Giving Lessons Questions
Okay first of all, I don't make money, I give my younger siblings lessons on my friends mare. (Who is fine with this). My parents don't have money for lessons for them, and their only chance to ride is with me...Over summer my two sisters implied that they wanted to learn how to jump. So I told them it would take a long time but I could try. One is 16, the other is 14. I'm stuck in a few places trying to help them out, and thought I would ask here. They ride 1-2 times per week every other week. (Their father doesn't let me take them on his week)
ROUND PEN : I started with 3 months of lunge lining the walk, sitting/posting trot, canter, two point and other balance exercises. Once they were confident doing that I put on a halter and they merely got used to reins in their hands, and understanding the concept of loose reins vs. contact and keeping still hands. One they were good with that I moved them onto the bridle at a walk, working on using leg to make a circle bigger or smaller, stopping with their seat. Once that was mastered it was done at a trot.
About 5 months later I moved them into the arena working on serpentines and refining everything.
I don't know if these are time things or if I could be doing exercises to help. Now the issues I am having with them is :
-Falling forward/backwards every change of speed. If the horse slows down they fall forward, if it speeds up they fall back onto their seats.
-Using leg and keep posting. (They sit when ever they use leg)
-Speeding up! This one is hard, the mare they ride has their number. She is awesome horse and does very well with them, but sometimes they can not get her to go. They spend 4+ minutes trying to get her into a trot when she is in a mood, and then sometimes the canter is impossible. Half the time I end up getting on and giving her a bit of schooling before having them get back on. I know they don't flap around with their legs or hold with their heels, she just knows that they don't have the know how to force her into it. After they've been riding and I get on, even I have a hard time convincing her to break into the gait nicely without giving her a smack with a crop. If I don't use a crop and she is in this mood it takes a lot of preparation, collection and umph to get her to just break into it. Now the issue I'm dealing with is I don't want my sisters carrying a crop right now, but having them do endless circles with NO response from the horse is starting to drive ME crazy. So do I let them carry a crop and give a shoulder tap (which is all the mare needs) or do I continue to have them try and have me school the horse halfway through their lesson?
I'm also ready to start working on stirrupless work to help them balance without stirrups, which they do pretty decent already from random bareback rides.
Any other exercise that anyone can think of that would be fun and help beginners learn something useful?
Can I come live with you on their off week?
I wish I had a sister like you.
If you are teaching them, part of teaching them is teaching them to get the horse moving, you doing it for them isnt helping them. You are also teaching the horse not to go for them.
Thats what I'm leaning towards. I just am trying to find that thin line of when asking them to Keep your weight in your heels, grip with your calves, post on the correct lead, keep your hands still, back straight, shoulders back, out side leg, more contact, slight bend to the inside, keep a nice circle, don't let her come near me, push hard with out side leg and KISS. They are still having a hard time getting the basics down, and I wonder if them worrying about not getting the horse to move is too much. I would prefer to have them work on an obedient horse that does it when asked correctly as opposed to testing them. -sigh- I guess they're just going to have to work it out.
Maybe they are not ready to canter yet. I think at their age they could probably use a crop effectively for the w/t transition. But it sounds like they don't have enough leg strenght. It must be hard for them only riding every other week. I think trot work without stirrups until they can post and keep her moving, and don't fall forward/back at speed changes, and don't bother with the canter yet. Maybe also they could do some kind of leg exercises on the weeks they don't ride? Squats, or even just walking and jogging?
I've never taught anyone though.
You have more patience than I do, I tried teaching my sister, only 20months between us and I threw my teddy in the corner on many occasions!
Sounds like you have the right sort of mare... we have a German idiom that roughly translates to 'You only learn to ride on a horse you have to push, the fast ones you always have to hold' basically, the slower ones make you learn to use your legs, seat, weight, hands properly etc.
If I were you, I would perhaps ride the mare first, I found that a warmed up horse is a more pliable horse, even if its only 15 mins of walk and trot. Then get your sisters on (one at a time, obivously ;) ) and give them direction, sometimes its tougher teaching family members, but sometimes tough to be kind... tell them directly what you've told us, they're grown up enough to take it, and hopefully will work on it to correct it.
I find rolling shoulders in the warming up period, and then before transition a good way to stop tilting forward or back, and a neck strap. Sometimes, having that wee bit of leather helps them mentally more than physically. Do lots of cicrle work with them as it will make them use their legs rather than whole school, and even hack out where possible, in walk and trot.. sometimes the school gets too stuffy, and schooling on hacks is great!
Very true! I think this mare is great for them. She is one that any advanced ride can get on and she rides like a dream, be energetic and playful, but for beginners shes a bit of a plodder. :lol: Good horse for them to grow with, because once they figure it out she will be great for them. In a way makes the wrong thing hard and the right thing easy, but for the human! I've been so stuck to help them figure out how to get her to work though.
Thats probably a good idea, it would be easier than having them get off and me get on anyways. Oh like I said they must really want to learn, I spend the whole time shouting myself hoarse. So they hear a lot more critique, but at the same time I will start screaming "YES YES, Thats how you do it!" Lol.
I'll have them try the rolling shoulders, see if that helps. I wish we had a place to ride outside of the arena. Unfortunately there is about a 3 minutes loop on the property that is very steep, so no trotting. =\
around the world, jumping with hands in different positions (on head, behind back), slowest walk/fastest walk races.
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