A riders First Lesson for Jumping. - Pony Club · A riders First Lesson for Jumping. The Lesson Topic: Teach a group of riders that have never jumped before, the Forward Seat and - [PDF Document] (2024)

A riders First Lesson for Jumping. - Pony Club· A riders First Lesson for Jumping. The Lesson Topic: Teach a group of riders that have never jumped before, the Forward Seat and - [PDF Document] (1)

A riders First Lesson for Jumping.

The Lesson Topic:

Teach a group of riders that have never jumped before, the Forward Seat and 2 point seat.

It is of utmost importance to teach riders the Forward Seat/Two Point seat to any riders if they wish

to jump. Riders and horses cannot jump safely and harmoniously together if the rider doesn’t have a

good secure 2 point seat. As with all lessons there should be progression. Firstly teach and establish

the rider in the Forward Seat then move onto the 2 Point Seat.

The Structure of the lesson.

Set Up: Your set up can be as simple as using witches hats to define an area. A circle or a

rectangular area is suitable. Have this set up beforehand so it doesn’t take time from your lesson.

Time: This lesson could be from 20mins to 30mins in duration.

Introduction: Introduce yourself and find out the names of the riders.

Horse & Rider information: Find out information that will be helpful for you as the instructor for

this lesson. Here are some relevant questions you can ask.

Have the riders ever ridden in the 2pt seat.

How old are the horses

How old are the riders

How much work have the horses had in the last week leading up to the rally day

Is your horse used to being ridden with other horses in a group situation

Does the horse have any vices you should be aware

Gear Check: The gear check can be done while asking the rider about their horse and themselves.

Also this might be a good time to shorten the rider’s stirrups (particularly the younger riders who

may need help)

Explanation of the Lesson: Explain what the Forward Seat and 2 point seats are, why we use them

and when they are appropriate to use.

Initially you can teach the Forward Seat. The stirrups should be shortened around 2 holes from

their flat riding length.

The Forward Seat the rider leans forward with the upper body from the hip creating an angle that increases or decreases depending on what the situation requires.

The reins are shortened as the riders hands move forward up the horses crest.

The eyes are up looking to where they are going.

The heel is deep and there is a closing of the angle of the knee.

The knee is soft and the lower leg and heel take more of the riders weight (no gripping with the leg)

There should be a light contact with the rider’s seat. The forward seat is the first stage of learning how to ride in a 2 point seat. The riders should be

secure and in control in the Forward Seat before using the 2 point seat.

Forward seat can be used for pole work.

A riders First Lesson for Jumping. - Pony Club· A riders First Lesson for Jumping. The Lesson Topic: Teach a group of riders that have never jumped before, the Forward Seat and - [PDF Document] (2)

Two Point Seat.

Once the riders are secure and comfortable and in control in the Forward seat you can progress onto

teaching the 2 Point Seat.

The Two Point Seat is used when we are jumping, travelling faster eg. Riding Cross Country. It is a

very useful position and even if riders are not going to jump there are times they may be required to

use this position. It makes riders more versatile, helps to strengthen their position and improve

their balance.

The Two Point Seat is basically the same as the Forward seat but in the 2 Point Seat the rider’s seat

now comes off the saddle and above the movement of the horse. Also the upper body may tend to

be more inclined forward. The reason it is called the Two Point Seat is that there are only two points

of contact with the rider to the horse, those being the rider’s two legs.

In Showjumping the Two Point Seat is mainly used when Jumping over the jump and if travelling a bit

faster between fences.

In Cross Country the Two Point Seat is used when galloping between jumps and over the jumps.

Demonstration: One of the most effective demonstrations for this lesson is to bring a rider from the

troop line out in front of the group. Stand them side on to the group and have the rider go into the

position of the Forward Seat and then the 2 Point seat. Point out to the riders each part of the

demonstration riders position and explain why we ride in this position.

Teach the Lesson

Make sure all the riders know about the emergency stop.

10 minute warm up in walk and trot. (Circles, bending, transitions etc.)

The lesson can be taught on a circle or rectangle, firstly in walk in forward seat then walk in 2 Point


Then progress to trot in forward seat rising, and then 2 point seat.

