Horsemanship, or unmounted, lessons are a fun addition or alternative to traditional riding lessons for students who are interested in all things equestrian, not just riding. Typically, these lessons are structured as a hands-on lecture and demonstration of a specific topic and are tailored to the students’ specific interests and age, so they are appropriate for kids who are just starting out, as well as advanced, long-time riders who want in-depth knowledge that cannot be learned in the saddle. For example, a student who is interested in purchasing a new saddle might want to take a lesson on saddle fitting, so s/he can better assess if a particular saddle will work for her and her horse.
Topics include saddle and bridle fitting and care; show, event, or trail riding preparation; equine confirmation, health, and maintenance; rider fitness; equine conditioning; high-level theory behind the practice of riding; and so on. Unmounted learning is great for all students, but are especially helpful for students who have a health reason that they cannot ride, or those who want an opportunity to learn out of the saddle. There is so much to know about horses and riding that it cannot possibly all be taught from the saddle, and unmounted lessons offer a wonderful supplement and change of pace to what students learn during regular lessons.