos to see who the winner was… Anyway, we are glad you were with us, and see you next time!”

Things to keep in mind…
  • Ensure the facilitator is accustomed to commenting and has a great imagination.
  • Show and try out the movements one by one before the “race” starts!

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