What to Expect in our lessons
Regular riding lessons can take on several different focuses. We use a number of patterns to help horse and rider find how they should use their bodies on their own. Many of these patterns are meant to challenge horse and rider mentally, but the result is that the pair does more than they thought they were capable of. However, within these patterns comes some extra guidance to help the rider be more effective in their seat to get the best results from the horse. Riding lessons may incorporate cones, ground poles, low cross-rails or jumps, and other teaching tools to maximize the learning experience. Note-taking is encouraged after the lesson. Lessons are scheduled for 45 minutes but may take more or less time to accomplish the day’s goals, if the schedule allows.
Longe lessons give the rider the chance to focus just on their seat. Usually, these are given on our own horses, as longe horses can be difficult to find. These use a combination of gymnastic exercises and “feel” exercises so that the rider can work on developing their feel and refine their aids while the trainer guides from the ground. In many cases, we use a hybrid approach, starting the lesson on the longe and moving to off-longe so that the rider has a chance to connect the feel from one into the other. We start all beginners, regardless of age, on the longe for their safety and to develop a solid foundation. These lessons are often closer to 30 minutes due to the strenuous nature of the work.
Mounted Weapons Lessons
We use mounted martial arts, focusing on mounted fencing and garrocha, both for riders interested in these art expressions and for riders who are struggling with independence in the seat. These lessons utilize dressage patterns but incorporate the “weapons” either as tools to improve the use of the seat or simply for the practice. We have plastic and nylon wasters available for use, and we are happy to work with sparring pairs.
Work in-hand Lessons
Work in-hand lessons focus on developing the connection to the horse on the ground, using all the benefits work in-hand has to offer. We use both basic styles of work in-hand: the Viennese using the cavesson and the Iberian using only the bridle. Lessons can also focus on ground-driving as well as artistic long-reining. We have horses and equipment available for use in these lessons, and often these lessons are hybridized with regular riding lessons.
These are a fun way to develop camaraderie and confidence with other riders sharing the arena and leading or following in a pattern. These lessons take two different forms: working on a common challenge the horses and riders are working on or working on group riding, such as for quadrille or pas de deux. In cases with mounted martial arts, the lessons tend to focus on sparring.
These lessons focus on developing the child’s balance and confidence. Generally, they ride without a saddle but with a surcingle that offers handles and a padded seat. These lessons use gymnastic exercises, such as circling arms, swinging legs, and even “around the world” to develop balance, confidence, and coordination. These lessons are fun and upbeat but shorter in order to accommodate the child’s attention span. The lesson horse fee is included in this price.
Theory and Grooming
For those looking to bolster their knowledge on grooming and theory, theory and grooming sessions are also available. For theory, these can focus on biomechanics, stable management, training principles, and more. For grooming, the education can focus on general grooming or specialized grooming, such as braiding and clipping. Up to four participants welcome at the base fee, more can participate at $5 per extra person.