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Vandy
May. 8, 2009, 04:16 PM
I have a young student who has natural ability, good feel, and has made a lot of progress in her jumping lessons. She is quite dyslexic, and while it takes her a good while to learn a course (even a simple hunter course), once she has it, she does an excellent job riding it. We've even started to experiment with equitation/jumper type courses, and as long as she has plenty of time to learn the course, she is becoming quite competent. She is at the point where she's totally ready ability wise to be competitive at the horse shows, but I really worry about safety in the schooling area for both her and the other competitors. She has a lot of difficulty processing left vs right or outside vs inside. I certainly don't want this to prevent her from showing and having fun, but does anyone have any tips to make it a more safe and controlled experience?

horsestablereview
May. 8, 2009, 04:49 PM
Tie a ribbon to her left wrist to remind her which side is her left? Would it be possible to go to some smaller shows for her to get used to the idea of having to navigate a bunch of nervous concentrating riders?

I'm sure if you take it slowly and work with her without getting discouraged (which it sounds like you're doing well with) she'll come out just fine. At least in the show arena, she'll be alone over fences, or going the same direction as everyone else in the flat classes.

Hope to hear good stories. :)

goeslikestink
May. 8, 2009, 05:19 PM
I have a young student who has natural ability, good feel, and has made a lot of progress in her jumping lessons. She is quite dyslexic, and while it takes her a good while to learn a course (even a simple hunter course), once she has it, she does an excellent job riding it. We've even started to experiment with equitation/jumper type courses, and as long as she has plenty of time to learn the course, she is becoming quite competent. She is at the point where she's totally ready ability wise to be competitive at the horse shows, but I really worry about safety in the schooling area for both her and the other competitors. She has a lot of difficulty processing left vs right or outside vs inside. I certainly don't want this to prevent her from showing and having fun, but does anyone have any tips to make it a more safe and controlled experience?

thats not so much as deslextic but co ordination

thats down to the way your trianing her
take it from someone whos is serverely deslextic ie me

matey one ccant do courses until they learn the flatwrok and half halts
and then ground poles small grids then small courses
one cant do in the air what one cant do on the flat

NCtoCO
May. 8, 2009, 05:27 PM
I am dyslexic myself (though thankfully pretty mild) and learning courses has always been really hard for me.

The biggest help for me has always been schooling in the actual ring early in the morning. It gives me a good visual association of each fence. If that's not possible, no big deal; it just takes me longer than most people to memorize my courses. Learning one at a time also helped me as a child. I wasn't one of those kids who could learn all three courses for my division at once and keep them straight.

With tons and tons of practice, it has gotten easier for me. I still probably couldn't memorize a grand prix course, though. Luckily I am a hunter rider. :)

I like the idea of having her associate right and left with some color on her wrist. I think that would work well.

With natural talent and passion, I'm sure your student will go far! I've known a fantastic rider my entire life who is so severely dyslexic that she went to special schools. Although she struggled to learn diagonals and leads, she overcame her challenges. She is extremely successful in the jumper ring and I think she'll make it to the grand prix ring in the near future.

I think it's wonderful you care so much about helping her succeed.

coriander
May. 8, 2009, 05:27 PM
When you go to teach her a course, you can try saying "turn this way after that oxer" and touch her on the appropriate wrist, and same with start on "this lead" if it's ambiguous at all. That always worked with me. I can do cardinal points well, but at 50 R & L are still an issue. :eek:

heygirlhey33
May. 8, 2009, 05:29 PM
Id agree with the above poster, are you sure that its the dyslexia thats making your student forget courses and stuff. My major issue when I started riding (being a dyslexic) was dealing with diagonals as I just couldnt get them going on right even. and Issues with which hand was what, when my trainers used the whole inside outside thing I could get it, but left and right there was no hope. I didnt start riding till I was 12 but before that I had issues with soccer foot skills (so we put a red bow on my right cleat etc). Im not sure exactly why her dyslexia is concerning you about showinging, it sounds as if theres annother issue thats causing these problems. Sounds like you really care though!

