Horsemanship Lesson Plans - Set of 20 for Yellow Level



Use this flexible set of 20 Yellow Level horsemanship lesson plans with or without our progressive riding curriculum to give your students a strong foundation and a balanced seat at the trot. Learning Levels lessons can be taught consecutively, or combined and presented in any order that works logically for your students and program.



These lesson plans will help you guide students through our Yellow Level Horsemanship curriculum — you can learn more about Yellow Level goals here.

Each printable lesson has 2 pages of information:

  • A list of required equipment, including notes on setting the arena and pre-lesson preparation.
  • A suggested breakdown of instructional content presented over the course of an hour.
  • Ideas for games and modifications when teaching private and group lessons.
  • Additional thoughts and cautionary notes covering scenarios you may face during the course of the lesson.

Our lesson plans are divided into two separate sets, with ten lessons each:

In SET ONE – BASIC SKILLS, students practice tacking up quickly and efficiently; practice emergency skills at the trot; learn posting diagonals; work toward a balanced seat and a stable leg position at all three trot seats on the longe line; and strengthen their jumping position over ground poles in a grid and over a simple course.

In SET TWO – FLATWORK FUN, students learn seat-building exercises without stirrups; work towards balanced walk-trot transitions and a steady trot through ring figures; put flatwork skills to use in the Intro A dressage test; and refine emergency skills at the trot.

You can also use two additional lesson plans for this level: download the FREE Yellow Level Horsemanship sample set here.


Mounted lessons in Yellow Level focus on control and confidence at the walk and trot. Students will achieve a secure beginner’s balanced seat that prepares them for cantering and jumping.



Our lesson plans will give you a helpful framework for designing your own riding program, whether you award Levels ribbons or not.

We encourage you to use these lesson plans as a general guideline and a source of inspiration rather than a rigid formula. Each student and lesson environment has its own individual challenges: weather, footing, lesson location, soundness and suitability of the horse are just a few!

You may wish to modify the length or structure of the lessons, change the order in which they are presented, or mix them into plans of your own.

NOTE: All of our lesson plans assume that all horses used are safe, sound, and have been trained to perform and/or accept the skill being taught. We also assume that as a well-qualified and conscientious instructor, you are not teaching to a level beyond your experience and expertise.

If this is your first time using our lesson plans, please make sure that you read the safety guidelines and teaching tips in our intro file, How to Teach Horsemanship Using our Lesson Plans, which is included in this download.


PRO TIP: Help your students prepare for mounted lessons by giving them a Yellow Level Horsemanship Study Guide — and learn why we use study guides to accelerate our students’ progress in this Boss Mares blog post.



You’ll need to extract the individual PDF files from the .ZIP file to open them. Detailed help will be available on the download page.

This zipped download contains three PDF files:

— How to Teach Horsemanship Using Our Lesson Plans
— Yellow Level Horsemanship Lesson Plans – Set One (10 lessons)
— Yellow Level Horsemanship Lesson Plans – Set Two (10 lessons)

Download file size = 2.1 MB

SKU LL-207-ZIP Categories , ,

Preview Pages

Tips for Printing and Using this PDF File

Since each lesson plan has two pages, we suggest duplex (front and back) printing. There are 22 pages in Set One, 22 pages in Set Two, and 8 pages in the introductory file.

No access to a printer? Try viewing the PDF file in a browser on your desktop or mobile device.

What will students learn?

Learning Levels Topics covered in this resource:

conditioning, dressage, flatwork skills, gaits and movement, jumping skills, mounted safety, riding disciplines, tack

Students will learn these horsey skills and concepts:

  • Tack and untack independently, in twenty minutes or less.
  • Adjust stirrups and girth while mounted.
  • Perform an emergency dismount at the trot.
  • Demonstrate use of disengagement and pulley rein by halting horse from trot.
  • Ride smooth walk-trot transitions, maintaining balanced position.
  • Demonstrate knowledge and awareness of posting diagonals.
  • Demonstrate the following maneuvers at walk and trot:
    • Large circle
    • Figure-8
    • Serpentine
    • Half circle, half-turn and diagonal with change of posting diagonal
  • Ride USDF Intro Test A or B, showing knowledge of elementary dressage terms and figures.
  • Ride on the longe at walk and trot without stirrups and reins.
  • Drop stirrups and pick up again, without looking down, at the walk.
  • Ride posting and sitting trot without stirrups, once around arena.
  • Ride in 2-point position on the flat at walk and trot, developing ability to remain balanced independent of hands.
  • Ride grid of trot poles, demonstrating secure jumping position.
  • Ride a ground pole course at the trot with opening and closing circles, good approaches.

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We have been blessed with many talented photographers over the years: students who voluntarily stood out in a sweltering/ freezing arena – or slogged up and down our hilly pastures – capturing lifelong memories of camps, clinics, and shows. We’re grateful to all of them!

One such student, Delaney Witbrod, is now a professional photographer with a gift for animal portraits – see more of her fine work here.

You’ll also find illustrations throughout our online courses and printed materials (like study guides) graciously donated by Rhonda Hagy, who is a student and lifelong friend. Contact us for information about her work.

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