Chicka Chicka Boom Boom Lesson Plan

Today we have a fun lesson plan for therapeutic and adaptive horseback riding that incorporated the book Chicka Chicka Boom Boom for back to school week, sent in by reader Monique Nellis, director at Heavenly Gaits Therapeutic Riding Center, Inc.! I’m so thankful to anyone who sends anything in to share, because it’s fun to see what others are doing in their lessons, and it’s a quick way to add a new post for you all. So please, if you have anything to send in use the contact form! Thank you so much Monique for sharing this lesson plan! Enjoy!

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom Lesson Plan

Before the lesson, have the book “Chicka Chicka Boom Boom” out for riders to read while they are waiting. Or buy a bulk set to hand out!

Warm Up

Set up:

  • 3 barrels, one in each corner
  • Letters on the barrels, on a beanbag or color


  1. Rider goes to barrel
  2. Rider identifies a letter on the beanbag or color, and names something that begins with that letter
  3. Rider places the letter item where asked – the instructor uses a position word to tell them to place it on top of their helmet, under their arm, behind the saddle (for each rider be intentional about holding the item somewhere that helps that specific rider’s body warm up)
  4. Rider takes it to the next barrel where they halt and toss the beanbag in a basket
  5. Rider gets another beanbag from the new barrel, names something that begins with that letter, and continues



Started with direct steering straight over the center of each pole.

(Make your own more specific objective based on your rider).


Set up:

  • 4 jumps or poles around the arena, numbered (or however many stations you choose to have)
  • make a coconut tree from a tall traffic cone and leaves from a dollar store
  • letters with velcro, put on the tree in alphabetical order spiraling down the tree
  • upright pole, placed off center from the last pole of each jump station, some on the right, some on the left, with 1-2 letters placed on them


  1. Rider steers over the center of the ground poles
  2. Rider halts by the upright pole and removes 1 letter
  3. Rider steers through the other jump stations
  4. Rider halts at the coconut tree and places their letter – discuss if they think it comes at the beginning, middle, or end of the alphabet, and if they don’t know, sing the abc’s

(Click the picture to see the palm tree bigger!)


Progression included:

  • progressing to two point
  • clipping off or trotting poles based on the rider
  • starting with one pole and adding one to each jump station

Cool Down

Riders remove a letter from the tree to replace for the following lesson


This lesson and activity could be used for the book “Chicka Chicka 1 2 3” and counting by ones and tens as well, and using bean bags with numbers for the warm ups!


I hope you find this lesson plan helpful and inspiring! Now I want to know…does anyone else make lesson plans from books? If so, please share in the comments!


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! If you would like to contribute an activity or article, please contact me here, I would love to hear from you!

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