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ideas for young kid lessons

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  • ideas for young kid lessons

    Most of my riders are adults that I have to push but lately I have been getting requests for children's lessons.

    Kids I have the opposite problem with they want to advance before they are ready.

    What are some things I can do to keep a 5 year old focused on basics. I am talking very beginner (learning stopping and steering from a walk)

  • #2
    Obstacle courses. You know, stop inside the ground pole box, make a circle around the cones, weave through the jump standards, stand in two point all the way down the long side, go between those two ground poles, use those four cones to make a big circle with four little circles inside it . . . that sort of thing. Make it more fun.

    Simon Sez is also a good one with kids, and Red Light, Green Light.

    If you have more than one kid, you can play Red Rover Red Rover, all the BAYS come over and such.

    Also, lots of fun stuff like around the world, toe touches, ear and tail touches, arm swings--you can do those on the longe line as a warm up. Gets them comfortable up there, so they know they don't have to *hold* on to *stay* on.


    • #3
      I borrow my kids stuffed animals - put them around the arena - on the fence, on barrels, on standards then have the kid ride around and collect them. They have to steer to the animal, stop, pick it up, then ride it over to a bucket & stop & put it in. Little kids love it & its not boring. I use rolled up polo wraps in different colors as markers around the arena and ask the kids to do different things - ride between the red ones, circle the blue, stop at green, etc.
      You have to be creative to teach little kids. They might not understand "bend your elbow slightly" but they almost always know what I mean when I say "make your arms look just like Barbies!" (Barbie has a pretty good arm - little bend in the elbow, elbow in, shoulder out, lol! her heels suck though) & I say "ice cream cone hands!" instead of "thumbs on top".
      Good luck - those teeny-tinies are really a challenge to work with!
      "I gave my life to become the person I am right now. Was it worth it?”


      • #4
        All really good ideas here. The little kids I taught used to really love the stuffed animal "hunt" and they always liked weaving through cones. If you have more than one at a time you can have them play follow the leader too.

        I also used to do things like around the world at at standstill while I was holding onto the pony. We'd also do the touch you right hand to your left toe and the touch your the ears touch the tail thing. I'd always tell the kids to make sure their legs stayed in proper position which they found much more difficult then they thought it would be.

        Also if you have a nice path around your farm where you can take them for a "trail" after their lesson. I've found that their attention spans vary and some get tired quicker than others so being able to go for a walk and experiencing the changes in footing and terrain was refreshing for the kids and the horses.


        • #5
          My college beginner class used to enjoy a session of sponge tag. I took a large sponge and gave it to one rider. That student was "it" and others tried to keep from being tagged by "it". Rules were no gait faster than walk and no aiming for the horse. When they missed (often), I would walk over and pick up the sponge and give it to "it". Boys seemed to especially like this game.
          Robin from Dancing Horse Hill
          Elmwood, Wisconsin