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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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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Why are Shapes Important?

Throughout this month, we’ve been talking about colors and shapes. I’ve mentioned several times how much I like playing with colors and shapes in my lessons. I use and re-use colors and shapes in tons of ways in my lessons. I’ve been teaching for thirteen years and haven’t been bored with colors and shapes yet! You know who else loves playing with colors and shapes without getting bored? Kids!

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Playing with Colors

What You Need:
Colored Toys (rings, cones, cue cards, balls, buckets, etc.)

Colors are one of the first things we learn. Riders may not understand left or right, but they often understand colors. I love to play with colors in my lessons. I use colors as directional cues, as rewards for riders, as games, and just for fun. There are countless ways to use colors but today I’m going to talk about two of my favorites: for directions and for color coordination.

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Off Horse Activities: Grooming

The series continues! We’ve talked about gross motor skills and fine motor skills and how to help develop those motor skills with off horse activities. Today I want to bring the horse back in to the conversation. As horsepeople, we know that riding is only a small part of being around the horse. Feeding, bathing, hand walking, turning out, medical care, grooming, cleaning tack, and so many other tasks make up our time with horses.

If we want our riders to develop deeper relationships with the horses, what better way to do that than through grooming?

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Off Horse Activities: Fine Motor Skills

Motor skills are the movements and actions of muscles. Typically, motor skills are divided into gross motor skills and fine motor skills. Gross motor skills require the use of large muscle groups to do things like walk or balance. Fine motor skills require the use of smaller muscles to do things like write or zip a jacket. Therapeutic riding can help develop both types of motor skills, but today I’m going to focus on developing fine motor skills off the horse.

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