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egrogan 05-22-2013 09:49 AM

Lesson activities for riders with Down Syndrome?
I'm wondering if anyone has any lesson activities they've created to serve a population of riders with Down Syndrome? I have several objectives for specific riders I work with, but am working generally on following directions without distraction, and improving muscle tone (specifically, control of the head and neck). I find that in every lesson, I need many more short games/activities than I've used in lessons with riders who have other disabilities, and need to add a few more options to my standard rotation.

Corporal 05-22-2013 10:08 AM

Have you looked at this book?

egrogan 05-22-2013 10:11 AM

Thanks, Corporal. I actually haven't seen that book, will check it out. Any activities in there that you particularly like?

tbcrazy 05-22-2013 07:23 PM

I have that book- it is mostly stretches and static exercises, not activities/games with objectives :) Are you going for a PATH certification? If so, make sure your lesson objectives address actual skills, not just improving head/trunk control etc. While physical improvement can and will come with riding, make sure your lessons are actually skill based and you're not trying to make physical improvements the only goal. If you are not going for your PATH cert, ignore me haha.

egrogan 05-22-2013 07:34 PM

Thanks, TB. I am going for PATH, so my actual objectives will be much more specific, but I was speaking sort of generally in the post as I was lumping a couple of different riders together to try to get some advice :) any suggestions for activities?
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tbcrazy 05-22-2013 07:59 PM

Let me pm you some activities I have my instructors in training do :) I'll be out of the office till Friday, but will send you the materials I give them!
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tbcrazy 05-22-2013 08:39 PM

What types of riding skills are they working on? That'll help me narrow some things down...
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egrogan 05-29-2013 11:11 AM


Originally Posted by tbcrazy (Post 2592353)
What types of riding skills are they working on? That'll help me narrow some things down...
Posted via Mobile Device

TB- I feel so rude for not responding to this post when you were being so generous with your willingness to help me out :oops: I read it on my phone, and thought my response would be too long to type out away from the computer, and then forgot to come back!

At any rate, it seems like right now I'm working on rein aids with almost all of my riders. We set up lots of obstacle courses to practice halts, left turns, right turns, etc. I have some situations where the rider gets really excited about the activity in the obstacle course and throws the reins away completely; another who brings the reins up to shoulder level to halt; another learning left from right. So, the basics of steering are a big focus.

Another big skill that seems to be relevant to multiple riders is maintaining body position (not tucking forward, not flopping in the saddle) at the sitting trot. I have a quick little pony that I use with many of the smaller riders, and I fear he's not always ideal for riders that are not so strong in the trunk/core. But, for various reasons, I often do have to use him.

Would love to hear your tips! Also, I do talk through this with my mentor, I'm just always interested in collecting as many strategies as possible.

Saddlebag 05-29-2013 07:00 PM

One exercise to improve confidence and balance it to up end 2 45 gal barrels, spaced well apart and place 2 or 3 tennis balls on one barrel. The rider picks up the ball and sets it on the far barrel then comes back for another. By setting it up for two riders, ie 4 barrels the riders become competitive and try harder.

tbcrazy 05-31-2013 11:05 PM

No worries! I will have some time this weekend to pull some things for you :)

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