Participant Assistant - Unmounted Horsemanship

The participant assistant’s primary roles are to keep his or her assigned participant safe during the class and to assist the participant in following the instructor’s directions when needed. Watch your assigned participant at all times and remain in close proximity unless the instructor indicates otherwise. At times the instructor may provide you with a series of directions or tasks to complete with the participant at the individual’s own pace. Similar to sidewalking in a mounted class, be sure to provide the participant with enough quiet processing time for the individual to complete tasks with as much independence as possible. Many individuals require extended time to comprehend directions or to execute a response. This processing requires quiet, so remember to keep side conversations limited, especially if they are unrelated to horsemanship or the task at hand. Use occasional verbal prompts or visual supports such as demonstration or gestures to help keep the participant engaged in the class activities. The instructor will help you to get to know your assigned participant and to develop your ability to judge when to assist the participant and when to allow the participant to quietly work through a challenge or to allow the individual to focus deeply without interruption.