Having a training plan to gauge your progress is very beneficial. Doing so keeps you on track so you don’t get stuck in one place for too long. So many riders get stuck practicing the same few exercises for years. Not only do you not progress as you should, your horse will get bored and sour as well.
Remember that the same schedule will not work for every person and/or horse. Some horses learn faster than others. Some people also have less time to spend with their horse than others. If you are one of these people extend your training schedule so that it is more realistic. This schedule is broken down into two week increments you may have to extend that into three or four week increments. Don’t skip steps. Each week builds on another. If your horse’s foundation isn’t solid then it will be difficult to get more out of him later on in his training.
First 150 Days Under Saddle
Days 1-15: In the first two weeks you will cover all of the groundwork including, the round pen lesson, desensitizing, leading, lunging, ground driving, etc.
Days 15-30: After two weeks of groundwork it’s time for the first ride. During the first ride you will flex laterally to both sides, yield the hindquarters and walk, trot, and canter on a loose rein. The next few rides will be the same as the first then once you have the basics down and you can ride without the help of a person on the ground and start teaching the horse to steer, balance him right and left, and follow the rail.
Days 30-45: Keep working on the same exercises that you have been but continue in a snaffle bit. Add riding patterns, circles and straight lines into your rides.
Days 45-60: Continue perfecting the riding patterns and start teaching the horse to yield his hindquarters and side pass on the fence.
Days 60-75: Begin using two reins to teach the horse to lower his head, rock his weight back and back up.
Days 75-90: Develop suppleness in the horse. Start side passing off of the fence and teaching the horse to move off of your inside leg.
Days 90-105: Stop and back up from the trot using only the reins. Practice transitions that skip a gait.
Days 105-120: Body control. Add leg yielding and backing circles.
Days 120-135: Collection. Start at a walk then progress to the trot and canter. Counter bend at a walk, trot and canter.
Days 135-150: Putting it all together. Start flying changes and prepare the horse for the chosen discipline.