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Teaching Kids. I need help!

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  • Help! i need help teching kids on ponies

 
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    05-27-2010, 10:11 AM
  #11
Green Broke
Agreed with everyone on keeping it fun! Make sure there is a lot of variety to the lessons. Make little details an integral part of your teaching - yes they are young and high strung at this age, but they are also little sponges, and setting up their future outlook on handling horses starts NOW, so keep in mind the major impact you are having on these children as future horsemen. Teach them to pick up on and read their horse's body language by playing "guess what my horse is thinking" games. Sacrifice 20 bucks out of your own pocket at the local dollar store to give them prizes, stickers, incentives for doing well. Since they are gung-ho on competition, utilize that as a teaching tool - you have 4 kids, all the same age and relative skill level - use that to your advantage! Set up easy, mock horse shows where everyone wins something.

Those that are more timid, don't push them too hard. Be willing to do some lessons from the ground and work your way up!

The biggest thing that will help you, I think, is changing your own mindset. I was much like you before I had my own child - like, oh god, kids. But since a lot of times the 6-10 year old crowd was my bread and butter in lessons, I thought of it instead of teaching brainless children, think of it as teaching the future horse generation - what are the things that you cannot stand your current horse peers not knowing? Remedy that for the future!

Also set some very hard and fast ground rules that are total and complete - you scream, you're off the horse - grounded for the remainder of the lesson. You yank on a mouth - you're grounded - you fail to listen - you're grounded.

Good luck, and believe it or not, you may soon find you are loving it in spite of yourself.
     
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    05-27-2010, 03:01 PM
  #12
Trained
Lol, thanks guys! I'm teaching another lesson this afternoon so I will try everything you have suggested. Hopefully I can get it down before Ihave to teach six lessons a day haha :)
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    05-27-2010, 03:20 PM
  #13
Yearling
I used to teach for four summers and I found they get bored very quick!!
I didnt have time to read through all the posts but I do know mine adored games.

Traffic Lights- Red means stop. Green trot and orange walk. You start them at one end of the arena and call out colours this improves all transitions. When they improve you can make green canter and orange trot this keeps them working there ponies constantly.

Simon Says- Call out different parts of the pony and last to touch is out. There alll going to need to know about body parts might as well learn now.

Drill Work- Make simple patterns and encourage them to catch up with each other adjusting there paces til there in time with each other.

Field work- Everything becomes more interesting in a field if however they ignore you they get off. You csasn do a simple schooling session in tthe paddocks which is much more interesting then an arena.

Races- Set up a a course on both sides of the arena include two poles to canter between, a jump, weaving, a block to dismount on and then mount back up. Each team has 3riders and the fastest wins. You do however set a pace for each section of the course.

Hopefully these help you.

O and with cantering we tend to lead each pony holding on to the childs leg to secure them.
     
    05-27-2010, 09:54 PM
  #14
Trained
I can't run fast enough to canter and hold onto the kid....Amy I will let canter on her own but the others will be on a lunge.
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    06-02-2010, 10:05 PM
  #15
Weanling
Usually with the young kids it does take a while. If the one that screams only screams when the horse trots it's probably because she is scared of it. Check to make sure her reins aren't to long. As for the other ones you just have to keep after them. Do circles, get them going around cones, get them doing things where it is one at a time (this way the one that is more advanced can do things faster/harder).

I always leave time at the end for some games. My favorites to play with the kids are tag, red light / green light, and what time is it mister wolf.

For tag pick a speed that they aren't allowed to pass so it stays safe. The kids are only allowed to tag the person, not the horse. And there is NO hitting or they have to stop playing and stick with you while the other kids play for a bit. What time is it mister wolf is great for getting them to count the horses front steps. Then when the "wolf" says lunch time everyone runs back to the other side of the arena. It's great because the ones that are scared of going faster will WANT to go faster.

Hope that helps :)
     
    06-03-2010, 12:15 AM
  #16
Trained
So Update:

Amy has cantered four circles around the arena and even cantered through a figure eight. She's doing so well! She can do four turns on the haunches (I see reining in her future!) and the same with forehand turns. She sidepasses beautifully and is impressing everyone....still

The "Screamer" (Her name is Kyra) I have been making dismount whenever she does scream, and has loped a few circles on the lunge. She is having trouble with forehand turns but is getting haunch turns rather well. Sidepassing is decent too. She ahs started to realize that posting is a good option for her horses trot.

The one who ignores me (Tanya) has been removed from the lesson and replaced with another girl (Mandy) who is very much like Amy, which is making me feel better.

The last one (Kayla) has started listening to my instructions a little bit more. She's almost mastered the lope on the lunge but seems scared to lope on her own. She handles walking and trotting realy well and haunch turns really well, forehand turns, but is having trouble cueing the sidepass correctly.


I want to switch out two horses.

Amy needs something more advanced. She is currently riding Chopper, an older roan arabian gelding who has all the buttons but is incredibly push-button. No challenge. I want her to ride Lyra, a ten year old QH mare who would provide more of a challenge for her. She's sweet, gentle, knows everything, but she's more responsive. Switch, or no switch?

The second is one for Kayla. Her horse is starting to have a problem lopng on the right lead, and even though I'm not worried about leads yet I'm worried about his soundness. He limps on that lead terrible bad. I rode him last lesson and he nearly fell under my weight. He's so strong on the left lead, but once he gets on that other lead he just completely crumbles. I'm getting a vet to the barn to have a look at him, because the last time I saw something like that the hip with actually deteriorating. I am definitely switching her, but the problem is there is no acceptable horse for her to ride that isn't already being ridden too much during the day.

I'm thinking I will move Amy onto Lyra and give Chopper to Kayla. But they are both so attached to those horses.....I'll have to make Toni tell them, 'cause I am a sucker for those tears and I couldn't handle watching them cry over their horses.

Sound good? Hehe
     
    06-03-2010, 04:35 AM
  #17
Weanling
I used to teach at my local riding school and abo****ely loved it :) The trick is to make it fun for the kids, and try to get a relationship going with them. Be easy going, happy and most of all LOUD and ENTHUSIASTIC! Be patient and kind and they will love you to bits in no time :)
     
    06-04-2010, 09:32 AM
  #18
Green Broke
Quote:
Originally Posted by SorrelHorse    
So Update:
I'm thinking I will move Amy onto Lyra and give Chopper to Kayla. But they are both so attached to those horses.....I'll have to make Toni tell them, 'cause I am a sucker for those tears and I couldn't handle watching them cry over their horses.

Sound good? Hehe
Sounds like you are doing great! I can tell the difference already just in the feeling of your post. I would normally say switching a child to a more advanced horse when she is not "finished" on the first one is a bad idea, but I think in your circumstance it's a wise decision. Try to make it all about the excitement of "graduating" to a new horse, rather than leaving their old friend behind to make the transition easier and something both girls can be proud of. I hope the lame boy turns out okay.

Good job to you!! I knew you could do it!
     
    06-04-2010, 02:23 PM
  #19
Trained
Thanks Indy! I agree that it's bad to move a kid too soon, but that boy needs to get a vet checked in him.
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    06-04-2010, 03:02 PM
  #20
Weanling
I totally agree about the games! Also, Sally Smith's centered riding book has a lot of good descriptions of how being centered/ balanced/ properly positioned feels- and describing to my 5 year old daughter how to keep her heels down, for instance, made more sense after reading that book. That said, I do not envy you!
     

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