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Comfort and Control

Lesson Content: When a child or adult begins to ride a horse for the first time or revisits riding after a bad experience, there are two main considerations; comfort and control.

  • Comfort the student should be made to feel comfortable since the movement, size and power of the horse can be intimidating.
  • Control the basic instruction needs to focus on controlling the horse.
  • Primary Goal The development of comfort and control to insure the continuation of a positive riding experience. We recommend 8 - 12 lessons to begin.

Student Preparation:

  • Beginning: students are to arrive 10 to 15 minutes prior to their lesson for proper horse selection and saddle fitting.
  • Brushing: As an important part of the introduction, students get to know their horse by touching and feeling all parts of the horse with brushes. The student begins to know the different type of brushes and how they are used.
  • Start: The student is either met at the lesson barn or is brought to the arena to meet with their instructor. Late students will be permitted in the class but the lesson will end one hour after it has begun.
  • Arena: Once in the arena, the instructor will focus on the student's comfort level by talking them through the first two basic gaits, the walk and the trotand the all important stop. At the same time the instructor will work on the student's ability to control the horse at he walk, trot and the stop by correcting the position of the students hands, seat and feet. Here we begin with one hand on each rein to exaggerate the importance of balance in riding. The student may be placed on a lunge line to acquire the necessary feel of the maneuvers being taught,
  • Mastery: Mastery is shown when the student can perform the walk jog and stop independently, with a well balanced seat, quiet hands and feet in the heel down position. These two gaits must be performed both ways of the arena as well as in a smaller circular motion, demonstrating the student's comfort and control with these maneuvers.
  • Testing: The students may ask to be tested 10 minutes prior to the end of any class.

We recommend at least 2 private lessons for beginners.

If a student shows mastery to the instructor's satisfaction then, at the instructor's discretion, the student can be placed in a group lesson.

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E-mail lesson program questions to:

Lessons@WillowTreeStables.com
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