As you are thinking about the new year, consider creating monthly or quarterly themes!
One barn I worked at did quarterly themes one year. Each quarter (or session, or semester, or however you do it) the director picked the theme and assigned an instructor to put together a small presentation with lesson ideas. Themes included:
- Trail (hence this post and this post)
- Gymkhana (hence this post)
- Reining (patterns, figures, etc.)
- Dressage (patterns, figures, etc.)
- Jumping (2 point, ground poles, etc.)
- and so on
Here are some ideas I got from Equinovice (one of my favorite friend equine blogs) who got them from blog challenges she participates in. I desperately tried to find them all but could not, so here are a few with a lot of my own ideas:
- Jamuary = in January ride to music
- Barebuary = in February ride bareback
- March March = in March work on rhythm, getting the beat to posting, stride control, etc.
- Grateful April = in April discuss what you are grateful about, have students make pictures to post at the barn, write thank yous to their horses and volunteers, etc.
- Hay May = in May learn about feeds
- Groom June = in June learn about and practice grooming
- Jumpuly (pronounced to rhyme with July) = in July work on jumping, 2 point, poles, etc.
- August – Agingust to talk about horse age, or Applegust for feeding apples
- September – Seatember to work on seat, Straitember to work on straitness, Saddleless September to ride bareback or with a bareback pad, Saddlember to learn about saddles and saddle parts
- 2pointober = in October every time you ride hold 2 point for as long as you can – time the first time and try to go longer every time after. Track your progress on a chart.
- No Stirrup November = in November only ride in the saddle without stirrups
- December – Diagonalember to work on diagonals, Dressember to work on dressage, or if you’re really daring Distember to learn about distemper (strangles)
Obviously that’s just the beginning! It helps to looks up “equine terms glossary” to help with ideas.
Do you have any to add?
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!