teaching children to ride- ideas?
 
 

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teaching children to ride- ideas?

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  • How to coach young children to ride a horse
  • Best way to teach a kid to ride a horse

 
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    08-01-2010, 05:25 PM
  #1
Yearling
teaching children to ride- ideas?

My friend and I have been asked to teach two girls who we taught at camp riding lessons once a week. One is around 9 and the other is 6. The older one wants to ride western and the younger one english. I was wondering if you had any ideas for things we can do with them during lessons? I feel like they are getting bored with walking around the arena and doing circles, practicing steering around barrels and such. They are good about hand position but they sometimes forget to keep there heals down. I don't think they can trot yet because we are having they ride bareback for a few times and they aren't very strong.
     
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    08-01-2010, 06:07 PM
  #2
Weanling
Put them on a lunge line and teach them to trot.

Get them to practice posting trot while bareback that will build up there muscle:P
     
    08-01-2010, 06:40 PM
  #3
Yearling
Teach them everything you can about being safe.... on the ground, on the horse, paying attention to where the horses mind is.
     
    08-02-2010, 06:02 AM
  #4
Foal
I'd get them do some balancing exercises while riding bareback (eg. Touching their toes, lying back on the horse, things like that - while the horse is held and standing at the beginning), this would not only help them get some balance, it would also build their confidence and build some muscle. Once they've progressed and achieved good balance you can have them do the exercises at a walk on the lunge. As you probably know it's all about balance! Good luck!
     
    08-03-2010, 01:04 PM
  #5
Weanling
I have a 9-year old who has taken many lessons so I know what you mean. An obstacle course with poles, cones and patterns is always fun and good for improving skills. Also, you can have a Simon Says type game with good exercises - Simon says reverse, Simon says put your right hand up in the air, Simon says drop your stirrups, hand on horses rump, etc.. This way the lessons won't be monotonous and they never know what to expect next. One other thing that is huge for my daughter is when her instructor shows lots of enthusiasm for her accomplishments - the enthusiasm is contagious and they always want more!!

Good luck and have fun!
     
    08-03-2010, 01:08 PM
  #6
Weanling
Oh, one more thing. I completely agree with Citrus regarding safety and ground work. I wish more instructors would work on the ground as part of their lessons. I think it is a great confidence builder. Just make it fun - you can do obstacle courses on the ground too!
     
    08-03-2010, 01:22 PM
  #7
Trained
I'm also "teaching" a 5 1/2 yr old and 9 1/2 yr old right now. They aren't allowed to steer at all yet for two reasons: 1. Too many riders rely on their hands for balance right now 2. My horse isn't "kid safe" in terms of steering.

Soo.... I work with them on different things. They are both working on sitting up straight, heels down, relaxed and centered bodies. I also try to get them to keep their bodies aligned correctly. Head up, don't look down, look where you want to go. I have them hold their arms out at shoulder level while walking (for now) and am trying to teach them to go with the horses movement.

The older girl did her first bareback trot the other day and looked great and the younger girl is getting much better at sitting up straight and balancing with her seat and not her hands/arms on the mane. That's saying a lot when her legs don't even go halfway down the horse's barrel.

Beyond that we work on safety around horses, proper grooming technique, feeding, hoof care, general health, giving treats, etc. They help me clean up manure and hay in the barn too.

I don't have the skills to take them far in terms of lessons so I figure that I will do my best to give them good balance, light hands, and the knowledge of how to take care of and be safe around horses. If they're still interested when they progress beyond me in terms of riding, I'll find them a good instructor to carry on.
     
    08-03-2010, 01:40 PM
  #8
Weanling
First off, make sure each of them are on experienced, quiet poines, make sure they wear helmets, and teach them SAFETY! (someone else said this). I would suggest throwing a few games in there... that require skill at the same time. (for example, simon says. I think someone said something about balance such as touchung their toes or the horses ears. Twist that into the games.) also, if you have any other place to ride other than an arena, take them out there (trails, property, etc.) but, still practice steering and balance.

I like the lunge line idea, too. I learned to trot by practicing correct posting at the walk. I would also say you should work with one girl and your friend to work with the other girl, (whichever one of you is more experienced english, work with the younger girl. Whichever is more western works with the older girl.)

Anyway, Good Luck!
     
    08-03-2010, 02:52 PM
  #9
mls
Trained
Please remember the camp had liability insurance that covered you teaching these girls.
     
    08-03-2010, 04:39 PM
  #10
Started
Quote:
Originally Posted by JosieAmani    
I'd get them do some balancing exercises while riding bareback (eg. Touching their toes, lying back on the horse, things like that - while the horse is held and standing at the beginning), this would not only help them get some balance, it would also build their confidence and build some muscle. Once they've progressed and achieved good balance you can have them do the exercises at a walk on the lunge. As you probably know it's all about balance! Good luck!
I totally agree with getting them to do a lot of bareback work. I have a friend who when she was young (I think 5 or 6) she took her first lessons and her coach wouldn't let her even touch a saddle until she had developed a nice seat and balance to walk/trot comfortably bareback. To this day, she has an amazing seat and is incredible bareback.
     

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