Ideas for teaching a group beginners riding lesson?
So this Saturday I'm going to be instructing my first group beginners lesson, with aprox. 6 kids, ages 5-9 ish.(I'm training to be an instructor) I have no idea what to do with them, and MY instructor will be watching me which makes it worse! Usually in that lesson, they do stuff like putting whips in cones, practasing turning etc. and have 1 or 2 trots near the end! PLEASE HELP ME I AM SO SO SO NERVOUS!!! I want to do something slightly different, but not too wierd, and something they will really enjoy and learn from!
Weaving in and out of cones, doing circles off of rail and returning to rail.
I'm not sure if this is too advanced for this level of beginner (or even all that great of an idea haha), but my instructor always would hook a ring on our toe (not too far forward but not to far back) and we'd do a half circle around the arena (staying on the wall and stopping on the opposite long side) and try and drop the ring on a cone (stop the horse, remove the ring, and drop it down). We usually did this at a trot but I'm sure it would work at a walk as well though it would be easier? The point was balance and keeping the heel down. If you weren't doing it right, the ring would drop.
This was always done towards the end of the lesson as a game after we'd proved we could walk and control the horses and stop. If there was a little kid who wanted to try but was just starting, he'd lead them around once.
My suggestion would be to keep things fun and not too serious. Start with an instruction time: learning basic controls like stopping, turning and going. Finish with fun time: play a game. That could be anything from free riding, serpentines through poles, carrying plastic eggs on a spoon race, to even just playing tag. Playing tag is a simple game everyone knows but it can be frustrating if they can't get the horse to do what they want. That is where the instruction is your key.
Just keep it fun for them.
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