Exercises for lead-line riders?
 
 

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Exercises for lead-line riders?

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  • Pony club games on lead
  • Horseback riding exercises

 
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    04-27-2012, 07:45 PM
  #1
Teen Forum Moderator
Exercises for lead-line riders?

I work with disabled children as well as children who are just too young to ride full sized horses. They all ride ponies (shetlands mostly, one caspian, a grade pony, and a welsh) that are 'bomb proof' as we say, and most are under 7 years old. I have exercises for the disabled children, but I need ideas for the kids who are fully functional! Things are getting a bit monotonous for them, so I need some fun new idea.

All of the riders are comfortable with riding at a walk without holding onto their horn, and some ride with 'reins' attached to the horse that they don't use but that I work with them on holding correctly. Some exercises that we already do are 'airplane' (putting arms straight out) 'touch the trees' (arms above head) 'helmets!' (hands on helmet and elbows out) 'touch the ears' (stretching towards the horse's ears) and 'flap!' (pretending to fly on the horse) on the even ground, over a small bridge, and a horse 'teeter totter.' They ride with and without stirrups, and some can ride bareback while holding a neckstrap. Do you guys have any other fun ideas that are fairly safe and simple for little kids? I was thinking of the dollar game where they have to squeeze a dollar under their thigh/calf and keep it there, possible '2-point' with the older riders, where they have to just lift themselves into two point position for a few seconds and land back on their butt lightly, and stuff like that- but what are YOUR suggestions? Any and all are appreciated!
     
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    04-27-2012, 07:59 PM
  #2
Super Moderator
My littlest/youngest lesson kid LOVES to stand up in her stirrups, with airplane arms, and make a bet with me on how long she can stay up for. Usually I lowball her and she's like "Nuhuh! I can stay up for TEN times around!" so I'm like "Really? Show me!"
She thinks it's great fun to "prove me wrong".

Just wondering, why can't the 6 or 7 year old able-bodied kids ride without a leader/at least holding reins? My littlest/youngest kid^^^ just turned 7 and she's been riding by herself for quite a while. We always warm up on the lunge line and I try to stay within "leap-grab" distance but she's totally fine on her own. She's not perfect yet and is easily distracted, like any child that age, but keeping her attention is as easy as playing a game like "Red Light, Green Light" or "Simon Says"...

You could also play "Simon Says" with your kids! "Simon says airplane arms!!" "Simon says stand in your stirrups" etc. My little kid ADORES that game.
     
    04-28-2012, 06:54 PM
  #3
Teen Forum Moderator
There isn't a reason as far as I know, except for that their parents don't feel comfortable with them riding independantly yet. Most of them are just in transition, because they've just started riding and aren't confident yet. I do some trotting with the kids of that age, and usually only have them for a few months before they feel ready to do real lessons, but I just don't know what to do in that time! We do focus a lot on good riding position though, and riding without depending on the horn.

Simon Says sounds like a great idea! Thanks!
     
    04-28-2012, 07:04 PM
  #4
Started
Follow my leader (adult at front or children take turns)

Synchronised riding in pairs around the school

All the gymkhana games

Can I cross your lake Mr Shark?

Port, Starboard, 'injuns', 'round 'em up'

Touch body parts of pony whilst moving

Poles on the ground like a jumping course

Fox hunting

.... The list is endless! Enjoy
     
    04-28-2012, 07:27 PM
  #5
Teen Forum Moderator
May I have an explanation of some of these games? I'm unfamiliar with them ^^
     
    04-29-2012, 02:07 PM
  #6
Started
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shropshirerosie    
Follow my leader (adult at front or children take turns)

Synchronised riding in pairs around the school

All the gymkhana games

Can I cross your lake Mr Shark?

Port, Starboard, 'injuns', 'round 'em up'

Touch body parts of pony whilst moving

Poles on the ground like a jumping course

Fox hunting

.... The list is endless! Enjoy
Sorry, I was on the ipad when I wrote that, and was trying to be economical on typing

Can I cross your Lake puts all the kids at one end of the school. You stand in the middle and call out "all those with (eg) green saddle cloths/chestnut ponies/black boots can cross" and the kids have to work out if that includes them, then ride their pony across the school.

Port, Starboard etc. Give each side of the school a name (Port, Starboard, Sea, Sky whatever). Call out "Port" and they have to get over there. Invent some other instructions like "the cattle are loose" and they all have to form a circle. Your imagination and the sky's the limit.

Fox Hunting. Make an 'obstacle' course using poles on the ground, plastic sheeting etc. One kid's the fox, some the hounds, one the huntsman, some the mounted field. Give them rules appropriate for their abilities like no trotting. Fox leads the way, Huntsman rides with the hounds etc. All follow the fox.

More -

Line them up in a row, parents/leaders hold the head of the pony. On 'GO!', they all get off their pony and move to the pony to the right, climb up, over off the other side, on to the next pony, until they are back on their original pony.

Use the letters of the school. They all ride round. When they get to a letter they stop, call out the name of an animal that starts with that letter, then ride on.

Treasure hunt in a field. Send them off in teams to find eg. A leaf, a daisy, a stick etc.
     
    04-29-2012, 04:02 PM
  #7
Teen Forum Moderator
Very cute ideas, thanks for elaborating! Unfortunately all of these guys are 18 months-7 years old, and only ride on a leadline. They do not have control of their horse ^^ I might use some of those games for my beginner lesson kids though, it sounds great for them!
     
    04-29-2012, 04:24 PM
  #8
Started
All those games (and more) we played at Pony Club and before with my son aged 2 upwards. So long as the adults play along, and the kids take part by shouting/listening/having fun, then you can do them all with the tiniest riders.

Enjoy
     
    04-29-2012, 04:58 PM
  #9
Banned
My favorites are "Around the world" where the children throw one leg over the neck and sit sideways, then sit backwards, sideways the other side etc.

Very confident children can do that at a walk with a helper.

Red light, green light and Mother, May I? Were big favorites for beginner lessons.

I also used the cheap little orange soccer cones or movable dressage letters to create obstacle courses or reasons to turn.
     
    04-29-2012, 10:29 PM
  #10
Teen Forum Moderator
Thanks! I think I'll try Around the World with some of them. I think they'd enjoy the challenge!
     

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