Question of the Month: How do you schedule your classes?
Answer: As with any scheduling effort, there are a number of considerations in determining our class schedules. Naturally there are basic considerations, like school partners wanting to coming during the weekdays, and children who are in school and working adults wanting to come at the end of a weekday or on Saturday.
Next, our Head Instructor, Jen, evaluates the abilities of our participants, bearing in mind riding skills, cognitive abilities, age, stamina and the like.
Third, Jen considers which horses will best match which riders. A rider with weaker balance will fare well on a broad horse like Corky, whereas a rider with tight hip and leg muscles will prefer a narrower horse like Scarlet. Likewise, an adult male rider needs a larger horse like Excel, while a smaller child may feel less intimidated with a smaller horse like Shahara.
Fourth, we attempt to balance our volunteer load. Some of our riders are quite independent, and need one volunteer at most, while others require a leader and two side walkers. We do our best to balance our volunteer needs so that we have a fairly constant number each day.
Lastly, we consider the specific schedules and skills of our instructors, doing our best to match the needs of our classes. Of course, to the extent we can, we always accommodate personal requests to change days, horses, etc., especially when the requests are made at the end of a session in anticipation of the next session.
For a cheeky (and incorrect) version of how we pair horses and riders, check out this funny Onion article.