Teach the HorseSense Levels


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HorseSense simply encompasses all of the unmounted skills and knowledge required to safely understand, train, stable and care for horses.

NOTE: Prior to 2017, we called this the horsekeeping curriculum.

We want students to … 

… learn safe practices in the barn, developing safety-consciousness and an ability to articulate “the reasons for the rules.”

… learn basic equine psychology, allowing them to treat the horse with empathy and consideration.

… confidently perform ground handling and stable management skills.

… acquire enough barn-savvy to be helpful as a working student or “barn rat”.

… broaden their equine horizons, gaining an appreciation for different disciplines and philosophies.

… understand that an equestrian’s education is never finished, and that a good equestrian commits to a lifetime of active learning.

Students work to master specific skills and knowledge in each of the levels, and receive recognition for completion when they are able to consistently demonstrate appropriate knowledge and skills to their instructor.

In many cases, achievement of one level is a prerequisite for learning more advanced skills. However, instructors have more flexibility with the unmounted objectives, and can re-arrange or combine objectives to suit the circumstances.

  • students with no prior horse experience
  • as a review for students with some experience but new to your program
  • experienced students who wish to fill gaps in their unmounted education
  • students who are uninterested or unable to ride, but still want to interact with horses
  • students in a camp program
  • students who want help with barn chores in a volunteer or working student role
  • students who would like to pursue an unmounted equine career (grooms, health care, etc.)
  • parents and students who are considering leasing or purchasing a horse

EXPERIENCED HORSEKEEPERS– If you’ve owned or worked with horses for a number of years, you’ve probably learned – and taught – most of the essential information that keeps horses safe and happy. We just give you the words, the teaching tools, and the structure to teach it efficiently and thoroughly.

ESTABLISHED INSTRUCTORS – If you’re looking for a way to add unmounted instruction to your existing lesson program, you probably don’t have the time to create all of it from scratch. Use the parts of the HorseSense curriculum that work for you; easily modify the rest to suit your needs.

If you don’t have the time in your schedule to teach unmounted lessons, you can simply provide your students with Learning Levels materials and encourage them to learn on their own – thereby creating better mounted students!

PLEASE make certain that all horses used for instruction are safe, sound, and have been trained to perform and/or accept the skill being taught. While horses may not require extensive training to be used for unmounted lessons, they must be safe to handle and interact with on the ground.


Searching for inspiration?

Discover some of the things you can do with the HorseSense Levels — all of which we've done with our own program.

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We’ve been blessed with many talented photographers over the years: students who voluntarily stood in sweltering/ freezing arenas, capturing lifelong memories of lessons, camps and shows. We’re grateful to all of them!

One former student, Delaney Witbrod, is now a professional photographer with a gift for animal portraits – see more of her fine work here. We’re also grateful for photos of Western riding donated by LLPro instructors – particularly Bit of Pleasure Horse School and Joyful Hearts Photography!

You’ll find illustrations throughout our online courses and printed materials graciously donated by our friend Rhonda Hagy. Evan Surrusco contributes additional illustrations and handles most of our photo processing. Contact us for information about their work.