Lucassb
May. 8, 2009, 05:40 PM
You can try physical tricks like having a glove on one hand and not the other; "turn LEFT" is conceptual, but many people who struggle with that kind of direction can easily process instruction to turn in the direction of the gloved hand.

Donkey
May. 8, 2009, 05:58 PM
Though not dyslexic, but one who really struggles with the left/right, I find that aiming for landmarks really help - down the line towards the big tree, then turn towards the judges booth, reach end of the ring, keep turning until I see the out gate, ride line towards the out gate.... Visualizing the ride really helps - course walks really help.

Or on the flat I relate everything to the fence, it's always on my outside after all. When warming up in a crowded ring, when I change direction I consciously tell myself where I should be moving when I come head to head with another horse - should I be the one sticking to the outside or the one moving to the inside.

I am much better with inside/outside but unfortunately my coach can't seem to make the change :( for more than 1 direction or two

reallyredflowers
May. 8, 2009, 06:40 PM
I have the same issue as Donkey- it was described to me by my Doctor as a mild form of dyslexia, although I don't have any other difficulties. For the life of me, I can't tell you my left from my right- try giving me directions when driving with me! :eek: I find the visualization works for me too- I really need to see the line in my head in order to complete it...I have to choose the path. If I need to get from the red oxer, around the brushbox, to the natural gate- I have to visualize my path and then I find the execution easy. If I can see that the inside track looks do-able, I aim for that- if I see the outside is safer, I will go for that. But really have to try to see it and feel it in order to remember where I am going. If I can't visualize it, disaster! Walking the courses helps me tremendously!
I have to say the warm-up ring is really hard- that is not a controlled environment nor is it methodical- so the only way I can survive that is really to concentrate on my horse and what I am needing to accomplish before I go into the ring. I look out for crazies that force their way around the warm-up, not following the "rules", but generally concentrate on my own riding.
Maybe this will help her too? She sounds familiar to myself and Donkey (ha! now we sound like were in a scene from shrek!) I am really glad that you are trying to understand this- most people laugh it off when I tell them its a problem for me. Thank you!

superpony123
May. 8, 2009, 08:13 PM
I'm not dyslexic, but I have a lot of trouble with direction. I can't see the simplest of courses if I don't figure it out MY way and MY way only. I have to teach it to myself long before my trainer does, because otherwise i get confused. My trainer likes to associate with direction and numbers, like "start up the quarterline and then down the six, up the seven, down the other six, etc" and i can't understand that at all. I will have no idea where I am going. Instead, the way i see it is "going towards the big tree, jump the single white with the bricks under it. go around and roll back to the right where the judges booth is towards the yellow line, then around towards that umbrella up the green brush boxes, etc" try to use scenery. I like what the other posters said about doing something with gloves/wrists to specify left/right. Try tying a ribbon around her left wrist. Try referencing scenery when youre teaching courses, just make sure they're obvious enough: if there's a lot of trees around, don't say "go towards the big tree" .. try referring to jumps by color/decoration if that helps too. I used to make songs with my friends when we were a lot younger about the jumps when we had tough courses, and we'd always remember them by what they look like (colors, decoration, etc.)

pony4me
May. 8, 2009, 08:20 PM
"Driver's side" and "passenger's side" work better for me than left and right. Learning courses came from lots of practice, and a few simple facts: the oxer can't be the first fence in a line, if one side of the jump has flowers and the other doesn't, jump in going towards the flowers, after a diagonal line, you are generally going to change direction.

All this may change for an equitation course. Bending lines, jumping a single going one direction, and then later going the other direction can be confusing. I try never to be the first person doing the course. Even then no guarantees I'll get it right. Good luck with your student.

justmagic
May. 8, 2009, 08:31 PM
I agree with what everyone has said. I'm slightly dyslexic and have a really hard time remembering where I'm going. I have to repeat the strides and lines a 100 times before I go in the ring. It's also much easier for me if I associate each line with a jump. For example...jump the green and white away from the in gate....the brick in 5 toward the in gate.....etc....that really helps me a lot. Plus keep repeating the steps in the line. I can't tell you how many times I've turned to a line and thought 5??? 6??? and have to hurry though the entire course in my mind until I get to that line in my thoughts. She'll be fine and good luck.

