Assistant’s course program

In many ways, the Assistant’s course program is the most crucial element of co-op’s continued success. Not only does it teach basic horse care and handling skills to new members with little experience, but also ensures that even those new members with extensive experience understand the specific protocols and processes that we use.

Assistants must register for AWPE 109 Introduction to Equine Studies followed by AWPE 209 Leadership and Barn Management to become Instructors. Both courses include Wellness general education credit and carry a $75 course fee.

The course program has several elements.

Assistants are required to participate in one work shift each week under the supervision of at least one leading Instructor. Over the course of the year, Assistants learn how to perform work shift tasks with increasing confidence and independence.

In each semester of their first co-op year, Assistants must participate in a riding lesson. Each Assistant, during one semester, will ride in one two-hour lesson each week to practice the skills for preparing a horse to be ridden and caring for it after riding as well developing skills in the saddle. During the other semester, that Assistant will act as an assistant to the Instructor for one lesson each week to observe and practice our lesson program protocols and teaching techniques. Assistants are assigned to lessons according to their previous experience.

Taught by an experienced team of co-op members, the weekly two-hour assistant’s course lab time is the forum for teaching the basic horse handling and horse care skills necessary for safe co-op participation.

Please contact the barn correspondent for more information about the assistant’s course.

Assistants, like all co-op members, are welcome to ride the school horses for recreation outside of lessons. However, during their first semester, Assistants must ride with an Instructor present in the ring at all times. During their second semester, Assistants may ride with another Assistant present, but may not ride alone. Presence of another co-op member ensures that new members have resources available as questions arise. Once co-op members have passed the Assistant’s course, they are Instructors and are permitted to ride alone.

More information and resources

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