If you feel the riders and horses are at the appropriate level to be able to do this exercise in good

control and the horses are working well you can then proceed in canter. You may wish to do one

horse and rider at a time at first to see how they cope.

Cool down: Allow the horses to walk on a loose rein before bringing them into the line up.


At the end of the lesson you need to go over the definitions of the forward and 2 point seat. Ask the

group a few questions about the positions.

Also give each rider some helpful information as to how they can work on their positions and also a

positive aspect of their lesson.

Aim: To improve the security of the rider’ s position. Introduce them to the forward seat so they are

then able to use this position to improve their general riding and versatility. Then to move on to

being secure enough to do poles and then to be able to jump a small jump. This may happen over a

period of time, probably not all in the first lesson.

A riders First Lesson for Jumping. - Pony Club· A riders First Lesson for Jumping. The Lesson Topic: Teach a group of riders that have never jumped before, the Forward Seat and - [PDF Document] (3)


10metrecirclesSetup: Ina60x20metredressagearena set up witches’ hats eitherside of X to allow riders to ridestraightdownthecentreline.Introduction: Introduce yourself tothe ride and commence the gearcheck of each rider whilst askingtheir names and the history of thehorse/riderpartnership.Explanation:Explaintotheridetheexercise.Theridewillcommenceonthelargearenatrackontheleftreinin walk and upon reaching A turnleft and ride straight down thecentreline.Before X trot and pick up thedesiredcanterleadafterX.AtCtrack leftorrightandridea10metre circle at H and M, then golarge

AtBorEridea10metrecirclethengolarge.At the K and Fmarkers ride a 10metrecirclethengolargeanddownthe centreline at A and begin theexerciseagain.If ridersneedmore space they canrideextra10metrecirclesatanyofthecircles.Theexercisewillbethensetupatwalk, trotandwhen safe,incanter.Demonstration: Whilst explainingthe exercise, draw the diagram onthegroundsotheridersunderstandthedirectionand theexerciseplan.Explainthenecessityofonehorse’sdistance between each rider forsafety.Execution:Nominatea leader (whor*spondsbysaying‘Iamleading’sothat the ride knows who will leadthegrouptothetrack).The instructor commands the rideto ‘ride straight to the large arenatrackand track left inwalk,andgolarge,uponreachingAturnleftandridestraightdownthecentreline.’Before X trot and pick up thedesiredcanterleadafterX.AtCtrack leftorrightandridea10metre circle at H and M, then golarge.AtBorEridea10metrecirclethengolargeagain.

At the K and Fmarkers ride a 10metrecirclethengolargeanddownthe centreline at A and begin theexerciseagain.If ridersneedmore space they canrideextra10metrecirclesatanyofthecircles.Theexercisewillbethenset up atwalk then trot andwhensafe,incanter.Once the dimensions of the circlesarecorrect,rideincanter.Ridersneed tobe awareofothers,andmaybe change the reinor rideextra circles so it is safer for allriders to move in and out of thecircles.Whattolookfor:Oncealltheridersarewalking,theinstructorbeginstowatch each rider’s position andindividually corrects them. Thepriorityhere is the rider’scentreofgravity (keeping the ear, shoulder,hipandheelline).Theriders’shouldsit evenly on both seat bones andnot lean around the around thecircles especially when changingfrom one circle to another. Theridersshouldbecheckingforflexionandbend, soask them to see theirhorses’ inside eyelash to createsome flexion around the circles, sothehorseknowswhichdirectionheisturning.Thehorsemustbebalancedin10metrecirclesattrot,beforeaskingforcanter.Astheriderapproachesthecircle,theyshouldsitstraightandcollectthecanter,sothehorsecan‘sit’alittlearoundthecircle

PonyClubNSWNewsletter‐December2011 27

A riders First Lesson for Jumping. - Pony Club· A riders First Lesson for Jumping. The Lesson Topic: Teach a group of riders that have never jumped before, the Forward Seat and - [PDF Document] (4)

withouttippingin.Theirinsidelegisonthegirthsupportingthehorse,theoutsidelegasksthehorsetomovearoundthecircle,theinsidereinflexesthehorsetotheinside,andtheoutsidereinsupportstheoutsideshoulder.Onceridersareconfidentintrot,theycanridetheexerciseincanter.Theinstructorshouldbecheckingthereisatleastonehorse’slengthbetweeneachhorse/rider.Aim: Look for consistent rhythm,

without any abrupt stopping orrunning.Thehorse is flexed in thedirection of travel. Ask forawareness of the rhythm, flexionand bend, thus working onawarenessofthehorses’movementfortheriders.Time:Keeptheexerciseinwalkandtrotfor10‐20minutes.Confirmation:Oncompletionoftheexercise,givetheridersandhorses’arestforafewminutes(walkona


