Visual Schedules

My friend Carrie of HorsePower TR sent me these great examples of visual schedules that she uses for some of her riders. I’m excited to share them with you!

Visual Schedules


A visual schedule is a step by step schedule using pictures and words that clarifies the order of an activity and expectations.


Visual schedules help a lesson run smoothly by clarifying expectations (both of the rider and instructor), helping with transitions, and motivating students to do less desirable tasks in reward for more favorite activities afterward. It is a great technique for Behavior Management and Meltdowns and for Communicating with Riders with Autism. Carrie says, “We use them for riders with behavioral, emotional, or sensory challenges who find getting through the lesson tasks to be difficult.  We’ve seen amazing changes in students when we introduce one of these visual schedules.”


Create a chart listing the activities of the lesson. On one side put a picture representing the activity, on the other side a short word or description. You can include when they may earn rewards, either at important points of the lesson, or at the end. Carrie says, “We pair them with a “prize” from the parents that occurs immediately after the lesson.  We usually will write the prize on the bottom of the schedule.  Examples are:  trip to the library, milkshake at McDonalds drive-thru, extra ipad time, walking the dog, etc.”


Here are some charts that Carrie uses. Click the title to download the Word Doc so you can modify it for your own use!

Phils horse schedule pic

Phil’s horse schedule – the basic one

Mason horse schedule

Mason’s horse schedule – similar, with a prize at the end

Anthony horse schedule

Anthony’s horse schedule – similar, with a checklist and reward at the end, looks like extra iPad time

Jillian's horse schedule pic

Jillian’s horse schedule – with check boxes and a prize at the end

Matthew's horse feeding pic

Matthew’s horse feeding schedule – with prizes throughout

Matthew's horse grooming pic

Matthew’s horse grooming schedule – with prizes throughout

Ty's horse schedule pic

Ty’s horse schedule – with a checklist and reward at the end

Happy Days chart

Happy Days Motivator Chart – more like a Social Story with reward system. For more about Social Stories click here!

Intrigued? Here are some more examples and ideas of Visual Support/Schedules from the Indiana Resource Center for Autism.

Enjoy! Thank you so much for sharing, Carrie!


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!

One thought on “Visual Schedules

  1. What a great idea. We worked with a school system who used this method for their worksheets and I always thought it was really neat how they linked everything together. Thank you for sharing!

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