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I am having an absolute BALL with my students this winter...

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  • I am having an absolute BALL with my students this winter...

    This is my first winter having a fairly decent sized "core" group of lesson kids. I've had big lesson programs in the past but now I've got half a dozen kids who ride regularly, I'm friends with their parents and we do a lot in groups. They're all between 10-13 so they're good friends and they're all pretty well behaved AND I have them all mounted appropriately, which is great!

    Well, in the winter, we don't have footing, so if we can't ride, usually I just don't bother and we have a slow winter. Well, Denny's goal for kids have me more motivated to let these kids live a little. I grew up in a big lesson program where all we did was walk/trot/canter/jump in circles in the indoor.

    Not happening with me in charge!! We hauled over to a local arena on Sunday for games day, we had relay races, played simon says, follow the leader, red light green light, chase me charlie, anything they wanted.

    We had horse-switch lessons when we couldn't work very hard because of the footing. We've ridden bareback in lessons, practiced jumping ditches and liverpools, practiced drill team maneuvers and had unmounted lessons where we learned to walk lines and had races to put our bridles back together.

    Today, we have 6" of snow on the ground, which is UNHEARD of, and I couldn't let the opportunity go to waste. We borrowed one of the girls horse's- a darling Morgan who is possibly the greatest horse ever AND trained to drive- and did some sledding while the rest of the girls rode their horses bareback in the snow with halters (all in helmets, thankyouverymuch).




    The kids had a great time and all I keep hearing from their moms is "This is what memories are made of!!"

    No joke!! TOO MUCH FUN!

    What have you been doing for fun this winter?!
    Big Idea Eventing

  • #2
    Can I come join in on the fun?!?! THat looks like a blast!!!!

    And you know what... those mom's are right!!! Way to go! I bet those ponies had a blast too!


    • Original Poster

      Fleck, yes! Come play with us!! I think the ponies enjoyed it, too! The big bay with the two little bitty kiddies on him is a leased ISH- ex Prelim horse!! He thought red light green light was silly, but cantering in the field with just a halter was right down his ally! I think all of the horses enjoy a little down time! The morgan pulling the sled actually had the greatest time of anyone, I haven't seen him so animated in awhile!

      'Course my left arm is going to kill from actually pulling the sled... didn't want to attach it to him, thought it was a surefire way to have a train wreck...
      Big Idea Eventing


      • #4
        Ya know what? Those kids are going to learn to RIDE, not just ride. Congrats to you for changing it up ! What fun, and what a great way to teach those kids some riding skills!
        Riding: The art of keeping a horse between you and the ground.


        • #5
          You all looked like you had soo much fun. DD has been stuck in the sand box and when asked she's not having any fun right now. I've been debating on how to get her out a bit more but am hitting a wall with no trails, no horse, and no trailer...
          Adoring fan of A Fine Romance
          Originally Posted by alicen:
          What serious breeder would think that a horse at that performance level is push button? Even so, that's still a lot of buttons to push.


          • #6
            Originally posted by allpurpose View Post
            Ya know what? Those kids are going to learn to RIDE, not just ride. Congrats to you for changing it up ! What fun, and what a great way to teach those kids some riding skills!
            Kudos for turning winter weather into valuable horsemanship lessons. I love it!


            • Original Poster

              Here's some more pics and a little video!


              Big Idea Eventing


              • #8
                Yeah! This is good stuff! Keep it up!
                Proud & Permanent Student Of The Long Road
                Read me: EN (http://eventingnation.com/author/annemarch/) and HJU (http://horsejunkiesunited.com/author/holly-covey/)


                • #9
                  Soooo jealous! Good for you for getting out there and teaching those kids to love it, no matter what the conditions!


                  • #10
                    Looks like so much fun and great pictures! Thanks for sharing.
                    -Debbie / NH

                    My Blog: http://deborahsulli.blogspot.com/


                    • #11
                      How FUN!!!!! Those kids are so lucky to have you! Thanks for posting.


                      • #12
                        Granted, I was in college when we did fun stuff: thread the needle at the trot and then the canter, egg and spoon, the quadrille (?) when we formed a horizontal line with the horses on the ends cantering and the one in the middle did a turn on the forehand, hunter exercises when out hacking, and the most fun-canter up the hill, trot down in a half seat, then rider's choice to either trot of canter over the pasture fence and make sure you turned on landing, otherwise horse and rider would end up in the pond!
                        Oh, now DH and I do fun stuff like haul water to horses, unload hay, feed in the cold and wind....
                        Gee, wish I was closer to to you so maybe you could do some young-at-heart lessons!


                        • #13
                          OMG, looks like everyone had so much fun! I want to play. Good for you having the kids ride and actually having fun. I think everyone needs to get out of the ring as much as posible.


                          • #14
                            Jealous!!!! I board at a fancy schmancy dressage barn. They think I'm crazy for jumping anything higher than a cavaletti. If I started romping in the snow and trying to play red light green light, they would declare me clinically insane. LolA
                            I used to do this kind of stuff at my old event barn, boy do I miss it. And I tell you what. It taught me to ride a horse. Now its just about fine tuning.

                            Love the pics, super adorable!


                            • #15
                              Loved your pics - they're having a blast! This is so much the way I grew up, and those days were positively magic! I run a small lesson program as well, and try to do similar things with mine. When weather is just too bad for us to ride, they show up anyway to help with chores and just hang out. I love it!


                              • Original Poster

                                In a way, I'm fortunate that my kids are so comfortable outside of the arena- they usually have more problems in stadium than on XC!! Its interesting watching them function without an arena... so different than when I was a kid!!
                                Big Idea Eventing


                                • #17
                                  One game we love as kids, do you remember back-to-back bareback? The hardest part was changing places without getting off.


                                  • #18
                                    You are making such a great impact on the lives of these kids; I'm sure they will never forget you or the lessons you've taught. They will learn to RIDE, have fun, and also to change things up for the benefit of their horses as well as themselves. It will influence them to think outside of the box which will overlap into other aspects of their lives.

                                    We need more dedicated teachers like you, in the arena AND in the classroom.

                                    Lessons like these are the ones I remember the most from childhood. There was one time in a group lesson that the power went out in the middle of winter. All of the adults pulled their cars into the arena, lined them up by A, and turned on the headlights so we could have a bareback lesson and play in the shadows. It wasn't the most creative lesson but definitely a unique moment and very fun!

                                    Now, will you come to my college and replace the lazy ass professors who just sit behind Power Point Presentations and ignore the whole concept of umm, TEACHING?
                                    Every one of them had that look of a girl infatuated with horses, the happy, fated look of a passenger setting sail on the Titanic.


                                    • Original Poster

                                      Originally posted by kristinq View Post
                                      Now, will you come to my college and replace the lazy ass professors who just sit behind Power Point Presentations and ignore the whole concept of umm, TEACHING?
                                      I actually have my teaching certificate to teach high school agriculture, as well- I have several general education professors who kept my syllabi, projects, presentations as examples for the future!! They're all horse related, of course, so super easy for me.
                                      Big Idea Eventing


                                      • Original Poster

                                        Originally posted by Doctracy View Post
                                        One game we love as kids, do you remember back-to-back bareback? The hardest part was changing places without getting off.
                                        I was thinking about that when we got home- I'm SO making my smallest kids do that next time we have a playday.
                                        Big Idea Eventing