Teaching Tip: Visual markers to support students during lines

Adding concrete visuals and easily described markers to help you deliver clear and concise directions does not have to be fancy or complicated!

Arena setup tips for adaptive/therapeutic riding, adaptive horsemanship, and Equine Facilitated Learning lessons that can help enhance your communication and set your students up for success:
  1. Set up a pair or “gate” of cones before and after poles, cavaletti, etc. to assist students in staying straight before and after the obstacle.
  2. Use the cones to act as concrete, visual markers for stopping and starting 2-point and/or intro to starting to learn how to eyeball strides/steps/distance before an obstacle.
  3. Add a concrete visual marker at the end of the line after the obstacle (note blue tape strip on top of fence at end of arena).
  4. Set puzzle pieces on flat cones or poles to add in transition work and attention breaks for students that need more activities added in to keep them engaged during riding skill practice.
Ground pole safety note: The example shown in the photo were walk over poles only since there were only two in a row.
Looking to do trot work over poles or raised obstacles?
Best practice would be to have three or more poles in a row set to the horses size if doing trot work so you help encourage the horse to trot over and step between the poles instead of jump over the pair (I jokingly call those ground oxers).
The poles were also only in a pair for walking over because we were walking and trotting through the poles like a “tunnel” going across the midline.
Want to learn more about incorporating concrete examples into your teaching? Read this article!
Saebra Pipoly
Hoof Falls & Footfalls Owner/Founder

** I personally chose to use the term Adaptive Riding vs. Therapeutic Riding and avoid ‘horse therapy’ at all costs. Why? CLICK HEREThe thoughts shared in the  post above apply to not only Adaptive riding but also to other mounted equine activities and therapies offered at an EAAT (Equine Assisted Activity and Therapy) Program/Center/Barn.

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