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Lessons FAQ

What do you teach?

I teach the fundamentals of western riding, but am not specific to any one discipline. Depending on your current experience level you will either learn or refine the walk, trot, lope (canter), stop, back, and turn to varying degrees of skill as you progress. You will learn how to maneuver each zone of your horse through your legs, seat, and rein cues. You will also learn about the horse itself (anatomy, behavior, colors, breeds, terminology), and tack (terminology, uses, safety, etc). 

Are there any age restrictions?

Our minimum age is 5 but we have no maximum age.

Are there weight restrictions?

Yes, to be considerate of the health and longevity of our horses bodies, our simplest answer is no beginner riders over 230lbs or advanced riders over 270lbs. Each horse has a different weight capacity we assign them based on the level of work they are in, their conditioning, their breed, confirmation, bone density, weight of saddle, and balance of the rider in the saddle. We are looking into adding horses into our lesson program this year that have the build to carry heavier riders. If you want to get into the horse world but are currently outside our weight limits, we can certainly work together on ground work and horsemanship lessons, and possibly work with shorter riding sessions too. We want everyone to feel that horseback riding is accessible to them, so please reach out to us regardless!

Are you year round?

Yes! We do like to give the horses a month off periodically but otherwise we are open for lessons! There are some occasions we don't ride (active lightning, rain with cold weather, sleet, hail, excessive wind, and temperatures under 10degF), but so long as the arena footing is safe to ride in and rider is comfortable, we will ride. For the summertime, we may alter the intensity and length at which we ride in accordance to the heat index and in the winter we will have slightly longer warm up times to protect our horses bodies and our own.

If you are taking horsemanship lessons, or would like to switch over to them for the day, we can bring the lessons inside the barn on days we cannot ride to ensure you still get educational horse time!

What do I need to bring/wear?

Please wear jeans you can sit and bend in or riding pants (thicker spandex with a suede inner thigh piece). No shorts, slick or thin outdoor clothing materials, or spandex. Shoes should have a slight heal to them and allow some ankle flexing. Tall socks are best with boots. We recommend fleece lined gloves, layers under your riding pants or insulated overalls, and scarves or wild rags for the winter time. Since the arena is not shaded, we recommend a light UV protective upper body layer in the summertime.

Do you provide anything for riders?

Yes! We have basic helmets for all riders. These helmets are replaced if dropped, sustain a fall, incur any other damage (UV, water), or have reached their manufactures expiration date. We are working hard to acquire funding to purchase youth and adult boots, and cold weather riding layers in a variety of sizes. As they are available, you are welcome to borrow them if needed. Each item is cleaned or otherwise disinfected between each use. 

Do I need to wear a helmet?

Riders under 18 are required to wear a helmet. While we do provide basic youth and adult size helmets, we encourage you to purchase your own helmet if you'd like a different style, fit (ie, long oval), or would like different technology (MIPS or other concussive tech). Our helmet choices are based on the recent Virginia Tech Equestrian Helmet study to ensure we are giving our riders the best head protection we can. 

Whats the difference between Riding and Horsemanship Lessons?

In riding lessons, the horse is already tacked up ready to go. You'll learn parts of the horse and saddle as we go, as well as learning behavioral cues and working to read the horses thoughts. You'll only be learning the aspects critical for instruction and riding however. 

Our horsemanship lessons are much more comprehensive. You can expect to learn how to catch, lead, groom, and tack up your horse before warm ups and a riding lesson. After cooling down you will also help with untacking your horse, grooming, and putting them back in their stall or pasture.

I've never ridden before, what can I expect from riding lessons?

Expect to go at the pace you are comfortable for learning. I'll introduce you to a lot of information that will be reintroduced in each lesson. I heavily encourage communication and questions at any time as well. As we learn new skills we do so on the ground or sitting on top of a tacked up barrel (to mimic being on a horse) before transitioning into the saddle to practice. One of the first things I will teach you is how to stop. This helps put you back in control of your horse if you ever need it. We will also set little goals (or big goals!) to accomplish as we go along. You can also expect an understanding, judgement free instructor who puts your interests first and works along with you to grow. 

Are there any riders you don't take?

At this time I do not have a wheelchair ramp or assistants to help side walk during sessions, nor am I EAGALA certified for guiding mental health sessions with professionals. I can make accommodations to a certain point however and will happily talk to you about your needs. 

I am not taking students looking to specialize in a specific discipline at this time. I am however happy to refer you to someone in the area better suited to your needs. 

Can I bring my own horse?

Absolutely! I only ask that the horse has been started under saddle already if you plan to ride, that they can load in the trailer most of the time, and that you bring your own tack with you. We can do horsemanship or riding only lessons and our time will be structured the same as lessons with my own horses. Please arrive early to tack up your horse if we are doing riding only lessons. If tack doesn't fit the horse properly, we will need to wait until appropriately fitting tack is available to you before continuing riding sessions. 

What payment methods do you take?

Cash, Venmo, or PayPal are all acceptable methods of payment for me. I do not accept personal checks, trades, or crypto currency.

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