PonyClubNSWNewsletter‐December2011 28


A riders First Lesson for Jumping. - Pony Club· A riders First Lesson for Jumping. The Lesson Topic: Teach a group of riders that have never jumped before, the Forward Seat and - [PDF Document] (5)

ThislessonplanhasbeenwrittenbyJaneFrankum,StateCoachandCoachingDirector,asaguidetoPonyClubInstructors.Ifyouareinter‐estedinobtainingmoreresources,oneoftheAs‐sociationsStateCoachesSarahVenamorehaspub‐lishedsomeresourcebooksfeaturingadditionallessonplanswhichcanbepurchasedthroughtheStateOfficefor$40;‘TheRightTrack’and‘TheRightTrackII’.SimplydownloadacopyoftheMer‐chandiseOrderFormfromthewebsiteundertheClub&ZoneManagementtab. Sample Lesson Plan 4: THE BARREL RACE Thislessonplancangiveyouideasandprogressionforaproportionofarallydaysinstruction.Aim:Toteachandimprovetheriderscontrolskillssotheycanparticipatesafelyinafasterpacesportingevent.Outcome:Tohelpmaketheridermorecompetentatcon‐trollingtheirhorseatfasterpacesandgetenjoymentridingtheirhorseparticipatinginsomefungames.Pre‐RequisiteExercises:Preferablytheriderswouldhavedoneaflatworksessionbeforetheywoulddoanysportingeventstohelpeliminatetheriskofhorsesbeingtofreshand/ortoloosenupstifferolderhorsesandavoidanyinju‐riesofhorsesorriders.TrythefollowingExercisesinyourprecedingflatworkles‐son.Skillsrequired&appropriateexercises:Skill:ridingsmallcirclesintrotandcanter.


Whentheridersarehandlingthisexercisesuccessfullythenyoucan try thesameexercise incanter.Stress the impor‐tanceofpreparingthemselvesandtheirhorsebeforetheyreachthesmallcirclemarkers.





Coaches Corner


A riders First Lesson for Jumping. - Pony Club· A riders First Lesson for Jumping. The Lesson Topic: Teach a group of riders that have never jumped before, the Forward Seat and - [PDF Document] (6)


PositioningoftheGroup TheBarrels Lineuporcircle.

Start&FinishPegs Fromthispositiontheinstructor

Cantimeandinstructandstill Seealltheotherriders.


• Asktheridershowtheyfelttheywentandhowtheymaybeabletoimprovetheirtimes.

• YoucanofferanyadviceyoufeeltheyneedtoimproveontheBarrelRace.

• Remindthemoftheskillstheyneedtoworkonandtheimportanceofworkingonthese.AlsoexplainhowthefirstsessionsontheflatpreparedthemfortheactualBarrelRaceandtheimportanceofteach‐ingtheirhorsetodoallthemovementstheywouldthenberequiredtodo.StaytunedforthenextCoachesCornerfeatureintheSeptemberNewsletter.

0 The Instructor

Coaches Corner

A riders First Lesson for Jumping. - Pony Club· A riders First Lesson for Jumping. The Lesson Topic: Teach a group of riders that have never jumped before, the Forward Seat and - [PDF Document] (7)

A riders First Lesson for Jumping. - Pony Club· A riders First Lesson for Jumping. The Lesson Topic: Teach a group of riders that have never jumped before, the Forward Seat and - [PDF Document] (8)

A riders First Lesson for Jumping. - Pony Club· A riders First Lesson for Jumping. The Lesson Topic: Teach a group of riders that have never jumped before, the Forward Seat and - [PDF Document] (9)

A riders First Lesson for Jumping. - Pony Club· A riders First Lesson for Jumping. The Lesson Topic: Teach a group of riders that have never jumped before, the Forward Seat and - [PDF Document] (10)

