Horseback Riding Lessons
We offer horseback riding lessons for all ages and experience levels. We teach an English riding style called saddleseat, which is designed for show horse breeds like the American Saddlebred. These horses typically have a naturally high head carriage and high-stepping action. The saddleseat riding style is often considered to be the base of all the other horseback riding styles, so it's an excellent choice if you're just getting started. There is no jumping involved with saddleseat.
All new riders will need to start off taking private lessons until the instructor feels they are ready to ride with a group. They can then participate in group lessons with other riders of a similar skill level. In order to maintain what you have learned and develop consistency, it is recommended that all riders take at least one lesson per week.
Riding lessons at Lance Hayes Stables are taught by the instructors of Rose Tree Farms, our affiliate riding program. When booking a lesson online, you will be redirected to their scheduling system.
Lessons are offered weekly in the afternoons and evenings from 2:00-7:30 PM.
For your first lesson, wear long pants (jeans work best, please no sweatpants or athletic pants) and sturdy closed-front shoes with a 1-inch heel. Tennis shoes are okay, but we suggest you wear something similar to a riding boot if possible.
Safety is our top priority at the barn. We have several helmets available at the barn for you to use during your lessons. You need to wear an ASTM/SEI-approved riding helmet; no bike helmets! All new riders (any age) and all children under the age of ten are required to wear a helmet, and it is highly recommended for everyone else.
As with any sport, after you have been taking lessons for a while, you will want to purchase proper equipment. This includes riding gloves (optional, but many riders prefer them), leather riding boots (ankle-high), and "jods" (riding jodhpurs with knee grips). We can provide shopping resources.
Your First Riding Lesson
At your first lesson, you will be taught the basics of safety around horses. Each lesson includes time for grooming the horse before and after the lesson. This allows riders extra time to form a special bond with each horse. For the riding portion of the lesson, we typically start off new riders in the round pen, which is a smaller arena within our indoor ring. You will learn how to signal the horse to walk and halt, as well as how to steer the horse. After you feel comfortable with that, you will be given an introduction to trotting. Because everyone learns differently, each lesson is tailored to fit your specific needs, skills, confidence level, and goals.
Still have questions about horseback riding? Check out our FAQs page.
Once you have been riding for several months, you may want to ride in horse shows. You do not have to compete in horse shows, but many of our riders enjoy participating in them. Equestrian competition is a very fun and rewarding sport that you can enjoy for life. Showing horses builds confidence, sportsmanship, and most of all, horsemanship. The riders in our lesson program compete in "Academy" shows with the horses they ride in lessons. We also host fun "home" shows for our Academy riders throughout the year. If you would like to learn more about participating in horse shows, please ask our riding lesson instructor.
If you are unable to attend your scheduled lesson, we appreciate if you call at least 24 hours in advance to cancel. Riders that do not provide reasonable notice that they cannot attend a lesson will still be charged. We reserve the right to cancel lessons due to the weather or for any other safety concern.