We are surviving a somewhat mild winter with an excess of mud! Thank you to all of you for your patience and good humor! ;-) Thank you for supporting our world inside the arena! I am so happy with our lessons! I look forward to each day, and the good friends who come to visit!
We are working on an updated version of our web site. I am always learning more information and trying to improve upon my lessons, stable management and communication. I sometimes have great thoughts while cleaning stalls! I have to work hard to remember to write down what I want to remember!!
1. Please be sure that all of our riders are dressed for barn work and for cold weather. Gloves that are not too thick, but offer warmth are very helpful. We get warm working in the arena. It is important to not lose the warmth on our way to the car. A hat is a very good idea after the riding helmet is removed. Jackets and sweaters should be zipped or secured so that they don't catch on saddles as we mount and dismount. Warm socks are really nice for all of our riders!! Nylon clothing (ski pants, sweat-pants) is not as helpful because it is slippery and sometimes challenges balance.
2. All parents, caregivers and observers must remain in the fenced seating area during all parts of the lesson. Please do not stand or sit in the door way or the grooming area. Extra people and extra activities cause a distraction to our horses and to our riders.
3. During lessons, please do not "help with the teaching" of the lessons. If I am ignoring one issue it is because we are focusing on a different issue. Our riders need to focus on their lesson and following my instructions. Please allow them to hear only one voice during this time.
4. If your rider has had a "bad day" please do not tell me in front of the rider. Hope Farm Granville has a positive environment, and no one learns or improves if they are diminished by something that happened earlier in the day. Please don't sabotage our positive outlook and efforts to have fun! Please tell me privately so that we do not embarrass our rider!! We don't look back. We look forward! Each lesson is a fresh start to the rest of our day and our week! Please remember that ALL of our riders are aware of how we are feeling and what we are talking about! We need to treat them with great respect! We can ALWAYS improve the day with a ride on a horse.
5. Reading Acquisition:
I am working with just a few of our emergent readers during their lesson. In the past I was a certified reading recovery instructor. I do not like to hear that someone will "never" read when the person is so young! Never is strong and negative word. I believe that there is a path for everyone to learn in life!
When you are reading with someone, the meaning of the story or information is the very most important part of the activity. If you get bogged down in sounds and rules, you lose the meaning. Don't work on more than one word per page. It is fine to "give" the word to the reader to maintain the meaning and to keep the reading work flowing. Reading should always be a positive experience. If your reader is not amenable to reading aloud, have them follow along with their eyes as you read. You can alternate reading one sentence at a time or one page at a time, taking turns. You can also have them have place their finger on yours to ride piggy-back on your finger as you point to each word. This teaches one-to-one correspondence and directionality. Always refer to the picture to gain meaning from the text. The pictures are very important. Before beginning to read, it is good to go through the story first and look at all of the pictures together. Then we have an idea of what we will be reading. Remember that there is great value in making our own books to record fun activities, vacations or just experience that we do together. Be sure that the picture is on top and the words are on the bottom of the page. That way, the picture is not covered by a pointer or hand as we read the book.
6. Each June, we need updated medical forms from a doctor. In the meantime, if there is any kind of medical or behavioral change in your rider, please let us know. This situation can change the way the lesson is run, and could cause us to bring a different horse our more volunteers out for the lesson.
Thank you so much for making each day so special for us!!
Hope Farm Granville