I wasn't 100% sure this should go here. I guess if it's wrong the mods will move it.
I've been asked to teach lessons for some kids over the summer. These kids have little to no experience riding. I've never taught before. Pretty much all I have to teach is the very basics. And I won't be teaching them to canter. So once I get beyond how to walk, stop and steer, what do I do with them.? I was thinking I could do some patterns with them to help build their skills. I could maybe even make a little obstacle course.
Also, I heard, somewhere, possibly on this forum, that teaching lessons automatically makes you a pro and you can't show amateur anymore. Or maybe it was training a horse. I don't really remember, lol. I'm certainly not a pro. If it does, how would anyone even find out?
I believe if you're getting paid for it, it makes you a pro... at least thats the way I understand it. You have a good idea, doing patterns, it will help them with control and give them confidence to know they can do it :wink: . Along the lines of the patterns, do some pole bending and barrel racing (obviously, at the walk and trot).
i've taught kids how to ride before. It's very important to be right at the horse's head, maybe even have a lead attached too. If they're nervous, have a hand on their leg and let them know that you've got them. That seemed to relax the kids a bit. You could also do a lot of no rein work (on the lunge line of course) so they don't have to worry about steering and can concentrate on their balance.
Ground poles are also good. It's good to teach them how to post and go into the half seat.
If there are multiple kids, you could have races (once they're confident enough) and have like bean bags and a bucket a little ways down. And have them like post down to the bucket, toss the bean bag in and then do a half seat back. Or they could trot back.
Just make sure you make it fun. It might be cool for you to play like simon says. And you tell them what to do and stuff. Think of games to play that will keep it all interesting.
Try games. Such as egg on spoon, musical sacks, low-speed barrels (on walk or jog :) ), and so on. Competition is always fun! I also remember we should pick a flag ride with it, and put it in cone on the other side of arena.
The only comment I can make: u must have completely bomb-proof horses for such activities!
You're right, if you receive any kind of money for training horses or people you lose your amateur status and are considered a professional. This really only affects you if you show.
I always start off my lessons as privates until they can post and steer on their own, then I move them into groups. Depending how old they are (usually the younger they are the longer it takes) you'd be surprised at how long it can take to get to that point!
Patterns are fantastic: cutting across, circles (surprisingly tricky for some kids to learn!), serpentines, reversing, etc. I put them through easy patterns and call it "Dressage day". haha :) I put them on a lunge line, tie their reins, and make them do different things with their hands: on their head, airplane arms, sing head shoulder knees and toes... :) Lots of stuff with ground poles to lead to jumping: make a 'jumper course' of poles and work on finding the straight line down the middle of the pole. A fun game is to put 2 poles out like a line of jumps (like 48 feet apart) and get them up in their 2 point. Over the first pole they put one hand behind their back, and over the second one they switch hands. Then when they get balanced enough to do that I see who can switch their hands the most inbetween the 2 poles. When they're steady enough I let them ride without stirrups a little (again, starting on a lunge line is great!). In fact, my students aren't allowed to canter until they can do a solid posting trot without stirrups. Games (which people have alreaday mentioned) are fun, especially when you incorporate horsie vocab like inside/outside (simon says put your inside hand on your outside knee, etc).
I'm excited for you! I love my job! :)
PS- I'd look into getting a good liability form if you don't have one already!
A friend of mine was telling me about a game she plays with kids. Its like musical chairs with horses. You can use whatever you want as a "chair" a hula hoop or just rope in a circle. play music and stop everyone goes for a circle. You get the idea just play it like musical chairs.
This is only for the summer.
About this amateur/pro deal. I am planning on showing this summer. In fact it'll be my first time. I'm just wondering how they'd find out that I taught lessons. There'd be no proof of it at all. So if they ask can't I just lie or something. It's not like I'm competing in a major show. Just schooling shows. In fact the shows will start almost two months before I start teaching.
I would not lie about it, but they probably won't ask. I have given lessons for years, and rode amateur one year not knowing I was not supposed to until after the fact. It would not be fun if you were some how caught in a lie...sort of embarrassing more than anything I would think. You never realize what a small world you live in - people hear about things in the weirdest ways. :)
This only applies to shows that have amature/pro divisions. In which case, you have to choose the pro division... if there are no specifications, you don't have to worry - same with schooling shows, don't worry about it.
I have taught lessons and run two horse riding camps and I have shown in beginner at me and my horses first show and nobody ever mentioned it. The reason I was showing in that division though was that my horse wasn't ready for anything else and I think they realized that when she bucked multiple times in walk trot canter :wink: My 2 friends and I were the oldest in that class 8)
Anyways, with young kids I turn things into games like simon says or pretending they are in a show. My friends coach used to turn things into an adventure through swamps and such. You could make an obsticle course with ground poles and jump standards/barrels and pretend they are other things like fallen trees. Making them laugh while your teaching also helps with confidence on the horse and with you because alot of the time they are too shy to say if they are uncomfortable or scared. Or if there are other people in the ring having a lesson as well you could play musical stalls using ground polos to divide them.
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