How to Work on Balance

Horseback riding is all about balance. Staying centered and balanced on the horse makes it easier to stay on if a horse spooks, takes a misstep, or does something unexpected. Balanced riders also keep their horses content. Think of a backpack on your back. If it’s sliding to one side, you are constantly shrugging your shoulder to center the bag. The horse feels the same way with an off-center rider.

In therapeutic riding, many riders struggle with balanced, centered riding so how do we work on it in lessons to make our clients better riders and our horses more content?

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Mail A Letter

What You Need:
Letters
Mailbox

I love games that have a real world takeaway. This is a fun, easy game to play for any rider. As always, scale the game appropriately for the rider’s skill level.

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ADHD and Therapeutic Riding

Image by Merio from Pixabay

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a condition that can cause difficulty staying focused and controlling impulsive behavior. It is a very common and may be a stand-alone diagnosis or a coexisting condition, typically diagnosed along with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

People with ADHD can be easily distracted, have trouble sitting still, and difficulty waiting their turn. These tendencies fit well with some of the benefits therapeutic riding or equine-assisted activities can provide.

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Patterns: Barrel Racing

I love a barrel racing pattern. It requires minimal setup, is easy to do with a group or individual and incorporates several riding skills and therapeutic benefits.

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Patterns: Spiral

This pattern is another very fun pattern to do in lessons. It can be repeated for several lessons in a row and it can be done in a group or individual lesson. Spirals get smaller and then larger which encourages balance, core strength, steering, and independent use of aids.

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