Twisting
May. 8, 2009, 08:57 PM
Dyslexia is a learning disorder characterized by difficultly forming words (written and spoken) into meaningful language. It's not just a reversal of left and right. Dyslexic's often have issues handling rapid instructions and remembering sequences. The best way for a dyslexic to learn something new is a multisensory approach. Get a picture of the course, have her trace the course with her finger while telling you which fences should be jumped in which order. By engaging all her senses you create more oportunites for her to remember.

2boys
May. 8, 2009, 09:07 PM
Dyslexia is a learning disorder characterized by difficultly forming words (written and spoken) into meaningful language. It's not just a reversal of left and right. Dyslexic's often have issues handling rapid instructions and remembering sequences. The best way for a dyslexic to learn something new is a multisensory approach. Get a picture of the course, have her trace the course with her finger while telling you which fences should be jumped in which order. By engaging all her senses you create more oportunites for her to remember.

One other thing I was thinking, is to have her actually *ride* the course sitting still. Even if you have to stand behind her, and have her similate the movements, do the course. Pretend to canter; canter your opening circle; look around your turn toward your first fence; count the strides; etc. Have her ride a *virtual* course. I would definitely ease her into riding with many others. Sounds like she may not be ready for a busy warm-up area. Break EVERYTHING into manageable chunks. ;)

Renn/aissance
May. 8, 2009, 09:09 PM
I worked at a riding camp where several of the campers were dyslexic to a greater extent than I. One of the things that helped with the left to right (because even kids that have gotten the left and right down pat had trouble when they got flustered) was "brown glove, blue glove." Brown glove on the left hand, blue glove on the right. It looked funny in the ring, but from the rail you couldn't see it, and when on the horse the kids could see it well enough to know "turn towards the blue glove."

Give her plenty of time to learn the course with you. Have her trace the course on the map, then point to each jump in order. Watch other riders go around and ask her, "Where is she going to go now?" When she's ready to go into the ring and is repeating her course back to you, have her point to each jump in order.

In the schooling ring, if she needs to alert other riders where she's going, have her say "Pass" or "Rail." Try to set up a schooling ring situation at home where people say "inside" and "outside" so you can see how much of a problem that really poses.

Candle
May. 8, 2009, 09:18 PM
I've had three friends who canNOT do right and left. Instead, when we're riding or going somewhere in the car, we say "East" and "West", not meaning them in any way to be correct direction-wise, but they can all visualize a map in their heads in a split second and tell me that East is the right side and West is the left side. It works really well for us.

goeslikestink
May. 8, 2009, 09:31 PM
One other thing I was thinking, is to have her actually *ride* the course sitting still. Even if you have to stand behind her, and have her similate the movements, do the course. Pretend to canter; canter your opening circle; look around your turn toward your first fence; count the strides; etc. Have her ride a *virtual* course. I would definitely ease her into riding with many others. Sounds like she may not be ready for a busy warm-up area. Break EVERYTHING into manageable chunks. ;)

dont people walk the courses over there before they jump them

Renn/aissance
May. 8, 2009, 09:35 PM
dont people walk the courses over there before they jump them

When you're riding a typical hunter class, you are not permitted to walk the course. You are allowed to walk jumper and some equitation classes, although our local show circuit prohibits eq riders from walking the local medal classes before riding them in order to save time.

If she did have that option, it would certainly be helpful!

Vandy
May. 8, 2009, 10:45 PM
Ok everybody, lots of good info on helping her remember courses, but that's not the issue - we've developed a system through lots of repitition and visualization to the point that she is very good at learning courses now.

