Are Riding Lessons Right for You?
Here is some insight on the sport and our program to help you make a decision.
The sport of horse riding is a rewarding one.
Just like every other sport, it requires practice and patience.
Unlike most sports, this sport involves teamwork with a live animal.
This presents its own unique challenges and rewards.
This sport is hard work and puts you in under conditions that are considered difficult.
The first thing to note is that a farm is a place that has live animals, and not just horses.
There is dirt, exposure to the elements, insects, and more.
There is a lot of expensive equipment that needs your respect and appreciation.
Not only can you damage it, but you could also hurt yourself or the animals.
The horses average around 1,000 lbs.
They all have their own personalities.
Just as it takes time to develop a relationship with someone you just met (or repair a broken relationship), the same applies to these animals.
They all have their likes/dislikes and their good/bad days.
You cannot force them to do anything.
You have to earn their respect.
They are social animals by nature and communicate through body language and energy.
A horse and rider is a team.
You learn to communicate with each other and that requires respect, patience, and practice.
At Grey Goose Farm, you are required to do your own work and care for the horses.
We are here to guide you and help you where necessary, but we do not do the work for you (except in initial introduction and Pre-School Pony classes).
The work is physically tasking. Not only in riding, but in actually getting the horse ready to be ridden. We HIGHLY encourage parents to take an active role in learning with their children. This is simply for assistance, but ask that each rider be as independent as safely possible.
Over time you will notice improvements in endurance, strength, flexibility, coordination/balance, and agility.
Nothing will be easy from the beginning.
It takes time to develop your skills/strength.
It takes practice and patience.
This is a sport that requires discipline.
Self-respect and confidence are important.
Just like some people, horses can be pushovers or they can push you.
They will push boundaries to see how you expect to be treated, just as some people do.
We need to know your personality so we know which horses are the best fit for you.
The goal is to help you develop self-confidence.
Motivation and determination are important.
As mentioned before, this sport is hard work.
When things don’t go well, you need to be able to accept that failure is a part of the learning process and there is nothing wrong with it.
We just keep trying and doing our best.
Our best one day is different from our best another day.
Respect of the animals, the property, equipment, and staff is important.
This is a no drama facility that is based on respecting boundaries.
We have zero tolerance for disrespectful behavior.
If the disrespectful behavior continues after being warned, barn privileges will be lost and there is potential for being asked to leave.
With the unpredictability of a horses’ behavior in reaction to various situations and surroundings, you must be able to listen and respond quickly.
We have to be able to instruct you without meeting resistance.
Other things to consider:
We expect you to be able to read in order to identify the horses, equipment, areas of use, etc.
We expect to be able to instruct you by vocally explaining things but occasionally guiding you physically.
You need to know your right from your left so you can understand our instructions.
You need to have problem-solving skills as our equipment can be complicated.
You need to be able to listen and respond quickly as there isn't always time for you to pause and question when it comes to working with large animals.
If there are any behavioral issues, disabilities, or anything that needs individual attention that may affect the student’s ability to learn the skills involved - it is important that you let us know.
We need to be able to make preparations so that they have a safe environment to learn.
These circumstances often require specific horses and they need one-on-one attention for everyone's safety.