L’Apogee Lambskin Bareback Pad

Here is something neat I found! Last weekend at the Rolex I came across a bareback pad I wanted to curl up and go to sleep on. This is the “L’Apogee Lambskin Bareback Saddle.” It is made in Austria, with lamb wool that is the thickest, softest, and deepest I’ve seen on a bareback pad. I … Continue reading

Fun Video Friday: What do horses think?

Perhaps this should be called Fun Question Friday. What do horses think? (Video URL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ifFfRblUDPs) I myself often wonder: When people get in cars or on tractors, do horses think they turn into them? Or understand they are separate? Do they think we are transformers? Have you ever asked your riders what they think their … Continue reading

4 Obstacle Course Patterns

Here are 4 new obstacle course patterns that I have seen used at our barn lately. Obstacle Course Patterns #1 #2 #3 #4 (The yellow star marks a convenient place to stand so you can always see everyone.) Bonus: Example Lesson Plan! Lesson Plan for Pattern #4: Direct and Indirect Rein Steering Safety Check Mount … Continue reading

Addressing Volunteers

Once an Instructor in Training gets the basics of teaching a lesson, you need to start incorporating more active volunteer management. This means making sure your volunteers are supporting the rider correctly, being safe, and helping the lesson run smoothly. To do this you must communicate with the volunteers by giving them praise and correction, just like … Continue reading

Ground Pole Patterns

AKA things you can do with poles! For your obstacle course, that is. Here are some things I have seen over the past few weeks that I wanted to share with you, all ways to use ground poles in your lessons. Ground Pole Patterns (Note the nifty blog reference in the image. I am getting fancy!) … Continue reading

Theories on Riding Progression

Where should you start with teaching beginners? Here are some thoughts that have been floating around in my mind about teachings methods. First is the USDF Pyramid of Training, which works the horse and riding up the training tree: The training tree starts with Rhythm and Relaxation. However, Lauren Baker of Dressage for Mere Mortals writes that … Continue reading

Fun Video Friday: Leg Aids

This Fun Video Friday’s pick is from the Randi Thompson Youtube Station. It is about leg aids, in particular about using your calf instead of your heel to ask for forward motion. At least watch the first few minutes, as she gives a great example of talking the rider through using her calf and alternating leg use. If you … Continue reading

Trotting Pattern

Here is a simple pattern I used today for a rider competent at trotting, working toward steering at trotting and balancing herself and her horse. I liked it a lot! You can incorporate into this pattern: Steering – direct and indirect rein Half halts – to prepare for each element 2 point – over single … Continue reading