Sample Lesson Plan: Dressage



Exercise:LongandLowSetUp&Equipment:A60x20metredressagearenaoralargecircleintheopen.Markouttheareawithwitcheshatsorjumpingpolesifanarenaisnotavailable.Introduction: Introduceyourselftotheride. Gearcheckofeachriderforsafetyofthegearandcorrectfit. Asktheirnamesandthehistoryofthehorse/riderpartnership.Alsoquestionsrelevanttowhatyoumightbeabouttoteachthem.Ie.Hasyourhorseanyvices?Howmuchworkhasyourhorsehadsincelastrallyday?Howoldisthishorse?Howoldistherider? Makingsureyoufamiliariseyourselfwiththeirnamesasthisisveryimportantforyourcommunicationandsafetywithinthelesson.




PonyClubNSWNewsletter‐September2011 30

A riders First Lesson for Jumping. - Pony Club· A riders First Lesson for Jumping. The Lesson Topic: Teach a group of riders that have never jumped before, the Forward Seat and - [PDF Document] (11)




competition winners & solutions ISSUE17(JUNE2011)



PonyClubNSWNewsletter‐September2011 31





































A riders First Lesson for Jumping. - Pony Club· A riders First Lesson for Jumping. The Lesson Topic: Teach a group of riders that have never jumped before, the Forward Seat and - [PDF Document] (12)

Chrissie’s Column: Article by Christine Johnson, one of the Associations State Coaches

Coaches Corner


Finding the right horse for you


A riders First Lesson for Jumping. - Pony Club· A riders First Lesson for Jumping. The Lesson Topic: Teach a group of riders that have never jumped before, the Forward Seat and - [PDF Document] (13)


There are a number of issues that need to be considered before and during a Showjumping

competition. Below are the issues that are very important in conducting a safe and enjoyable

competition for horse, riders and officials.

The Competition Arena.


The recommended minimum size of a Showjumping arena for competition is 50m x 80m and larger when possible. An outdoor competition arena must have a minimum size of 4,000 sq m with a minimum width on the short side of 50m.


The surface should have give, not hard or slippery.

Grass arenas should have a thick coverage of grass with ideally a sandy loam base underneath.

Clover, rye and onion grass can be very slippery and grasses that grown in clumps are also not

suitable as horses tend to trip. If wet you may have to make allowances with the course, making

sure there are nice open easy corners, the height of the fences to be kept at a sensible height for the


Sand and sand mix surfaces should be no less than 10cm or 4” deep and have a good solid base

underneath. They are not ideal if they are too deep as this makes it hard for the horse to travel

properly and hard to jump out of.

Flat and even surfaces are best but it is not illegal to have a slope on the arena.

Arena Boundary:

The competition arena must be enclosed. The boundary fence can be a solid fence, bunting or plastic chain. Equipment: Cups. Pony Club approved safety cups/break away cups must be used on the back rail of spread obstacles and the middle rail/s of triple bar obstacles fences for heights 90cm and above. Cups should be no deeper than 25mm, but 20mm cups are recommended for normal jumping competitions whilst 25mm are recommended for the jumping phase of One day events. Cups should allow the rails to be loose and free to fall down when the horse hits them. Cups not being used should be taken off the wings or put away from the inside of the jump. No equipment should be left lying in the competition or practice arena. Rails. The recommended weight of rails is between 13 -18kgs, length 3.6m and diameter of 100mm. If short rails are to be used on a style fence they should have a minimum length of 2.4m. Practice Arena: There should be a limit on the number of horses allowed into the final jumping practice arena. Depending on the size a maximum of 6 horses to a minimum of three horses if the area is very small. The minimum size of a practice arena 30m x 50m. There needs to be a Vertical (straight) and an Oxer (spread) supplied. 2 wings and 2 rails for a vertical and 2 wings and 3 rails for an oxer . The back rail of the spread obstacle must have approved safety cups.

