A quick note before I dive in to today’s blog. I try to write and schedule my blog posts ahead of time as much as possible. I have a baby, a busy job, and a busy life so I write and schedule whenever I can. I wrote the next few weeks of lesson plans before the COVID-19 pandemic happened so you will not see any references to it in these posts. For my thoughts on the pandemic and how the therapeutic riding industry is stepping up, see my post here.
Back to our regular programming… The next few weeks will focus on patterns. We use a lot of pattern work at our center because it is easily adaptable to any client and it is the basis of all horseback riding. I rode dressage for years so I love pattern work! One of my favorite patterns is the basic circle.
What You Need: Buckets Barrels (or something to place bucket on) Toys/Rings One special toy
I’ve talked on the blog before about playing games related to the season or holiday because it keeps me from getting bored. I’ve been teaching for fourteen years and need to find ways to stay fresh! This is a great game I like to play around St. Patrick’s Day, but it can be played any time.
This game can apply to any gift-giving time of the year; I am using it in lessons this week for Valentine’s Day. I set up the lesson to reward the horses immediately, but it can be adjusted to whatever works best in your program. If there is an off-horse part of your lesson, gathering art supplies on the horse and then making a card for a caregiver would be a great idea!
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.
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.
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.