Write Your Name

What You Need:
Alphabet Letters

This is a fun one! It’s interactive for the rider and works on life and riding skills simultaneously. It teaches life skills like communication, patience, pattern recognition, and cognitive understanding. It teaches riding skills like stopping, steering, balance, and forethought.

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Leaf Picking

What You Need:
Cutouts of leaves (or real leaves)
String/clothespin (some way to hang leaves)
Muck bucket/trashcan/toy basket

I like to give options for all my games so that you can adapt it to your own facility. As you can see by my list above, this game is very adaptable! I like to add seasonal games to my lesson plans because it keeps it interesting for me and relevant for riders.

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Take Care of You

Self-care has been the theme of 2019. Everyone is talking about it – it’s all over Instagram and Facebook (#selfcaresunday) and there’s an emphasis in today’s Millennial-driven culture (of which I am a part!) to take care of yourself. This is not a bad thing! We need to be reminded to slow down, take care of ourselves, and relax. We cannot pour from an empty cup.

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Clean Up Your Room

What You Need:
Cones/Barrels
Towels/Toys/Blankets

This is a fun game to play with clients that the parents and caregivers will love. I call it “clean up your room” because the goal is to put toys back where they belong. It’s a fun way to encourage clients to clean up their messes and take responsibility for their belongings.

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Herd Observation

When I was a kid, I read A LOT. I constantly had a book on me and I was usually reading two or three books at once. At least one book was a horse book. Sometimes it was a fiction story like Black Beauty or Misty of Chincoteague and sometimes it was autobiographies like Monty Roberts’ The Man Who Listens to Horses. I loved reading about horses and then I would take some of the things I read and try it with my horse. This meant that I spent a lot of time observing my horse and it was the best thing I ever did as a kid.

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Choosing a Horse for Your Program

Horses are the lifeblood of our programs. Without the horse, therapeutic riding does not exist. So how do we make sure we are choosing the right horse? First, we need to identify the individual needs of our center. This includes looking at strengths, weaknesses, threats, and opportunities. After we do that, we can start discussing how to choose a horse.

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