RIDING LESSONS FAQ’s
Is horseback riding difficult?
One could spend their whole life perfecting their riding, and still not attain perfection. So, while just sitting on a horse may appear easy, learning to ride well is just as difficult as learning to do any other sport well.
Is horseback riding hard to learn?
Horseback riding is like many other sports, in that there are many skills to be learned. There are basic skills that you must learn to be safe, and in control of the horse. Once you’ve mastered those basics however, there are advanced riding skills that allow you to control the horse to finer degrees, and actually make it easier for your horse to carry you.
I’ve never ridden a horse before. Which package should I get?
Learn to Ride Package
Are there any age restrictions for riders?
From 3 years old to 113 years old!
Is horseback riding exercise?
Horseback riding is exercise. It burns calories, muscles, requires strength, balance and body awareness. It can be an aerobic exercise and requires flexibility. Even at a walk, horseback riding is good exercise, which is why therapeutic riding is good for folks who are wheelchair bound. Horseback riding builds confidence, reasoning, memory and analytical skills for a mental workout too. Horseback riders can actually become better riders by doing strength and flexibility training off of the horse as well.
I would like to sign my child up for a beginner lesson. Can I stay and watch during his/her session?
I want to take some lessons but I have never been on a horse, is that o.k.?
Absolutely! We teach all levels including people who have never been on a horse. Safety is first and foremost so we ensure your first experience is not only safe but fun for you! For the first few lessons we guide you through working work around the horse, grooming and getting your assigned horse ready for riding, or as we call it, “tacked up”. After the riding portion of your lesson we also guide you through the “un-tacking” of the horse and putting away your equipment.
We will only progress riders as fast as we can while keeping them as safe as possible. The lessons are designed to be progressive, so each week we build on the prior week’s lesson. We ensure a sound foundation of the basics is present before moving onto more advanced skills.
What can I wear when I first start riding? Do have to buy all the “fancy” riding gear?
No, when you first start riding you do not need to run out and buy all the “fancy” riding gear. There are however some guidelines in place to ensure your safety and comfort.
Starting at the top is the helmet. A helmet is required by all junior riders (under 18) and for anyone jumping.
Tops and jackets should be well-fitted; t-shirts and sweatshirts are common. In cooler weather it is recommended to layer. Pants should be somewhat loose fitting but not too baggy; sweatpants and leggings can be worn. Jeans are not recommended as they tend be somewhat restrictive. No noisy snow pants, no scarves, no long parkas or snowsuits. No sandals or open-toed shoes.
Boots must have a heel, however no more than 1 inch is recommended. The boot should go over the ankle to provide extra support. You will not be allowed to ride in running shoes or sandals. Gloves are optional but are recommended; they should be well fitted with some sort of grip.
How early should I book a riding session/event/camp program?
Soon as there is limited capacity
What are Off Horse lessons and is it important for my child to attend?
Off horse lessons are important for your child’s development as an equestrian. The off horse lessons teach children that there is more to owning a horse and horsemanship than riding. First and foremost, safety on the ground comes first. Then, they need to learn that a horse is not a pet and the requirements for owning a horse are a large responsibility.
When will my child canter and/or jump?
The Learn to Ride and Junior Rider programs are walk, trot only. This is because a child’s seat in the saddle is not developed enough to control and coordinate the horse and their aids at the canter.
What will my child learn in the Learn to Ride program?
All children in the Junior Rider program start out on a horse which is led by a parent or volunteer in the ring. This allows the child to concentrate on learning the skills they need to know to control the horse. The leader gives the rider the opportunity to learn with confidence.
The Junior Rider and Learn to Ride programs teach:
- Safe handling of the horse on the ground and in the saddle
- Mounting & dismounting
- Proper position on the horse
- Walk and trot
- Emergency stop
- Changing direction
- Etiquette in the arena
- Using skills to navigate patterns in the ring.
Are the horses safe?
Every sport has some risk. However we take safety very seriously and will teach our students how to keep safe as possible. We have a wider range of horses than any other school.
If I sign up my horse for boarding at the RCRA, can I set up special care arrangements (ex. Grain, supplements, etc.)?
Aside from riding lessons, what other activities are available at the RCRA?
Camp, horse boarding, horse shows from beginner level to international competitors, nature trails and much more.
How can I know if the horses are in good health?
Healthy horses have bright eyes, mobile ears, a good body condition without being too fat, and a tendency to approach people.
How do you choose the horse my child rides?
It is based on the student’s ability, size, confidence and desire.
Does my child need to have a horse in order to ride?
We have a large variety of horses for all shapes, sizes and ages.
Is the RCRA open seasonally or year-round?
How can I stay updated on upcoming events and programs?
Web site, the annual event guide, newsletter, Facebook