The problem is THE SCHOOLING AREA! She just freezes up if someone shouts "inside" or "outside" or "heads up to the oxer" and has no idea where to go. The chaos of the schooling area is totally different than learning a course, and it's not going to help to tie a ribbon on her wrist...I can't tell the other riders in a schooling area to use some special kind of code to help her understand where they are going - that's the problem. She will understand if I point to a jump in the schooling area and say "jump that on the left lead heading away from me", but if someone rides into her path, she has no idea how to tell them where she wants to go or understand where they are asking her to go. The best I've come up with is to have her yell "heads up" a lot if there's someone in her path, but that only goes so far...We've tried to simulate a schooling ring situation at home, but we all know that the schooling area at a show is a little different and very intimidating to any new show rider, let alone one who has trouble processing universally accepted commands.

ridingstudent
May. 8, 2009, 11:26 PM
I too am dyslexic, but have no problem with memorizing courses (somehow i'm always forced to go first in my lesson...) try telling her courses with out ever saying a direction or left and right, or a lead just point it out, I just look at the jump and physical clues as to were to go and turn. At least for me and some-others with dyslexia, if you see and do you get it easier then ever looking at a paper or having someone shout left, right, ect.

Like if it is typical hunter outside, diagonal, outside line. I think, start circling towards the building, head to fence by the rail, turn back to diagonal, look to announcers stand, and jump line on next to parking lot.

as for the warm up ring, red ribbon in the horse's tail so she doesn't get trampled from behind. And start small, maybe even find a random other place to warm up, if the horses is amazing and will be ok with only trotting around the arena a few times, she'll be all set!

joiedevie99
May. 8, 2009, 11:42 PM
First show- put her in short stirrup or just some flat classes and don't bother warming up (or find some out of the way place to do it). Just have her get on early and walk around by the trailer or around the barns. After her classes are over, take her in the warm-up ring just to watch. Stand next to her and discuss what is going on. Have her watch one rider, and tell you what that rider should be calling out.

If all goes well, do the same thing at the next show, but do some walking and trotting around in the warm-up. Once she's been there a few times and practiced calling for other people, she should feel more comfortable giving it a try herself.

SEP
May. 8, 2009, 11:52 PM
For the warm up arena usually if you are first to go the warm up area is pretty empty, so maybe voluteer to go first.

Also instead of right and left give her two different color gloves and tell her or show her when the brown glove is on the inside she gets the rail and the black glove is on the inside she gives the rail to others. Or put two different colors electrical tape on the shoulders of the horse (this can be removed before going in the show ring). I hope i wasn't to confusing but I had this problem as a kid too. I still have to really concentrate about right and left and I am close to 50. Or you can do what everyone did to me and that was just yell at me. To this day I still try to spend the least amount of time in the warm up arena as possible.

nlk
May. 9, 2009, 12:09 AM
I think it's important for everyone realize that there are varying degrees and ranges of dyslexia, just like other disorders. It is NOT just reading and writing backwards, it can include difficulty with lefts rights, opposites such as inside and outside. It can also entail something as simple as skipping lines when reading. so please don't think because this girl is not like you that there must be something else going on.

I found that my biggest lifesaver was actually breaking my left wrist, I remember now which wrist I broke so I can figure out my directions. SO the different gloves could work, but that's not likely for the show ring. I have used a sticker on top of the kids glove before so as to say turn to the sticker or us the hand with the sticker on it.

I also found that writing the course down and holding it in relation to the actual course helps visualize it which is a big helper.

Good luck

Madeline
May. 9, 2009, 01:14 PM
I have a young student who has natural ability, good feel, and has made a lot of progress in her jumping lessons. She is quite dyslexic, and while it takes her a good while to learn a course (even a simple hunter course), once she has it, she does an excellent job riding it.

Just to be nit-picky, dyslexia(if it exists, and there's a ton of research showing that it doesn't) simply means a difficulty in reading. Other learning differences have their own names, but unless your student is having trouble reading and following a written narrative course description, dyslexia is not the problem.