A riders First Lesson for Jumping. - Pony Club· A riders First Lesson for Jumping. The Lesson Topic: Teach a group of riders that have never jumped before, the Forward Seat and - [PDF Document] (14)

It is correct etiquette to have someone on the ground with each rider in the practice area to pick up rails and alter the fence to suit the stage of warm up the horse and rider requires. Always check with the organisers to see who the person that allowed into the practice area. Ie. Team manager etc. The jumps should be flagged or have red or white jumping wings to indicate in which direction the jumps need to be jumped. On the approach to the jump red should be on the rider’s right hand side. Officials: The responsibilities of the following are listed below: Course Designer: To design the course suitable for the level required. The Course designer should have at least two assistants to set up the course and have to help during the competition. The course designer needs to post a course plan with the course, time allowed and jump off if required. This should be posted near to the gate of the practice arena for the riders to see before walking the course and the judge should also have a copy. Judge: The judge is in charge of the competition and in consultation with the organising committee/club. The judge should have a pencillor to record the penalties and results. A timekeeper is of help but timekeeping can be done by the judge if a timekeeper is not available. The judge is in control of the bell. The judge needs to inspect the course before it is jumped to ensure it is safe and to discuss with the course designer if there are any questions on the judgability of the course. The judge is the only one who can eliminate anyone from the competition. Marshal: The practice area is organised and controlled by the marshal and the draw should be followed unless there is good reason for someone to not be in draw order. For the jump off the riders must go in the draw order from the first round unless it is a seeded draw. If they missed their turn in the first round and they make the jump off they must then go back into their original spot in the draw for the jump off. The marshal needs to check which riders are in the practice area and call them in their draw order. Eg. One till Julie two till Brian three till Ben four till Kate etc. It is also the marshals responsibility to make sure the number of horses in the practice area does not exceed the recommended number. Ring Crew: The ring crew are there to help build the course and maintain it throughout the competition. They can stand or sit quietly out on the course making sure they are not in the way of any jumps and are able to move quietly around the course rebuilding jumps while the competition is in progress. Draws: Draws need to be posted at the practice area and at the clubhouse or competition office.

It is preferable to have draws instead of a whiteboard system in competitions to be fair to all


A riders First Lesson for Jumping. - Pony Club· A riders First Lesson for Jumping. The Lesson Topic: Teach a group of riders that have never jumped before, the Forward Seat and - [PDF Document] (15)

This informa on has been wri en by one of the Associa ons State Coaches, as a guide to Pony Club Instructors. If you are interested in obtaining more

resources, one of the Associa ons State Coaches Sarah Venamore has published some resource books featuring addi onal lesson plans which can be purchased through the State Office for $40; ‘The Right Track’ and ‘The Right Track II’. Simply download a copy of the Merchandise Or‐der Form from the website under the Club & Zone Man‐

agement tab.


Aim:StepOne:Toteachtheridertosafelyandeffec velymountanddismountfromtheirhorse.StepTwo:Toensuretheyhavetheskillstobeabletomountanddismountfromanyhorse.Outcome:Toproducecompetentandsafetyconscioushorsepeople.Skill:Tobeabletomaintaincontrolofanyhorsewhilemoun nganddismoun ng.Equipmentrequired&setup:Moun ngBlock.Safetyconsidera ons:Takingbothfeetoutofthes rrupsbeforedismoun ngandkeepingtheinsidereinshortertogainmorecontrolofthehorse.Introduc onofinstructorandriders:Beforeyoubeginthelessonintroduceyourself,findouttheridersnamesandsomeinforma onabouttheirhorseseg.Howmany mestheyhaveriddentheirhorseinthelastweekorwhenwasthelast metheyrodetheirhorse?Doesithaveanyvices?Isthereanyproblemswiththeirhorsewhentheyaremoun ngordismoun ng.GearCheck:Makesureagearcheckforsafetyandcorrectfithasbeendonebeforethelessonbegins.Explana onoflesson:MethodusedinthePCANSW“Riding”manual.Moun ng:Thereareanumberofthingstoconsiderregardingmoun ngyourhorseanddismoun ngfromyourhorse.

