Patterns and Stations

This is a neat way to do things shared to me by Ashley of NTRC at the Advanced Workshop I attended. Most of her lessons have lots of riders so this is the format she often uses.

Arena Setup


  • Set up the arena into 3 stations, each with a pattern and activity
  • Here we have:
  • 1 barrel for spiraling
  • 2 upright poles for figure 8
  • 5 cones for serpentines
  • 3 halters and lead ropes at the boxes 1, 2, and 3 (on a barrel or arena ledge)


  • Teach skill – direct rein steering
  • Practice skill
  • Explain activity
    • at each station they will do the pattern 3 times, do the activity, then switch to the next one – if you have 6 riders you can have 2 riders at each station, one doing the pattern while one does the activity
    • demonstrate at each station explaining what and how to do the pattern, and what the sidewalkers will help them do for the activity
  • Station 1
    • Pattern: spiral in and out
    • Activity: identify the halter and lead rope
  • Station 2
    • Pattern: figure 8
    • Activity: hook the lead rope to the halter
  • Station 3
    • Pattern: serpentine
    • Activity: buckle the halter
  • Over several weeks you can do all the different tack: halter, bridle, saddle, etc. – then for the last week review and have the halter and 1 station, bridle at another, etc.
  • Be creative! There are so many ways to adapt this lesson!



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!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *