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(I'm posting this in this thread because I think the topic spans all disciplines and wasn't sure where else it would fit - feel free to suggest a more relevant forum!)

I have been riding for about 15 years and have a Masters in Child Development, so this is a dual passion for me.

Has anyone come across a structured program/approach to teaching lessons to young children that relies on understanding how the child's brain and body mature in stages? For example, visualization techniques and balance exercises would look much different for a 5 year old than a 10 year old even if they started riding at the same time.

I'm excited by the possibility of exploring this more - what are your thoughts? If you heard about a lesson program being based on that philosophy, would you be intrigued or would you think it was just a bunch of BS?
 

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(I'm posting this in this thread because I think the topic spans all disciplines and wasn't sure where else it would fit - feel free to suggest a more relevant forum!)

I have been riding for about 15 years and have a Masters in Child Development, so this is a dual passion for me.

Has anyone come across a structured program/approach to teaching lessons to young children that relies on understanding how the child's brain and body mature in stages? For example, visualization techniques and balance exercises would look much different for a 5 year old than a 10 year old even if they started riding at the same time.

I'm excited by the possibility of exploring this more - what are your thoughts? If you heard about a lesson program being based on that philosophy, would you be intrigued or would you think it was just a bunch of BS?
No, they should not look any different. Correct riding is taught the same to all ages, in terms of position, hands, and technique.

And using visualization techniques? For what? And how are balance exercises going to be different because of age difference?

Children of any age that begin at the same time should differ only in their innate ability to ride. Has nothing to do with one being 5 and one being 10.

Go check out Equitation classes for differing age groups, or a lesson program that has children of differing ages. You do not teach children of 5 differently from adults of 35 as the seat, hands, cues....safety? It is all the same. Your wording might be different, but not the basics.

And children are perfectly capable of being taught this way too. As for brain and body maturing differently due to age? It was not that long ago that children in America were working 12 hour days. In mills and mines...and still do in many parts of the world. The reason there is now a push on to say that "children don't mature to understand...." is because children are no longer expected to act like they have good sense, and are allowed to act like village idiots.




As to what would I think if I saw something like you suggest? The same as I feel about Pony Pros. Hogwash. Just another gimmick, that drags something simple out to make money off of people that do not know any better.
 

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Maybe this will be very rudimentary of me but I was taught just like an adult. I was showed things hands on and expected to retain it and practice it. Personally I don't think that children are as complex as the world is making them out to be. While there are some differences in learning due to age and brain development I don't think it's that drastic. A child can learn just as readily when they're five as when they're ten from adult references. My BO's granddaughter is five and already has an understanding of more advanced words, sentence usage, and did it all from 'adult' examples. She's also being taught how to ride the same way we teach the adults and has no problems understanding.

A growing body will adapt it's own balance unhindered by any training, just as a brain will to learning. Children are not dumb, and definitely not incapable of understanding advanced models for their age or examples. Make them think and work that brain, it's good for them. If it does differ between them it's a difference in personal learning methods, not age related. JMHO
 
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