Filed under Patterns

4 Part Pattern

This is a riding pattern I used a while ago when I had several riders of all different skill levels and goals. It was very adaptable to using with multiple riders, so I’d like to share it with you! Set Up 2 pairs of poles across one diagonal another cone in the lower right corner, … Continue reading

Special Olympics 2016 Trail Course & Barrel Pattern

A reader shared with me that the Indiana Special Olympics had some great trail patterns this year, so I would like to share them with you! There is English and Western Trail, and a Stake Race. The whole document can be found at Special Olympics Indiana 2016 EKS Games Equestrian Riding Patterns, which is where I got … Continue reading

Patterns 2.0 – for both horse and rider

This past weekend I went to the Midwest Horse Fair where I discovered Jec Ballou, one of the clinicians who focuses on horse fitness and classical training. Her perspective and exercises were so refreshing and very applicable to therapeutic riding, I believe. She wrote Equine Fitness and 101 Western Dressage Exercises, both of which I have and highly … Continue reading

Riding a straight line to 3 trot poles

Once my riders can trot 1 lap around the arena independently and switch directions across the diagonal, I find it’s time to come off the rail. Otherwise they get bored, they start to wander, so their horses start to wander, or their horses decide it’s a better idea to hang out with the instructor and … Continue reading

Figure 8s Gymkhana Pattern

Here is a simple pattern to use for steering. Set up the arena with barrels or poles like this: Teach steering. Practice steering by walking on the rail and making circles around the barrels closest to the rail, one on each side. Do this both directions. Progress to the Figure 8s gymkhana pattern: Enjoy! **************** … Continue reading

Bending and Straightening Activity

Here is an exercise that my instructor did with me, and that I think might be fun to do with some of your more advanced students! Bending and Straightening Arena setup: 2 poles, 1 in each corner at one end of the arena, as if cutting it off to form a triangle Skill: Bending & Straitening … Continue reading

Obstacle Course Shapes

Here are some ideas for spicing up your obstacle courses! When deciding which shape to use for your obstacle course, keep in mind: The rider’s balance (shallow or tight turns) The rider’s processing time (able to handle long or short straightaways, aka turns coming up quickly or not) Your ability to see everyone in the … Continue reading

Trot down center line to Halt at X

This was a fun simple lesson I taught the other day, that I want to share with you, as well as a little breakthrough. This rider  is independent enough to get her horse ready and mount on her own, but consistently gets in the arena late and takes half the lesson to settle in to … Continue reading