Riding lesson ideas for 7 year old? - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 10 Old 08-30-2011, 09:12 PM Thread Starter
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Riding lesson ideas for 7 year old?

I'm supposed to give my 7 year old cousin riding lessons this fall. I talked to my aunt and she said she wants to improve her little girls balance and co-ordination (which she is behind her age with).

I'm looking for lesson exercises and such for her as I have never taken a lesson in my life. I want to also teach her the parts of the saddle using sticky notes with the names of the parts on them for her to match up. Any ideas on an interactive way to teach her about the parts of the horse? :)

We have a good horse for her to ride in the pen as well as a saddle that will go short enough for her.

Thanks for your input.

"all I ever dreamt about was makin' it; they ain't giving it, I'm taking it"
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post #2 of 10 Old 08-31-2011, 01:12 AM Thread Starter
Green Broke
 
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Anyone? We start tomorrow...

"all I ever dreamt about was makin' it; they ain't giving it, I'm taking it"
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post #3 of 10 Old 08-31-2011, 01:39 AM
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Well, I am not sure about the sticky note thingy. It depends on how well she can read . But having her ride with her eyes closed (with horse on a leadline, of course), having her do "airplane" with her arms, count foot falls, do all kinds of things with her arms like windmilling them or pretending to be a cheerleader or leading a marching band. Reach around and touch behind the saddle. Feet out of stirrups. Try to steer the horse with your body (dont' tell her how to do it, but let her try to figure it out intuitively and see if it works)
Have her sing some songs.

I know there are folks on here who teach little kids. I am teaching a 14 year old now, but she is like a young adult.
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post #4 of 10 Old 08-31-2011, 02:44 AM
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Have her stretch and reach a lot, that will help her balance and you can educate her about the parts of the horse while she does it. Walk under trees have her reach and pull down a leaf, she will not realize that she is balancing. Also steering through cones or around a series of trees.

High fives up the horses neck, down by the riders feet, over by the tail. All within reach but at a stretch.

Sticky notes sound boring to me as an adult, I think it would really bore a child.
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post #5 of 10 Old 08-31-2011, 10:04 PM
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How about Simon says? You could apply that to teaching horse anatomy as well as in-saddle instruction. I would think any game that will keep her attention will help! Sticky notes matching game sounds good but as Tiny mentioned it kind of depends on how well she can read.
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post #6 of 10 Old 08-31-2011, 10:11 PM
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She can do around the world, providing your horse will allow this. Hold the horse on a lead line and have your niece move around the horse in the saddle so that she faces the side, rear, other side, and back to the front and then does it from the other way.
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post #7 of 10 Old 08-31-2011, 10:25 PM
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I would also do some bareback work if the horse is responsive enough on a lunge line. All our young/or older new riders are started bareback on a lunge line. We do air plane arms, stretch, around the world, and hands on your head different movements that will make it so she has to balance. :] A good way is also to give her a work sheet sorta thing like a matching game have her do it on that and then take her out and have her match that to the actual saddle also another thing we do with our camp kids :]

just a small town girl with a big town dream :]
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post #8 of 10 Old 08-31-2011, 11:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tinyliny View Post
Well, I am not sure about the sticky note thingy. It depends on how well she can read . But having her ride with her eyes closed (with horse on a leadline, of course), having her do "airplane" with her arms, count foot falls, do all kinds of things with her arms like windmilling them or pretending to be a cheerleader or leading a marching band. Reach around and touch behind the saddle. Feet out of stirrups. Try to steer the horse with your body (dont' tell her how to do it, but let her try to figure it out intuitively and see if it works)
Have her sing some songs.

I know there are folks on here who teach little kids. I am teaching a 14 year old now, but she is like a young adult.
All great suggestions! I have a few more.

Definitely all on the lunge line for awhile, I don't give little ones reins for a bit and just focus on finding balance in the saddle. Do the "airplane" then have her touch her nose, her ears, her helmet, etc. They relax and don't really even realize they are riding. Stretching while standing, to the ears, to the tail (provided horse is dead calm with it) Stretching across the body to the opposite leg eventually shooting for the bootheel. Scissor kicks. I spend a fair amount of time on small talk with them too. There is only so much to repeat at that stage so it helps keep it moving along and they get comfortable with you. If they are telling you how so & so got in trouble on the school bus, nerves dissolve.

My little ones love to play polo with a yoga ball & pool noodle. The game is to keep the ball between me & the horse while on the line and once off line I set up cones for goals, then progress to weaving through them.

They also love to play the "mummy game". I give them a roll of toilet paper and let them wrap it around me. It's great when they are starting to learn steering & control. Party streamer rolls work too, but they seem to find humor in toilet paper.

Hope that helps, sure I can think of more but I am going to head to the barn and brush and rub and looooove on my new horse
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post #9 of 10 Old 09-01-2011, 02:11 AM
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I will 2nd Tiny's idea about riding with eyes closed. My daughter used to love to have me lead her around as she rode bareback with her eyes closed. I would weave around and go all over the place and then ask her to tell me where she was in the arena (ie. Near the middle and facing the barn) before opening her eyes. She would then open her eyes and see how far off she was or how close and it was often really fun and funny!! She is 10 and still will ask me to play this game every now and then.

Another idea is to set up obstacle courses w/poles, cones, backing up, etc.. Whatever you do just keep it fun for the child and it will be a success.

Good luck and enjoy!!
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post #10 of 10 Old 09-01-2011, 06:29 PM Thread Starter
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Well, the "lesson horse" I have hasn't ever been lunged, so that stuff is out.. but the horse will just walk around the pen.. if that would work.

I like the simon says and the stretching ideas you guys have. :)

"all I ever dreamt about was makin' it; they ain't giving it, I'm taking it"
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