Skills Curriculum for Veterans Program

As instructors we are to think in the short term with lesson plans and objectives, and long term with goals and curriculum. Both are forms of skill progression – but one is focused on today, and one is focused on the whole session or year.

A friend sent me this curriculum that she has used for her veterans programs. She write, “I find it very helpful to have an overall plan because so often we have to think on our feet to handle unexpected events like lame horses, a new group of participants, etc.” I have it listed below and also show a picture of the document she uses. Even if you don’t have a veterans program I’m sure this list will be helpful as you think through riding skills progression with all of your riders! Thanks so much Suzy!


  • Introduction to horse and safety/ review
  • Introduction to grooming and grooming tools/ review/practice
  • Learn mount and dismount/practice
  • Introduction to tacking/ practice
  • Use aids to walk, halt on lead/ practice
  • Use aids to walk, halt off lead/ practice
  • Learn to lead horse on ground / practice
  • Use aids to turn horse on lead
  • Use aids to turn horse off lead / practice
  • Sitting trot on lead
  • Learn / practice 2-point at halt and walk
  • Practice “barrel racing” pattern at walk on lead/ off lead
  • Learn / practice posting at walk
  • Trot “barrel racing” pattern on lead/ practice
  • Learn/practice posting trot
  • Trot “barrel racing” pattern off lead/ practice
  • Trot “barrel racing” pattern at posting trot

8-25-2013 10-08-09 PM



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!


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