I don’t like to cancel riding lessons during bad weather if we don’t have to. However, from time to time I struggle with coming up with ideas to keep non-riding lessons engaging, fun and different. I have gotten some of my ideas from working as a camp councilor, from some other instructors and trainers I follow on Facebook and also from hours and hours of research on-line.
I recently acquired 3 plastic display legs from my day job (the DM was just going to throw them out) and I plan to use them both during rainy days and hot days when it may be just too hot to ride. My thought is to teach my students the proper way to wrap polo wraps and standing wraps, plus how to properly place sport boots on a horse (some of my pet-peeves). They will also come in handy to teach the parts of the leg and the hoof. I can use pictures on the plastic legs, plus the actual horse to teach these basic things.
Another favorite bad weather lesson of mine is teaching about body parts on the horse and then associating them with the parts of the human anatomy. I have that people understand how the parts work when they can associate them with themselves. Also teaching parts of the saddle, bridle, etc are good lessons that every horse person should know.
Videos and books are good learning tools also and if I can incorporate parts of a training video into a “rainy day” lesson that helps teach what we work on in the saddle to drives home messages that may not always come across the way we would like it to. A video explaining something slightly different might also solidify your message.
So many things can be taught about good horsemanship out of the saddle. Horse owners need to know the vital signs of a horse and how to find them. What is the rest heart rate of your horse?
Do you know the signs of colic or how to detect lameness in your horse? These are things that can be included in non-riding lessons.
The key is to make every lesson fun and engaging, plus informative! What are some rain day lessons you would like to share?