Key to achieving success as a rider is a systematic, planned approach to developing your skills as a rider. Together we create daily ride plans that support your weekly, monthly, and seasonal goals. Within these plans are the required mental and physical skills you need to advance toward your goals. During regularly scheduled lessons, we review results of your practice and introduce new skills once old ones are mastered. After each lesson, you will have specific “assignments” for your next rides to practice and improve on your riding. This structured, planned approach instills discipline in your riding that helps you advance to higher levels. The tools that are part of your assignment also teach you how to develop your horse appropriate to your skill level.
Lesson frequency depends on your schedule and goals. It is most effective to have a mix of lessons and some rides on your own to practice. Riding with an instructor 2-3 times per week accelerates progress as you get immediate feedback of reinforcement or correction. Taking on the responsibility of executing a ride plan on your own hones your ability to do self-assessment which promotes independence and decision making. These are skills essential to a competitive rider, as it is only you and your horse out there on course!
Lesson content is dependent on your goals. Lessons may include just one area or multiple areas, depending on the ride plan. Possible areas of focus typically include “dressage for showjumping”, cavalettis or grids, and jumping mini-courses. To prepare for competitions, lesson content may shift to “executing” skills as a dry-run in riding a dressage test, schooling cross-country, or riding a full showjumping course.
Ride Plans include warm up and cool down exercises to maximize your time in the saddle. A description of any “set up” required such as cavaletti’s or grids in included to flag pre-ride or pre-lesson preparations (depending on who is setting up). Specific exercises and things to focus on during those exercises is captured to help you remember what you are doing but also what you are aiming to achieve.
Reviewing the ride plan before or during your ride helps you get the most out of that ride.
Reviewing the ride plan after your ride helps you feel good that you practiced what you wanted and achieved what you set out to do.