Learning The American Forward System of Riding is an athletic endeavor requiring the same amount of time, energy and mental involvement of mastering any sport. You are not an expert in a few short lessons. You will always be learning. Many lifelong riders are still novice horsemen. Sports teams require daily involvement and practice for team members. In horsemanship, your partner is not human. You must learn to 'speak' horse. Students who ride once a week improve at a much slower rate than those who choose to dedicate more time and energy to the sport. Through mental involvement, work with horses on the ground, and time in the saddle your level of expertise and enjoyment will grow. Not everyone wishes to progress to a competition ready rider. But, everyone can become a horseman who keeps the horse's best interests at heart. Everyone can develop a level of competency enabling them to feel safe and secure while mounted. Everyone can experience the soul mending bond with our equine friends.
Lessons are available for students 7 years and up or younger graduates of our Pony Pals class
Beginner Private Lessons
New students start with private lesson (either hour or half hour). Students work directly with their instructor learning the beginning stages of horsemanship and riding. They are taught how to groom their horse, how to lead their horse, and how to mount and dismount, and how to adjust their stirrups. Students learn proper position and riding techniques at the walk, posting trot, and eventually the canter. Students learn to post, how to check their diagonals and how to demonstrate the half seat (or two point) position. Students learn how to control the horse using simple rein aids to halt, turn and circle the horse.
Beginner I is the start of one hour class lessons. Students continue to improve their position, balance and mechanical skills while mounted. Students will continue to improve posting on the correct diagonal, developing strength and balance in the half seat and sitting trot, controlling the horse with simple rein aids and be introduced to cantering on the lunge line. Students will also be introduced to trotting poles.
Beginner II is a continuation of Beginner I. Students will begin to canter alone off the lunge line. Students will be introduced to pole pile courses and jumping cross rails at the end of a trotting pole line. .
Students at the Beginner III level will be cantering in small groups and begin jumping small cross rails. Students will continue to work on their position in all gaits and be introduced to contact. Students will also be introduced to basic lateral work and rein back at the walk.
Intermediate I Students will canter in full class groups simulating a horse show environment. Work on contact and the following arm will be emphasized. Students practice school figures to increase the accuracy of their control of the horse during trot and canter. Students will also begin to jump courses of cross rails and be introduced to small verticals. Students will also continue to work on their lateral work -- leg yield, shoulder in, haunches in, turn on the forehand, turn on the haunch at the walk, and begin some trot work. Work without stirrup irons will be introduced to further improve balance.
Intermediate II Students will be comfortable and competent in all gaits. Students will understand the concept of contact and will begin to learn how to use the rein and leg aids together to improve the horse. Students will continue to perfect the strength and correctness of their position. Course work will be done with simple lines over small vertical jumps and small oxers will be introduced. Students will learn maintain canter rhythm while on course and begin to practice counting strides and 'seeing' a distance. Lateral work will become a part of every lesson. Students will also continue to improve work without stirrups.
Advanced students are comfortable working at all gaits with and without stirrups. Advanced students work on improving communication with the horse through bettering their coordination of hand and leg aids. Students will be jumping small courses including oxers and practice more difficult lines such as roll backs and bending lines. Work on timing and rhythm will continue, and students will exercise their 'eye' and start to work on adjusting the horse for a better jump.
- New Student Intro Package: 3 half hour private lessons - $100
- Private Hour: Monthly Package - $285
- Additional Lesson in Package - $67.50
- Private Half Hour: Monthly Package - $205
- Additional Lesson in Package - $47.50
- By The Lesson / Evaluation Lesson - $62.50
- Hour Group Class: Monthly Package - $185
- Additional Lesson in Package - $42.50
- By The Lesson - $57.50
Windermere offers lessons through the Centerline Homeschool Partnership.
For more information, please contact the farm or click here.