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A curriculum for teaching riding

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  • A curriculum for teaching riding

    Instructors--do you have a curriculum for teaching riding? Obviously every rider takes a different amount of time to master a certain skill, but in what order do you teach each skill?

    I'm looking for examples of different instructor's method of teaching, so if fellow instructors could give their lists and input, that would be awesome! I'm talking from dead beginner to far beyond

  • #2
    I use the Equine Canada Learn-To-Ride manuals and basic system. Here is a link to the free downloadable manual of what is expected at each level.



    • #3
      USPC has a proven one....
      Real Horses. Real Riders. Real Results! www.wvhorsetrainer.com


      • #4
        I use my own method, honed from over 40 years of experience! I do not have a lesson plan per se, but go into each lesson with something and mind and then adapt to the day. So many variables that can change what you had orginally planned so you must be able to adjust and maybe even back up a bunch before going forward.


        • #5
          Originally posted by hues View Post
          I'm looking for examples of different instructor's method of teaching, so if fellow instructors could give their lists and input, that would be awesome!
          That would be awesome (indeed!) ... for a pro to give you their methods that they have honed over some long hard yrs of experience. They probably paid good money for all of their training to teach also, not to speak of the outlay for their own riding education up the ranks.


          • #6
            How about this:

            Provide student with copy of Centered Riding by Sally Swift. Books on basic horse care. Books on rider fitness and encourage them to do the exercises regularly. Any other appropriate references.

            1. Basic Horse Care
            First learn to catch and halter horse
            learn to groom horse and care for horse
            learn about tack and how to tack up
            introduce basic care of common horse ailments continue as the student learns to ride.

            2. Independent Seat
            Put on steady eddy horse with bareback pad (no reins) and lead around at a walk, as student progresses do lots of great balance exercises.
            Repeat at jog
            Eventually progress to doing all this this on lunge line
            Learn how to use seat and leg aids to control horse.
            introduce posting trot and two point

            3. Learn how to use reins.
            Once have independent seat- learn use of reins
            Introduce reins with no horse. Student holding reins and instructor playing role of horse (learn how to have soft contact following "horses" movement, how use reins in various transitions, turning etc). Emergency stop.
            Introduce reins with horse- practicing all of the above. Beginners probably benefit from "rainbow reins"

            4. Ride with a saddle.
            Introduce riding with saddle (with and without stirrups).

            Then everything else we usually teach.

            What would happen if someone learned in this manner? It would be more rigorous for the student but....... the ends justify the means.

            I did not learn this way. But when I first got my horse we were on a shoe string budget and I rode bareback for a year. Did wonders for my balance and feel of the horse. I still try to ride bareback on a regular basis and do lunge line exercises. Happy Riding to All!!!


            • #7
              OP, you might want to read Jane Marshall Dillon's School for Young Rider's, which is more or less her curriculum put into a story about how a young girl (former Olympian Kathy Kusner) learned to ride. It even has a quiz at the end of each chapter. In case you are too young to know who JMD was, she taught Joe Fargis, double Olympic gold medalist and KK how to ride, among many others.


              • #8
                BAC - and if s/he's too young to know who Joe or Kathy is??? :-) Do you ever feel ANCIENT???? (way past OLD)
                Equine Photography in the Northeast


                • #9
                  Originally posted by ccoronios View Post
                  BAC - and if s/he's too young to know who Joe or Kathy is??? :-) Do you ever feel ANCIENT???? (way past OLD)
                  You're right, it never even occurred to me that he/she might not know those great riders, and yes, I feel ANCIENT all the time, especially on these forums.


                  • #10
                    Ain't it the truth! Scary sometimes....

                    Equine Photography in the Northeast


                    • #11
                      I'm sure many of us would love to come into each lesson syllabus in hand. Sadly it doesn't work that way.

                      You start by trying to learn everything you can. Then you try to learn to apply it to different horses and different riders. But you must always keep in mind the core principles come first.

                      Other than that it's pretty easy.

                      BAC didn't you baby-sit for KK?
                      Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.

                      Remember the horse does all the work, we just sit there and look pretty.


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by merrygoround View Post
                        BAC didn't you baby-sit for KK?
                        No, I am actually a little younger than KK (not by much though).


                        • #13
                          When I first started teaching, it was in a very regulated program, where they had levels. So to pass level 1-A, you needed to know these skills, and then in level 1-B, you would learn these skills. How you taught it was left up to the instructor, but the skills expected to be taught/learned were clear.

                          With my own program, by groups are much smaller, and most of my students are re-riders who may have a lot of knowledge, but still have gaps; for example have competed 3'6", but do not know how to leg yield. I more or less put students together based on their availability and the size of jumps they and the horse they ride can do. As such, I usually come up with a lesson plan/skill to work on for the week, that all students do to some extent. (Or some weeks I am lazy (like this one) and we just review skills).

                          I put on my blog what we will be working on, as well as some of the theory behind it, so that students can feel somewhat prepared. Beginner students will do the easiest form of the exercise, and more advanced ones the harder form.

                          I often base what I plan to teach as a whole on the skill I see most students lacking, or based on something I read or tried on my own.

                          To be honest, I PREFERED the other style of bringing students up from beginners and being able to check off skills as they were learnt with a large stable of school horses to pick from, but my niche seems to be adult re-riders so I have adapted.
                          Freeing worms from cans everywhere!