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Riding With A Purpose

Well, got thrown off my pony today – first time in twelve months or more, rather a surprise! Thankfully, no damage done and one fall closer to my hundred that supposedly will distinguish me as a rider 😉

I’ve been flicking through some old horse magazines for ideas for lessons in theory and riding this year and came across an article that pointed out the importance of having a plan for each lesson, rather than riding without a particular focus or aim. Makes sense to me and definitely makes riding more interesting as I run out of things to keep me entertained while riding alone.

As someone who’s teaching each weekend of this year, its been suggested by another instructor that I make a heap of lesson plans that I learn inside and out so that I’m not searching for things to teach the students. Also, if I’ve planned in advance, I can test out the lessons on my own horse, working out the level of difficulty, where potential problems may arise and therefore working out ways to fix them. Also, it gives me a general idea of how long a particular topic may last.

Where I teach the general private lesson is 1.5 hours – 45 minutes of riding the rest catching, grooming, tacking up and later untacking and grooming before putting away. Today I was focusing on a lesson based around circles – 20, 10 and 5 metres, figure of eights and serpentines. It’s amazing how these simple exercises can teach the beginner and beyond. They require a knowledge of the setup of an arena, where letters are spaced out, correct diagonals or canter leads if working beyond a trot, having a balanced horse on a circle and a lot more.

Despite being thrown off, utilising my own horse to practice the lesson I will be teaching was a great way to give him some exercise, remind myself of what to look out for in each part of the lesson and how long the exercises will feasibly go for. Your own horse can be a valuable tool and you’re reinforcing basics while riding the lesson as well as having a particular purpose in mind for when you do ride. Those of you who teach will find doing so a valuable tool for teaching a lesson.

“If you want a stable friendship, get a horse!”

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3 Responses to “Riding With A Purpose”

  • Sorry about getting “dumped.” Seems like you are handling it well. It is great to go in having a plan, but be ready to chuck the plan if things are heading in other directions. I always go in with a couple goals, but my horse usually has other ideas. As long as I feel like we have made some positive progress, I consider it a sucess.

  • Definitely fair enough! My only goal yesterday was to not get thrown again 😉 Ended up working on distinguishing canter leads from the centre line (my boy seems to have trouble picking up his right lead) and the lesson was pretty good, but boy did I have a forward pony! Too much energy 😀

  • Plans are good. I plan not to get hurt.

    Congratulations on being one dump closer to your goal 🙂 (I never though to count my own falls…I suspect I’m a really, really good rider by now…)

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