Overview

It is expected that students become proficient at a given level before advancing to the next. Age and experience-appropriate horsemanship and un-mounted ‘stablecraft’ sessions will be taught at each level and included in each series of lessons. Mounted and unmounted skills and knowledge build progressively from basic horse sense and safety through more sophisticated horse management and horsemanship.

All of our levels include riding outside of the ring, learning to gain skills associated with varying terrain while enjoying the fields and woods of the farm.

  • The progression of skill levels is as follows:
  • Beginning to Ride
  • Advanced Beginners
  • Intermediate I
  • Intermediate II
  • Intermediate III
  • Advanced Flat
  • Beginning to Jump
  • Beginning Cross Country Riding

After completing advanced flat, students may progress sequentially through the following options or combinations thereof typically in private or semi private lesson format:

  • Progressive Jumping Skills
  • Dressage Skills: Beginning Dressage and Ongoing Dressage Skills

BEGINNING TO RIDE

Goals:
Students will demonstrate safe horsemanship practices and ride in a correct position with adequate control at a halt, walk, and beginning trot.
Objectives:
Lead, mount and dismount correctly with assistance
Perform equipment safety check and stirrup adjustment with assistance
Hold, shorten and lengthen reins properly
Perform rider exercises at walk and trot
Apply natural aids correctly to stop, go, and turn
Begin sitting and rising to the trot
Perform emergency dismount

ADVANCED BEGINNER

Goals:
Students will improve their skills at trot in preparation for canter work
Objectives:
Perform rider exercises at walk and trot
Independently maintain safe, proper spacing in the ring
Execute circles and basic schooling figures at trot
Demonstrate and Explain (“D/E”) posting on the correct diagonal, changing as needed
Sit the trot with and without stirrups
Ride in the two-point position at walk and trot
Demonstrate proper use of the riding crop
Perform emergency dismount at walk and trot

INTERMEDIATE I

Goals:
Students will ride with balance and control at walk, trot, and beginning canter work
Objectives:
Demonstrate continued improvement in horse and rider exercises at walk and trot
Begin rising trot without stirrups
D/E correct application of natural aides for trot-to-canter and canter-to-trot transitions
Maintain balance and control at canter for up to one time around the arena.

INTERMEDIATE II

Goals:
Students will improve in balance and control at walk, trot, and canter
Objectives:
Mount, dismount and adjust stirrups without assistance
Perform individual warm-up at walk and trot
Practice safe group-riding procedures
Improve seat through greater frequency of trotting without stirrups
Ride at canter with balance and control in both directions and large circles
Identify leads at canter and demonstrate simple change of lead
Ride over varied terrain outside of an arena
May begin work over ground poles

INTERMEDIATE III

Goals:
Students continue to improve balance and control at walk, trot and canter
Objectives:
Objectives same as Intermediate II, with increased emphasis on identifying and correcting leads at canter
Begin canter without stirrups
Emergency dismount from trot and canter

CANTER SKILLS

Goals:
Students will improve in confidence and ability to canter through a variety of cantering exercises including but not limited to the following objectives:
Objectives:
Canter with and without stirrups
Canter in 2 point and 1/2 seat
Ride simple lead changes
Canter balanced turns and circles
Count strides at canter
Canter over ground poles
Hand gallop in and out of the arena
Lengthen and shorten strides at trot and canter

ADVANCED FLAT

Goals:
Students will demonstrate a strong balance-seat foundation from which they may safely pursue pleasure riding, dressage, and jumping
Objectives:
Demonstrate accurate transitions from all three gaits
Rate and/or change horse’s rhythm and stride within each gait
Continue work without stirrups at all three gaits
Canter work over ground poles
Bend horse properly through turns
Safely ride a variety of horses in and out of the arena
D/E half-halts
Introduction to lateral work

Beginning Cross Country Riding

Goals:
Students will gain confidence through riding safely in a group over varied terrain
Objectives:
Demonstrate proper trail-riding etiquette
Negotiate natural obstacles with balance and control
Prevent misbehaviors such as grazing, bucking, rearing, or running away
Ride safely through such misbehaviors if they occur
Demonstrate communicating within trailriding group for safety

BEGINNING TO JUMP

Goals:
Students will ride safely and effectively over ground poles and small jumps at trot and canter.
Objectives:
Adjust balance of horse and rider through use of balance, forward and suspension/two point seats
Ride securely in two-point position over a course of ground poles
Demonstrate a working knowledge of the five phases of jumping
Demonstrate crest release
Maintain balance and control over single fences and basic small courses at trot and canter
Discuss reasons and corrections for simple jumping disobediences
Rider exercises over fences

JUMPING II

Goals:
Student will exhibit proper position and control over combinations and lines of fences. Jumps not to exceed 2 feet.
Objectives:
D/E proper warm-up of horse before jumping, including but not limited to impulsion, suppleness, and obedience
Maintain these qualities throughout the five phases of jumping
Ride with control and secure position over consecutive fences
Demonstrate corrections for simple jumping disobediences
Ride without stirrups and reins over low fences
(Riding the horse forward, straight, rhythmic and engaged)

FLAT AND FENCE WORK

Goals:
Students will safely negotiate simple jump courses. Jumps not to exceed 2’3”.
Objectives:
Adjust balance of horse and rider through turns
Ride on correct leads while cantering courses
Demonstrate effective negotiation of various obstacles: verticals, spreads, combinations, narrows,
Demonstrate effective riding of less experienced or “green” horses over fences.