Horse parts can be a good thing to incorporate into your lessons.
- It is an easy quick way to sneak in horsemanship.
- Your students need to know the parts you mention while riding (“look between his ears”).
- It works on their memory and socializing.
- It can foster a relationship with you, the horse, and the volunteers, if you include them all.
Start off with teaching a few horse parts, however many you think they can remember. Start with the easy ones, like ear and eye, that are similar to human parts – you can give them a clue by pointing at your own ear or eye. Then review the parts using a method below. Each week continue reviewing, and add a few new parts. It only takes a few minutes out of the lesson!
- YOU POINT – While standing, point to parts of the horse and say “Do you know what this is?”
- THEY POINT – While standing, ask “Where is Cocoa’s poll?” and have them point to it. (Fill in with your own horse’s name and parts you’re working on).
- THEY ASK EACH OTHER – If you have several students, have them ask each other “Where is Cocoa’s poll?”
- INCORPORATE YOUR HELPERS – Have your leader and sidewalkers give the students parts to ID.
- INCORPORATE STRETCHES – When teaching “mane”, have them stretch way forward to touch the horse’s mane. When teaching “tail” or “hip”, have them stretch around back to touch it. Remember to stretch both sides evenly.
- USE A POSTER – Make little cards with the part names that velcro on to a poster. Have the students put the name in the right place. You can create a skill activity by placing the cards around the arena and having the students get them and bring them back to put on the poster one at a time to practice whoa, walk on, etc.
How have you incorporated horse parts into your lessons?
Note: This is not professional advice, this is a blog. I am not liable for what you do with or how you use this information. The activities explained in this blog may not be fit for every rider, riding instructor, or riding center depending on their current condition and resources. Use your best personal judgement!
Parts of the horse or parts of the saddle are learned at the end of every lesson. I’ve been meaning to make two horses out of foam board and have a relay race on tacking the word card to the correct part of the horse.