Alagirl
May. 9, 2009, 01:28 PM
I have a young student who has natural ability, good feel, and has made a lot of progress in her jumping lessons. She is quite dyslexic, and while it takes her a good while to learn a course (even a simple hunter course), once she has it, she does an excellent job riding it. We've even started to experiment with equitation/jumper type courses, and as long as she has plenty of time to learn the course, she is becoming quite competent. She is at the point where she's totally ready ability wise to be competitive at the horse shows, but I really worry about safety in the schooling area for both her and the other competitors. She has a lot of difficulty processing left vs right or outside vs inside. I certainly don't want this to prevent her from showing and having fun, but does anyone have any tips to make it a more safe and controlled experience?

maybe this girl would profit from participating in another sport like martial Arts that concentrate on forms. It is very challenging to get it right as a regular person but it helps tremendously. (I didn't think dyslexia would affect a situation like a course when there are so many non written visual clues...but what do I know). Anyhow a friend of mine had her oldest tested and he has some sort of a situation where he cant connect right and left real well and gets pretty frustrated at time with all the direction changes in his Taekwondo forms. Once you know what it is, it's easy to work with.

I really suggest something like Martial Arts (hey, maybe dancing would work) but the emphasis has to be on forms. Does not really matter what it is, Kun Fu, Taekwondo or Tai Chi.

Horseymama
May. 9, 2009, 01:52 PM
Dyslexia is a learning disorder characterized by difficultly forming words (written and spoken) into meaningful language. It's not just a reversal of left and right. Dyslexic's often have issues handling rapid instructions and remembering sequences. The best way for a dyslexic to learn something new is a multisensory approach. Get a picture of the course, have her trace the course with her finger while telling you which fences should be jumped in which order. By engaging all her senses you create more oportunites for her to remember.

My son has dislexia and discalcula. Sequencing and left and right are very hard for him. What has helped him are the kid jumps. He's still a kid, so he is not embarrassed to do this, and your girl might feel funny especially if she is older, but even if you draw a mini course in the dirt and have her walk around it as if she is riding, that might help. A multi-sensory approach is key here. My son needs to be taught (anything) by stressing feel, sound and smell. So instead of saying "turn left after the white vertical," you can say "feel the horse turning toward the judges box," or something like that. One side of the ring may sound different than the other. On one side you can hear the jumper ring and on the other side you can hear the barns. One one side of the ring there is a smelly pile of poop and on the other you get the scent of the hot dog stand. When you jump the green boxes you might hear the dirt on the boxes as the horse takes off, but when you jump the gate you won't.

The more multi-sensory you can make it, the better.

Madeline, for what it's worth, I think it all comes down to learning differences rather than a disorder. In this society we expect everyone to learn in exactly the same way and when they don't they have to make up some reason why.

Madeline
May. 9, 2009, 02:12 PM
Madeline, for what it's worth, I think it all comes down to learning differences rather than a disorder. In this society we expect everyone to learn in exactly the same way and when they don't they have to make up some reason why.

Just for the record, I wasn't the one that called it a "disorder." I called it a difference. Even though I'm pretty skeptical of the whole "dyslexia" mafia and its advocates ( who have never been able to define the "difference" in a century and a quarter), I am aware of the politically correct terminology.

Vandy
May. 9, 2009, 02:14 PM
Thanks for all the helpful info! I love the idea of jumping kid courses - even the teenagers at my barn have fun doing this on rainy days, but it's always been a "puissance" where there isn't a course to learn...I'll suggest doing some courses instead and they'll all love it -I never would have thought of that on my own. Which also made me realize that practicing "inside"/"outside" can be much more safely practiced unmounted too...so THANKS SO MUCH fo that!

