Giving A Lesson - Help!
So long story short -
One of my teachers from school is bringing his kids over to have a lesson. :shock: Meeps. I highly value what he thinks of me, I've had him as a teacher for 3, going on 4 years. I have my old Arabian to teach the kids on, I'm getting a small Western saddle for them, and they will have their own helmets.
So here's the question. What the heck do I do with them?
I usually start off with just letting them pet, play, brush the horse, teach them how to act around the horse etc. You know, general stuff that they need to know to be safe.
Where I get stuck is when it comes to riding. How do you start kids off? What games do you play? They will more than likely only be walking so what are things I can do to get them to laugh and have fun? There will be two of them, so anything that involves both of their participation is a bonus. I have taught lessons before, (I'm not totally in the dark) but I feel like I need more of a plan with these kids. I'm nervous. Haha, that never happens! Any advice, ideas, anything is helpful!
Have them do "Around the world" in the saddle. Play Simon Says and have them touch their toes, the horse's ears, the horese rump, their helmet, arms out to the side, fold arms behind their back, etc.
Use some cones to lay out simple patterns and have them practice elementary steering.
Teach them the aids for whoa and walk on and play a simple game of Red Light, Green Light or Mother, May I?
The second child can compete against the mounted child in these games for for giggles, if you like.
Are these small children? I would be sure to have the horse on a line at all times, unless you are in a round pen and the kids seem to be able to stop/turn the mare. Also, I might ask them to sign a release/waiver of liability.
I have done this a fair amount and you'd be amazed at how little it takes to make them walk away sayiing they had the time of their lives! Just like you said; grooming, careful hand feeding , show them what a hoof looks like, teach them how to move around a horse, how to lead. Tacking up (do it yourself, but explain as you go).
When they are aboard, I just have the horse on a line and we work in circles. Just walking mostly, and some trot. You can have them do circles with their arms, touch the hrose's bum , close their eyes, sing a song, count footfalls, stand up in the stirrups, take their feet out.
Do things that are fun, Remind them to look up and relax and to say thankyou to the hrose when she does what they ask.
You'll be great!
I find lots of my littlies love patting the horses and fussing over them even leading them around, with you nearby of course. Then once theyre up there they love Simon says as someone said before. Even just a pony ride with them doing airoplanes or practicing their rising at walk.
Are they going to be on lunge lines or each riding individual horses?
I think different exercises to bring body awareness to your students would be good.
Depending on how well the kids are doing and how much of saints the students horses are, I would keep it at a walk, maybe trotting.
Thank you all so much! All are wonderful suggestions. I usually do play games like Simon Says and Red Light, Green Light, and do patterns with standards. I will probably just walk with them, Phantom on the lead line. He's a trooper with kids, so he's not much of a problem. They will ride one at a time on him, each for about 15 minutes.
As a riding instructor i find the kids always enjoy bareback riding. Maybe once theyve got a seat going though!
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