Mini Lesson Plans

Some instructors write detailed lesson plans. Some instructors have it all in their heads. I started out with the former, and have refined it to a shortened version I keep in my pocket all day. It’s super helpful when you have lots of students, and then you can mark notes on the paper to remember for later when writing progress notes. I showed my mini lesson plans to an instructor in training last week and she found it helpful, so I thought I’d pass it along. It’s a nice transition between “I need to write lesson plans to know what I’m doing” and “crap I have a lot of students”. Here is an example of a few riders:


1:00            Rider 1                                                                                                       

Groom/tack before with leader
Lead horse 1 lap – ID horse behavior
Mount – lift, croup
Warmups – 2point, posting walk, circles
Horse Parts – 5 new – Puzzle
POSTING TROT – 100% in rhythm, 4x each direction (watch SW stamina)
> 1 SW
> 0 SW, no VP to start posting, less VP for rhythm
Conditioning – 4-4-4
Dismount – croup, ground

1:30            Rider 2                                 Serpentine Cones

Walk/Halt/Walk – balance, quiet seat and hands, use core
Steering – coordinate seat and reins
Activity – Serpentines with cones
Progress to no cones, less VP

2:00            Rider 3                               Leg Yield Cones

Groom/tack before with leader (pogress to less help)
Lead horse 1 lap, ID behavior
Mount – croup, lead through block
Skill – Leg Yield
Unclip 10 min
Practice – progress to less VP and no cones
Dismount – ground, croup
Lead/untack after with leader

3:00            Rider 4                Mystery Horse Game

Mount – croup
Meeting L/SWs
Lesson Overview
One arm out, 10 sec, switch
No stirrups, half lap
Switch directions
Hands on hips 5 seconds
No stirrups, half lap
Posture – review
Direct rein steer – teach
Practice – one circle each direction
Horse Puzzle game – ANKLE
Conclusion – review steering, High 5’s
Dismount – croup to ground, carry out

3:30            Rider 5                                                 

Mount – lift, croup, min assist!
Warmups – quick mane/tail touches, hi-5s
Walk On – hold reins and sitting up straight
Activity – pattern including whoa/walk on
Trot – sit up and press button – 4 walls
Cool down – No stirrups, no holds
Dismount – croup, max assist, to ground


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 judgment!

2 thoughts on “Mini Lesson Plans

  1. The mini-lesson plans seem like a great way to keep track of the different skills on which your students are working. It is also a good reference for a back up plan if you need one. I like the idea of having the paper to make quick progress notes right away. I am an IIT and practice with detailed lesson plans. I sometimes start with a general lesson plan for the day and tailor it depending on the riders’ levels.

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