Re: dyslexia - I know there is a lot of debate about what it is and how it affects different people and how it is labeled. I'm pretty politically incorrect, and while I try to be sensitive to other people's feelings, the fact is that she does not process information the same as the average kid. I guess I should just say that this kid has a learning disability or difference or whatever you want to call it that has affected her schoolwork and is affecting her riding, although her parents have told me that she's been much more focused in school since she started riding lessons :)

Tini Sea Soldier
May. 9, 2009, 02:32 PM
I threw in the towel trying to learn my right and left YEARS ago. My trainers have always figured out an alternative way of communicating direction with me (after years of yelling "Turn LEFT! NO! YOUR OTHER LEFT!").

Usually, the most useful, is the inside shoulder/outside shoulder. Why I can process on top of a horse which is their inside and outside... and why I can't differentiate my directions.. is beyond me.

But i can do a turn to the outside or turn to the inside much easier.

goeslikestink
May. 9, 2009, 03:41 PM
Just to be nit-picky, dyslexia(if it exists, and there's a ton of research showing that it doesn't) simply means a difficulty in reading. Other learning differences have their own names, but unless your student is having trouble reading and following a written narrative course description, dyslexia is not the problem.

thats what i thought, delextic isnt a problem for co ordination or for not konwing the course of jumps when i go jumping and doing a course imake sure me no isnt the 1st one on the board so i can watch a few bods go round 1st then i will learn it by watching the same way as anyone esle would

bumknees
May. 9, 2009, 04:47 PM
I think the whole shooling area in its self is pretty daunting to begin with even for those who do not have a disability. It is chaos at best almost deadly to a newbie at worst...

I dont think her dyslexia has a lot to do with her confusion in the school area. I to have this problem alomst as bad as goeslikestinks' ( the words fall of the page with me if I am tired along with the jumbled letters and numbers left right etc Dont ask me for direcctions unless there are plently of landmarks along the way that I can use). It is confusin I wold think for anyone entering it for hte first time. So many things going on at hte same time people yelling out directions, jumps, etc.

I think it would be helpful if for a while if you can school/ warm up when the area is less crowded and less chaos going on. then slowly go when a bit more people are around until she can do the fully loaded warm up area.

Horseymama
May. 9, 2009, 05:19 PM
Just for the record, I wasn't the one that called it a "disorder." I called it a difference. Even though I'm pretty skeptical of the whole "dyslexia" mafia and its advocates ( who have never been able to define the "difference" in a century and a quarter), I am aware of the politically correct terminology.

I know you weren't calling it a disorder, I was agreeing with you!

Beethoven
May. 9, 2009, 06:53 PM
I can understand her having difficulty with left and right as I certainly do. I am not diagnoised as dyslexic but there are somethings like direction and reading outloud and such that I will mess up. I would think inside vs outside would be an easier concept. Outside it always toward the rail and inside it always towards the inside of the ring. Maybe have her practice a home with a bunch of people hacking in the ring to simulate a warm-up ring so she can get used to the situations.

When trainer tell me left or right, I freeze and have to think which is my left or right hand. Its bad, but outside or inside I got it. I remember in the car that left turn are across other lanes, but right turn are next to the curb.

I do not have trouble with courses but I do not think left turn or right turn I just envision the path I take to get to the next jump.

Against all Odds
May. 9, 2009, 09:10 PM
I agree with the suggestion to put her in the start or end of the class, that way the schooling area is much less crowded.

Also, if she is not one that needs lots of warm up for herself before going in the ring you could have another student warm up her horse for her so that she can get on and head in the ring without the worries of the warm up ring.

myvanya
May. 10, 2009, 02:15 AM
I have a similar learning issue/difference and here is what I do:

I have similar issues as far as dealing with the chaos in the warm up areas and I keep and eye out and school at lower volume lower stress times. If I am in the warm up and it is really crowded and chaotic I struggle to figure out where other people are going and where I can be out of their way. It really stresses me. I have yet to go to a show where I can't find a slower and less crowded time to school though.

