- updated 1/4/2013
As part of the lesson, the student learns horsemanship as well as riding. They will learn skills such as how to brush, pick hooves, tack-up and untack the horses. We believe that learning horsemanship is as important as learning to ride, as it builds confidence on the ground which carries over when mounted.
Rate of Progression - The rate of progression will depend on each individual. We are a professional teaching establishment, where each child or adult is taught as an individual and progressed at a rate which is appropriate for them.
Students will learn how to lead, mount, hold reins, proper positioning in the saddle, stop start, and steer. As the rider becomes more comfortable, they will learn to walk/trot/post with and without using the reins.
When a rider can confidently ride on their own and are able to stop, start, make circles, and change direction at the walk and trot (without balancing on the reins), they can move to a group with students at the same level. For young new riders, please refer to our Little Breeches program.
Usually about the time a rider is ready to move to a group lesson, they will have learned the skills necessary to tack and untack. When the rider can accomplish this, they will need to come early for their lesson to tack up and they will spend their entire lesson time riding. they may also need to untack their horse if needed and care for their horse as necessary. The exception is if the horse or pony was used in the lesson before or will be used after their lesson - then they would not be responsible for this task. On average, tacking takes about 15 to 20 minutes and untacking in 25 to 35 minutes and you should plan your arrival accordingly.
For our younger students, parent participation is encouraged and necessary to ensure the safety of the student. As we are teaching the student horsemanship, most parents will watch and listen so when the student assumes more responsibility, they will be able to help. Parental participation during the mounted portion of the lesson is discouraged and can be distracting. If the trainer needs your assistance, she will let you know.
For emergency reasons, parents are requested to stay on the property during the child's lesson. You can observe the lesson from the glass upstairs viewing room. If you must drop your child off, please notify the instructor and leave a contact number where you can be reached.
Attire - All riders must wear an approved safety helmet. We can loan you one of our helmets for your ride provided that we have one in your size. Riders are encouraged to have their own helmet sized and fit for them, however. Bicycle helmets are not acceptable or permitted. Riders must also were long pants. Riders are also required to wear a boot with a heel. Sneakers are not acceptable.
In the colder months, many riders wear long underwear under their clothes. Any type of glove is better than bare hands. Fleece gloves are fine. Scarves are discouraged. Instant heaters such as "hot hands" and "toasty toes" are popular. Bulky jackets restrict motion. Consider wearing a turtle neck and a vest. The ring can be cold, so dress accordingly.
In the warmer months, feel free to bring a water bottle. Shorts, bathing suits or tank tops are not permitted. Please wear a shirt that covers the shoulders.