Ifyouaremoun nga ersaddlingyourhorseitisimportanttowalkthehorseforali lewhilebeforemoun ngandnottogetstraightonun lthisisdone,par cularlyifyoudonotknowthehorse.Somehorsescanbeabitcoldbackedorgirthyandwillbuckifnotleadaroundtorelaxandstretchtheirlegsfirst.Alsoalwaysdothegirthupinstagesandstartquitelooseandbitbybitdoingitup.Itispreferabletouseamoun ngblockforthegoodofthehorsetopreventstrainonthehorsesbackanditwillalsoaidtheridertomountcorrectly.Ifamoun ngblockisnotavailablealwaysconsiderthelayofthelandandputthehorseonthelowersideofthehillorinaditch.A erplacingthereinsoverthehorsesheadandneckkeeptheinsiderein(thereinclosesttotherider)shortertogivetheridermaximumcontrolofthehorse.Withtheridersbacktothehorsesheadandstandingneartheshouldertakeholdofthes rrupwiththeirrighthandandplacetheirle footinthes rrupandholdthepommelwiththeirrighthandandtheirle handonthehorse’sneck.Theythenspringuptryingnottobounceupanddownandlandlightlyonthehorse’sback.Dismoun ng:Takebothreinsintothele hand,holdthepommelwiththerighthand.Takebothfeetoutofthes rrups,bringtherightlegoverthehorse’srumpandlandwithbothlegstogetherlightlyonthegroundfacingthehorse.Demonstra on:Itispreferabletochooseariderinthegroupwhoyouthinkorknowcouldmountanddismountwellandisgoodatre‐ceivinginstruc on.Runthroughstepbystepandtalktheriderthroughtheprocedure.Teachtheclass:Makesureyouhavetheriderswellspacedout.Awellspacedtrooplineisprobablybestforyoutoviewallridersandkeepthingssafe.Atfirstruneachriderthroughindividuallythenyoucouldaskthewholegrouptomountanddismounttogether.Summary:Tosummarizeyoucanaskeachrideraques onaboutthemethodofmoun nganddismoun ngandalsoaskthemeachhowtheyfelttheydidduringthesession.Youcanalsoreiterateanythingtheyshouldprac ceandwhatyoufelttheydidwell.

Coaches Corner


A riders First Lesson for Jumping. - Pony Club· A riders First Lesson for Jumping. The Lesson Topic: Teach a group of riders that have never jumped before, the Forward Seat and - [PDF Document] (16)

This information has been written by one of the Associations State Coaches, as a guide to Pony

Club Instructors. If you are interested in obtaining more resources, simply visit our online store.


(Assuming the group have never done a Musical Tyres/Drums/Blocks/Witches Hats, before) This lesson plan can give you ideas and progression for a proportion of a rally day instruction. Aim: To teach and improve the rider’s control and agility skills so they can participate safely in a fun games with their horses. Outcome: To help make the rider more competent at controlling their horse, improve their agility and horse-manship skills and get enjoyment riding their horse par-ticipating in some fun games. Pre-Requisite Exercises: Preferably the riders would have done a flat work session before they would do any sporting events to help eliminate the risk of horses being to fresh and/or to loosen up stiffer older horses and avoid any injuries of horses or riders. Try the following Exercises in your preceding flat work lesson. Skills required & appropriate exercises: Skill: Leading their horse in walk and trot. Exercise: With reins over the horses head (stirrups run up) and rider standing at the horses shoulder asking the horse to walk beside them, using the “Click/voice aid” and the whip behind the girth to encourage the horse to go forward if necessary. Once they have mastered the walk then proceed to trot. Also make sure they can stop their horse as well as making it go forward. Skill: Dismounting quickly and safely.

Exercise: A preceding lesson of safely and efficiently dis-mounting the horse firstly at the halt. Taking both feet out of the stirrups and sliding/ vaulting off then taking the reins over the horses head to then lead the horse. This exercise should be repeated going from walk to halt and dismount and from trot to halt and dismount. SAFETY: Emphasis that the riders MUST take BOTH FEET

out of the stirrups and slide off when dismounting for this game. Also they must stop the horse before dis-mounting, dismount and take the reins over the horse’s head to lead. Equipment required & Setup: Enough witches hats to mark out a large circle 20m diameter minimum and ei-ther witches hats, jumping blocks or small drums for the “Chairs”. You will need one less of these than the num-ber of children participating. The “Chairs” as such will be in the center of the circle and spaced well apart from each other but spaced evenly to give everyone on the circle a fair chance to reach them. Surface and Area: The surface should not be hard or slip-pery. It should have a good covering of grass or maybe a sand surface. Be careful about grasses like Rye grass or clover as they can be a slippery surface. Safety considerations: Make sure the riders who are knocked out of the competition are positioned away from the circle but can still see what is happening. Stress the importance of not pulling their horses up to quickly and stopping on the line of the circle. Be very aware of any horses that may kick as they may not be suitable to participate in this game. Six is an ideal number to have so if your group is bigger split them into two groups to run separately.