Also, for learning courses, I copy the courses into a notebook, look at every jump, and describe each jump to my self using the type of jump (e.g. oxer, vertical, fan) and its color scheme. I then use the colors, logical lines (as many as you get in jumper courses), and the course map to help me memorize the course. If possible learning only one at a time is helpful as well. I trace the path I will take on my notebook paper as well as telling someone my course and pointing to the jumps in order. I still struggle with messing up courses sometimes, but this has helped me out a lot.

fourmares
May. 10, 2009, 03:05 AM
If you watch the schooling ring, it ebbs and flows. There are times when it is busy and times when it's fairly empty. It is possible to get a student into the arena at times when most of the other riders are standing around at the gate. (Very often that is just before the class starts... dunno why.) Make sure that your student gets on early enough that she can hang around long enough to take advantage of a slow time.

goeslikestink
May. 10, 2009, 05:02 AM
maybe this girl would profit from participating in another sport like martial Arts that concentrate on forms. It is very challenging to get it right as a regular person but it helps tremendously. (I didn't think dyslexia would affect a situation like a course when there are so many non written visual clues...but what do I know). Anyhow a friend of mine had her oldest tested and he has some sort of a situation where he cant connect right and left real well and gets pretty frustrated at time with all the direction changes in his Taekwondo forms. Once you know what it is, it's easy to work with.

I really suggest something like Martial Arts (hey, maybe dancing would work) but the emphasis has to be on forms. Does not really matter what it is, Kun Fu, Taekwondo or Tai Chi.

good idea to include judo or swiming as they also use every part and every mussle of your body

kdow
May. 10, 2009, 05:51 AM
good idea to include judo or swiming as they also use every part and every mussle of your body

I would agree with dancing also - ballroom dancing in particular can be fun and often classes are approached less 'seriously' than ballet (in my experience) so they're not as intimidating to someone who doesn't intend to become A Dancer, but at the same time do require you to develop body awareness, as well as a sense of where you are in space and how you communicate through body language with your partner.

Can't remember if anyone suggested it, but yoga or pilates might also be helpful if you can find a teacher who approaches it from the pov of body awareness instead of just fitness, and understands working with kids. Actually, I've heard of barns bringing an pilates/yoga instructor in one day a week for a class that everyone at the barn could attend, when there was enough interest and a suitable space. (You did have to pay for the class, so the issue was mainly taking the class with people you know, in a place you're likely to be anyway, so it was more convenient. Also, since the majority of the attendees were riders, the instructor could tailor things to the specific needs of riders where appropriate - discuss stretches that can be done on horseback, stuff that targets muscles riders frequently tense up, etc.)

(Another place to look for similar body awareness stuff would be someone teaching the Alexander technique - it's kind of an acting thing, but it deals mainly with being aware of your body with the idea being that if you are aware of your body and how it moves, you can more effectively portray characters through body language as well as the dialog. Acting classes for kids seem to be relatively common, so that might be an easier route.)

horsegirl123
May. 10, 2009, 08:33 AM
Re: dyslexia - I know there is a lot of debate about what it is and how it affects different people and how it is labeled. I'm pretty politically incorrect, and while I try to be sensitive to other people's feelings, the fact is that she does not process information the same as the average kid. I guess I should just say that this kid has a learning disability or difference or whatever you want to call it that has affected her schoolwork and is affecting her riding, although her parents have told me that she's been much more focused in school since she started riding lessons :)

I can sympathize with what you are saying having a child who is dyslexic. It does affect their schoolwork and every day functions. My daughter had the same issues with schooling when we first started to show. We started off doing lots of schooling at home with many riders going in different directions calling inside/outside. She had to call her spot everytime and repetition is the key. As far as schooling over fences when the time came I would call the lines out in random order while others were jumping. She had to listen to my directions in order to know the next directions. I used the left/right to this line but not sure if that registered as much as the line I called.
As far as schooling at shows get there early before the ring gets crazy.

More than anything they need to feel confident that they have accompolished their goal. There is no quick fix but over time if you are patient you will see a big difference. In my daughter case we did a lot of showing on the flat and that made her become aware of her surroundings. Be patient and the rewards are great!