Are you breathing a sigh of relief now that the hot summer heat is finally cooling off here in Texas? Us too! With the recent cold snap, our staff thought it might be a good time to remind everyone of ROCK’s weather policy and talk about what goes on when cold weather strikes.
ROCK’s Cold Weather Policy
The ROCK instructors and therapists make every attempt to provide services, even in inclement weather. If riding is not possible, unmounted horsemanship sessions will be provided indoors.
Per ROCK’s Participant Handbook:
If temperature + humidity is over 150 degrees, if the RealFeel temperature drops below 32 degrees Fahrenheit or if there is any inclement weather, alternative sessions will be held in the therapy room to work towards the participant’s goals and objectives. For consistency, the AccuWeather app on smart phones will be used to determine cold weather. If Georgetown ISD cancels school, then ROCK will cancel sessions and no sessions will be held at ROCK inside or outside.
What is a Ground Lesson?
Ground lessons or unmounted horsemanship lessons can take a variety of forms depending on a participant’s goals and needs. Some examples of topics and activities covered in a ground lesson include:
- Reviewing horse anatomy
- Learning about different horse breeds, characteristics, colors and markings
- Horse health, nutrition and safety
- Gaits of the horse
- Stretching and exercises that promote good riding posture and skills
- Learning about horse tack and practice tacking/untacking
- Horse-themed games that promote learning about our equine partners
Why are Ground Lessons Important?
Ground lessons are an important way to deepen what we do in the arena.
Here are some key reasons why ground lessons are so important:
- Continuity: By supplementing regular lessons with ground lessons instructors maintain interaction with participants and help retain skills and knowledge.
- Skill-Building: Ground lessons teach important skills that can be transferred to “real” life
- Good Horsemanship: Having a deeper appreciation and knowledge of your equine partner helps to strengthen the bond when it is time to return riding.
Ground Lessons & COVID-19 Safety Precautions
ROCK staff is taking every step possible to ensure safety for participants during ground lessons. In addition to our existing COVID-19 safety precautions, ROCK is taking the following steps during ground lessons to minimize the risk of exposure and spread of germs:
- Limiting the number of individuals in enclosed spaces and maintaining social distancing
- Sanitizing learning aids and common touch points between classes
If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to reach out to your instructor/therapist or our Program Director, Kristin Witcher. Together we can have a fun, safe, and warm winter season!