MUSICAL CHAIRS GAME LESSON Introduction of Instructor and Riders: Before you begin the lesson introduce yourself, find out the riders names and some information about their horses eg. How many times they have ridden their horse in the last week or when was the last time they rode their horse? Does it have any vices? Gear Check: Make sure a gear check for safety and cor-rect fit has been done before the lesson begins. Explanation of lesson: Describe to the group that Musi-cal Chairs is a group run event and after each turn one person will be eliminated. Everyone rides around the cir-cle (whatever pace the instructor feels the group are ca-pable of safely stopping easily) and when the music stops or the instructor says “Stop” the riders dismount and run with their horse into the center to get to one of the markers before the other riders. Whoever misses out is out of that game. Then with the riders left remount and the game starts again until you get down to the final two and they ride off against each other.

Coaches Corner

A riders First Lesson for Jumping. - Pony Club· A riders First Lesson for Jumping. The Lesson Topic: Teach a group of riders that have never jumped before, the Forward Seat and - [PDF Document] (17)

The riders need to be able to have good control of their horses and the horse needs to be obedient with stopping and leading. Make sure the riders are not rough when stopping and leading their horses. (This is why practicing the skills be-forehand is most important so the horses have learnt what to do). Demonstration: The best way to demonstrate the Musi-cal Chairs is to have a rider demonstrate. Ask the rider to trot or canter around the circle (depending on their standard) and when you say stop they stop their horse dismount take the reins over the horses head and lead it into the center and claim a witches hat. They must stay on the outer circle until they have dismounted and are not to turn into the center.

Teaching the Lesson: Start with all the riders out on the circle. If you have a large group and some are watching get them each to cheer for the riders participating.

Start them in walk if a fairly novice group otherwise start in trot and as the numbers lessen on the circle try canter. After each go you need to take away one of the witches hats and keep going to the final two riders. If you have had to have two groups run off the two win-ners against each other. Summary:

Ask the riders how they felt they went and how they may be able to improve their skills.

You can offer any advice you feel they need to im-prove on their skills for this game .

Also explain how the first sessions on the flat pre-pared them for the actual skills required for this type of game and the importance of teaching their horse to do all the movements they would then be required to do.

To finish on a positive note ask them what they felt was the best thing they did and what did they achieve.

Coaches Corner

The Instructor: From this position the

instructor can instruct and still see all

the riders.

A riders First Lesson for Jumping. - Pony Club· A riders First Lesson for Jumping. The Lesson Topic: Teach a group of riders that have never jumped before, the Forward Seat and - [PDF Document] (18)

NSW State Pony Club


Lesson group: 6 students

Choice of exercise: Walk and trot a 20 metre circle

Walk and trot a 20 metre circle

Set up:

In a 60 x 20 metre dressage arena set out 20 metre circles with witches’ hats at A and C.

Have the arena divided into 2 halves by witches’ hats on either side of X, across the centre line from B to E, and tracking left or right at E.


Introduce yourself to the ride and topic of lesson.

Emergency Stop: Explain your requirements with hand held up.

Medical Query: Enquire if any issues that would make it difficult for the rider to participate in the lesson and advise them they can inform you as you are completing gear check.

Gear Check: Commence the gear check of each rider whilst asking their names, medical issues and the history of the horse/rider partnership.

Lesson Area: Advise riders of the area they are riding in for the lesson and advise of any safety issues that may be of a concern.


Explain to the ride the exercise.

The ride will commence on the large arena track on the left rein in walk, and upon reaching A, ride a 20 metre circle. Follow the witches’ hats to keep the circles accurate. Upon reaching A go large and at B turn across the arena.

At E track right. At C ride a 20 metre circle. Upon returning to C go large. At B, walk and right. Upon reaching E track left and commence the exercise again.


