The opening paragraph describing the setting for the game, “Imagine a legendary horse farm nestled among rolling fields and pastures, with a majestic barn that has stood strong against a hundred winters” immediately reflects the depth of learning and beauty in this game, in the rich descriptive language used and required. We are introduced to so many kinds of horses through colorfully described bios such as Patterson, the bucking bronco who spends a lot of time at the rodeo described as “rowdy” and named “Most Dangerous Steed.” Twister is a competitive winner in the barrel race, described as “nimble” and named “Barrel Racer of the Year.” The vocabulary lesson is rich with adjectives matching the story and award for each horse–selfish, strong, amiable, spirited, jittery, brave, thankful or aloof, requiring strong auditory attention to the facts to infer which horse is being described. After hearing the description of a horse, each player votes according to which beautifully photographed horse card matches the story. According to the roll of the die, players receive apple rewards for matching others’ votes or guessing which horse a player wants to take home. The game requires kids to process the auditory information given and associate it with the visual picture–the jumping champion was matched with the horse in front of a gate (“I looked at the setting to see what he could jump over.”) The nimble horse was matched with one rolling around in dirt. Frightened “Sparx” was paired with a horse “looking wide eyed and afraid of something.” Kids loved the horse theme as one girl said, “I’m gonna keep him–he’s cute!” Expanding descriptive and horse vocabulary, tapping listening skills, inferring, and using deductive reasoning make this a smart game for corralling kids into fun play!
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