Meet the Lesson Horses
Lance Hayes Stables is home to over 50 horses. Most horses at the farm are privately owned, however we have several horses that are owned by our riding academy for the purpose of teaching lessons. Our lesson horses are suitable for teaching riders of various skill levels. Six of our seven lesson horses were actually born and raised on our farm. As riders progress throughout their lessons, they will have the opportunity to ride each of the horses below. Our riding instructor selects which horse to pair with each rider based on their skill level and goals.
Affectionately known as "Jelly", he is often the first horse our smaller beginner riders will be introduced to. Jelly is the newest member of our team, joining the lesson horse lineup in 2020. If you compare him to the rest of our horses, you may notice that he looks a little different than the others. That's because he is a Haflinger horse, a breed which originated in Europe in the 19th century. Jelly doesn't know that he's not a Saddlebred, and tries his hardest to look just as fancy as our other horses. Jelly is very mellow and patient, making him a great mount for children and beginner riders. Come join the Jelly fan club!
Another favorite of our beginner and intermediate riders is Hedda, a beautiful 12 year old American Saddlebred mare. She has been a member of the school horse squad since 2013, but she has lived at the barn her entire life. Hedda is excellent at teaching riders to walk and trot. She carries her neck nice and high, which is great for helping riders learn to sit up with correct posture and balance. She loves all the grooming, treats and attention she can get from her riders.
This cute 10 year old gelding is very competitive at horse shows with his high-stepping action. If you think he looks a lot like Hedda, that's because he's her little brother! Bullet is a small horse with a big heart. He is an expert at taking care of young riders and showing them the ropes in the show ring. He does everything from lead line classes all the way up to showing at the National Academy Championships. He also likes to be driven in a cart! Bullet is a reliable and fun horse who is loved by all the kids who ride him.
If he weren't an American Saddlebred, he'd be a unicorn. He is truly a "Jack of all trades". Whether you're relatively new to riding or you're already an accomplished equestrian, Jack is your guy. He's 15 years old and still full of spunk. He is a great horse for teaching riders what it feels like to ride a "show horse". At the same time, he is so comfortable to ride that you might forget you aren't sitting on a couch instead. To top it all off, he was a two-time Academy National Champion in 2019. Jack is very sweet and will do just about anything for peppermints.
At 22 years of age, Sharkie is the wisest member of our lesson horse team. He is also the largest horse in the barn, standing at 17 hands tall. Rumor has it that he earned his name because when he was a newborn foal, he was already so tall that his ears could be seen just above the stall door, which resembled little shark fins as he walked back and forth. Sharkie was an accomplished show horse earlier in his life, and he earned a World Championship title in 2009. Nowadays, he loves teaching the next generation of champion riders.
As our unofficial welcoming committee in the lesson horse aisle, Cash is often the first face you'll see when you enter the barn. He is a handsome 15 year old American Saddlebred who teaches riders of all ages and experience levels. He was born at the farm and enjoyed a brief career as a show horse before he found his calling as a school horse. When he's not busy teaching lessons, Cash can usually be found playing with his traffic cone toy in his stall or hamming it up for peppermints. His funny personality makes him a favorite among our riders.
We may be biased, but we think she's one of the sweetest horses you'll ever meet. Gwen is a beautiful 12 year old American Saddlebred mare who is nice and safe, but still challenges riders when she feels they have something left to learn. If you can figure out how to do things "Gwen's way", she'll be your best friend. She is very kind and teaches riders of all ages. If you want to earn some extra brownie points with her, Gwen loves a "spa day" and especially enjoys being brushed.