Whilst explaining the exercise, draw the diagram on a whiteboard so the riders understand the direction and the exercise plan. Explain the necessity of one horse’s distance minimum between each rider for safety. Riders need to be aware of riders coming from the other direction when approaching B; they may need to slow down to let another rider cut a corner to create more space. Show the tangent points clearly on the whiteboard e.g.: on the left rein at A, A will be your first tangent point, the second will be 4m past F, the 3rd is 2m past the P-V line on the centre line and the last (4th) is 4m before K.

Warm Up:

Nominate a leader (who responds by saying ‘I am leading’ so that the ride knows who will lead the group to the track).

The instructor commands the ride to ‘ride straight to the large arena track and track left in walk in single file’ (or open order if you find it easier to control the group).

Riding large work on walk – halt transitions, then when that is working well with all riders on both reins change the exercise to include trot- walk transitions. Use the change across the centreline from E – B (or vice versa). This warm up will check safety first: that the riders can stop safely. It will then work on the horses improvement of rhythm, suppleness, contact, impulsion, straightness, and ultimately collection (if the horses and riders are at that level, if not it will re-establish control and riders connection with the horse).

A riders First Lesson for Jumping. - Pony Club· A riders First Lesson for Jumping. The Lesson Topic: Teach a group of riders that have never jumped before, the Forward Seat and - [PDF Document] (19)


If the ride is at the level the instructor can continue the lesson. If the ride needs to have more help it may be better to ride the warm up then run through the explanation and demonstration, so long as the horses don’t end up cool because it takes a long time.

The instructor commands the whole ride to ‘ride straight to the large arena track in walk, and upon reaching A ride onto a 20 metre circle’

At A the riders can choose to ride onto the 20 metre circle or miss it and continue on to B and to the next part of the exercise.

Upon reaching B turn left and ride in a straight line across to E . At E, trot and track right and at C ride onto a 20 metre circle. Upon reaching C again, go large and at B, walk and turn right to commence the exercise again.

Riders can miss some circles out to give each other space between riders.

The instructor needs to indicate that riders should change the rein regularly for this exercise to make sure the circles are ridden in walk and then trot on both reins.

What to look for:

When commencing the exercise at walk, the instructor begins to watch each rider’s position and individually corrects him or her. The priority here is the rider’s centre of gravity (keeping the ear, shoulder, hip and heel line). The riders’ should sit evenly on both seat bones (not lean into around the circle), even though they need to be looking around the circle.

When the rider is straight, check the horse’s straightness (spine alignment with the track the rider is travelling). The riders should be checking for the beginnings of flexion and bend, so ask them to see their horses’ inside eyelash to create some flexion around the circles.

Riders should also be aiming for their horse to either stay on the bit, or at least keep their poll in the same position from the walk into the trot and return (i.e. no pulling or throwing of the horses head into and out of transitions)

The instructor should be checking there is at least one horse horse’s length between each horse/rider.

The instructor is also looking for the accuracy in the 20 metre circles. Once the riders are competent, the instructor can remove the witches’ hats to check the rider’s accuracy.

Aim: Look for consistent rhythm into and out of the circles. If the riders are not yet riding their horses on the bit, make sure they ride the horses straight down the long sides and aiming for flexion around the circles. As the ride warms up, ask for awareness of the rhythm, thus working on awareness of the horses’ movement for the riders.

Time: Keep the exercise in walk for 10 - 20 minutes unless the riders have warmed up prior to the lesson (in which case the warm up can be shorter).

Feedback and Confirmation: On completion of the exercise, give the riders a rest for a few minutes (walk on long rein). Then ask the ride to form a line across the centre line facing the coach. Ask question; what they should be looking for when they ride a 20metre circle and transitions e.g. specific points of the size, how the horse should move around the circle, how the rider should be positioned /sit around a circle, what they should be looking for into and out of a transition. Give the riders something to work on so they practise before next lesson. The feedback should work along the ‘sandwich’ lines: positive-negative-positive.


A riders First Lesson for Jumping. - Pony Club · A riders First Lesson for Jumping. The Lesson Topic: Teach a group of riders that have never jumped before, the Forward Seat and - [PDF Document] (2024)
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