Continuing Education / RIDES

The RIDES® process is used by instructors to teach mounted and unmounted skills and to set and measure rider goals and objectives, from the fundamentals to cantering. RIDES is purchased as digital download for $75 per copy.

Why RIDES? Saddle Up! Instructors observed a need within the riding industry for a simple and easy to follow system that could offer clearly written riders skills that were both systematic and progressive. Such a system could provide continuity across riding disciplines, help with assessing a person’s current level of riding, and track a rider’s progress.

The RIDES process was developed for riding instructors as a teaching tool. Instructors using this system must possess the wealth of knowledge required for riding instruction. Whether you are a traditional or therapeutic riding instructor, RIDES will assist you in teaching mounted and unmounted skills from the basics to cantering.

It is Saddle Up!’s desire to provide this system to riding instructors everywhere so anyone can benefit from our years of creation and development. Based on the knowledge of our large pool of diversified instructors, we have created within the system what we call “structured flexibility.” This allows anyone to adapt the components within the five rider skill levels to fit your organization or instructional method.


  • Writing effective lesson plans with measurable objectives? The RIDES skill charts provide written skill sets for instruction!


  • Planning unmounted lessons on those days when it is storming or you have a lame horse? Each RIDES skill level has a set of unmounted components to teach!


  • Measuring a rider’s progress? Helping a rider progress to the next skill level? Check out the RIDES method for measuring rider advancement!


  • Having a consistent format for every rider that could be used to assist in collecting data? Dated, signed and ready for comparison!

RIDES Benefits

  • Scheduling: Riders are ‘grouped’ more effectively by skill levels.
  • Equine Assignments: Assigning horses to riders is more systematic and has reduced inappropriate assignments (e.g. low-level rider that must be on lead being assigned to a horse that performs best off lead).
  • Instruction: Improves accuracy and consistency of instruction with lesson planning, goal setting, documentation, communication, and rider progress.
  • Progress: Provides documented progress within a skill level and across skill levels.
  • Parent/Rider Communication: Enhances communication and understanding of rider skills and their progress.
  • Structured Flexibility: Promotes individual goal setting by using the structured flexibility within each skill level regardless of riding discipline.

The RIDES skill charts contain written mounted and unmounted components. These components are opportunities for teaching a specific skill in your instruction. They can also be used to help you write rider goals and objectives. The components are progressive and clearly help define the rider’s development. Each rider-specific chart has an area imbedded for capturing written data for individual rider’s progression and/or advancement. The comment section can be used for data collection (e.g., reduced prompts from physical prompt to verbal prompt) or for rider-specific information (e.g., mounts from horse’s right).

RIDES Elements

» ASSESS RIDER ABILITY: Systematic process to define a rider’s skills. Easy to group riders by skill level.

    • Document where your rider first begins their riding experience with you.
    • Clearly written skill sets help you discover your rider’s current abilities and knowledge in riding and horsemanship.
    • Defined Riding Levels enhance rider placement into riding groups that best match their current skill level.

» DEVELOP RIDER SKILLS: Defined approach for instruction. Flexible skill sets for goal-setting.

    • Easy to use components help measure rider advancement across 5 rider levels.
    • The components are flexible within each level allowing for instruction that best meets your rider’s needs.
    • Goals and objectives are easier to write and measure using the RIDES approach.

» TRACK RIDER PROGRESS: Improves documentation. Enhances data collection.

    • With the RIDES process it is easier to see your rider progress and use that information as part of your data collection process.
    • RIDES provides built in measures for skill introduction and achievement of proficiency.
    • RIDES is a portable paper-based record for you and your rider.

Upcoming Workshops and Educational Opportunities

There are currently no educational sessions available at this time. Please check back for more information.

Saddle Up!

1549 Old Hillsboro Road
Franklin, TN 37069-9136

Program Hours

Monday – Thursday 9am – 7pm
Friday 9am – 5pm
Saturday 8am – 4pm