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Now enrolling students of all ages!

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Horsemanship Academy classes will be held 4 weeks of the month unless otherwise noted. In extreme heat/cold or with rain and other elements we will meet in the barn or in the Wagon House. Please schedule a private orientation lesson for $65 before enrolling in a horsemanship 101 class.

Call or text Gracie to schedule: (919) 669 - 8546

Please sign a waiver at the bottom of our home page prior to your first lesson. 

No Tuesday Lessons the first Tuesday of June, July, & August!
(Price Reflects this change) 

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Horsemanship 101-Horsemanship for those who need to fine tune the basics:

  • Correctly catching/turning out (stall and pasture) with a rope halter

  • Tying a quick release knot (and the SAFE places to tie them)

  • Mounting/dismounting correctly (grabbing mane versus saddle, facing away from the gate/barn, etc.)

  • Correctly/safely grooming/saddling/bitting

  • Riding in split reins with two hands on a snaffle

  • Warming up/Cooling down (the hows and whys)

  • Understanding how to correctly stop/back a horse with the seat and breathing, along with other cues 

  • Identifying leads and diagonals

  • Being able to change diagonals

  • Being able to catch leads

  • Performing simple lead changes

  • Starting with simple maneuvers

  • Getting an intro to lateral work

  • Riding outside of the arena comfortably and confidently to cool down

Advanced Horsemanship-Horsemanship for those who are already competent in the aforementioned. Advanced Horsemanship students will focus on riding and training:

  • Straightness

  • Self Carriage

  • Suppleness

  • Stretching

  • Hind end engagement/disengagement and when to use them

  • Biomechanics

  • Collection

  • Correct/light contact

  • Maneuvers

  • Correctly neck reining in split reins and/or a romel 

  • Control of all 4 feet on the ground and under saddle

There are many, many factors to consider when signing you or your child up for any type of lesson. In *most* instances, a participant in an activity is learning how to handle inanimate objects, preform a task solo, or work with a group of other individuals who are mainly self sustaining. However, riding lessons require two athletes and a coach that can simultaneously watch and critique both athletes, of two different species, while keeping the biomechanical and mental health of both in good working order.

When you pay a facility for lessons you are paying for (at minimum) the following:

1) Years and years of lesson expenses, where a trainer dedicated their time to becoming an expert in their field.

2) Continuing education or peer review. A trainer who is doing the BEST for their students and equines will either have accolades, be in consistent lessons, or will be showing in a discipline (and often all of the above). All of which cost time, money, and labor.

3) The facility. A mortgage or lease. The electric bill that covers fans/lights run in the barn, arena lights, structural insurance, etc.

4) Professional liability insurance. Don’t ask how much that costs in the equine world. It’ll hurt your feelings.

5) Bare minimum nutrition for the horses. Quality feed and hay—and y’all, that stuff ain’t cheap. Plus fresh water at all times.

6) Labor. Whether that be from the instructor tuning up horses, paying a trainer to ride lesson horses, or farm hands who muck stalls, mow the grass, feed the horses, etc.

7) Taxes—cause, well…Uncle Sam.

8.) An accountant to make sure you don’t genuinely screw your whole business up.

9) Fuel—yes…fuel is a BIG one. Fuel to drag pastures, to drag arena, to put hay out, to travel to the facility to teach or take lessons, fuel to run the water truck, fuel to go to Lowe’s to pick up parts for things that fall apart on a daily basis.

10) Maintenance. That fence, ain’t gunna fix itself. Let’s factor in the cost of insulators, wire, posts, etc. Did I mention you need labor to put those things up? And good labor to make sure the fencing is safe for the equines. Anyone can rig a fence, but horses can be bubble wrapped and still injure themselves.

11) Routine care. Twice a year the vet comes for vaccines. Every SIX WEEKS a farrier has to do a horse’s feet. Dental work should be done every 6 months to a year, depending on the horse. PEMF, Chiro, and body work are needed for some horses also. Oh! And don’t forget injections that cost several hundred dollars every 6 months to 2 years.

12) Ever had to go to the ER or Urgent care? Yeah, horses need those emergency bills paid too when they decide to impale themselves on something it shouldn’t even be possible to impale anything on.

13) Barn supplies and equipment: fly spray, grooming supplies, water buckets, water troughs, feed bins, hoses, zip ties, duct tape, light bulbs, brooms, mowers, tractors, weedeaters, bush hogs, tractor drags, golf cart/side by side to do chores on, a dependable truck and trailer for emergency vet visits, tires, oil changes, etc.

14) Helmets. Those need to be replaced every couple years.

15) The time someone spent marketing to even let you know there are lessons available.

16) TACK! GOOOOOOD Tack. Tack that won’t sore you up and teach you bad habits. Tack that won’t sore up your horse. Tack that won’t break in the middle of your ride. And the upkeep of that tack requires supplies like leather conditioner, brushes, rags, etc.

17) Oh! And let’s see….horses! Have y’all checked out the horse market recently? “Pick two: sound, cheap, broke.” If you can find a GOOD, SAFE, SOUND lesson horse, you’re paying a pretty penny to purchase it. You’re also paying a good penny to keep it broke and/or keep it maintained.

18) There’s so much more, but this is the general info that I can come up with off the top of my head without getting into the nitty gritty.

So if you see somewhere that’s charging the same price as ballet lessons for riding lessons, you probably need to walk away….And yes, your 8 year old should pay more for lessons than an 18 year old, because you need someone special, patient, and super detail oriented to work with the 8 year old. “They just want to ride. They don’t want to learn anything else. We don’t need to learn how to tack up or clean a saddle.” Well, put a quarter in the horse at the mall. These equines have a special job—to teach people how to safely interact with and communicate with their species. They are living, being creatures and riding facilities owe these horses welfare.

A lot of people have no idea what goes into it, but I hope this short list gives insight as to why it can be costly to go to a good facility for lessons.

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