The purpose of this
document is to lay out the goals, expectations and methods of Horsemanship & English Riding Lessons taught by Susan Auten
of Forever Free Farm.
Students will be categorized
into one of four levels: 1) Beginner; 2) Advanced Beginner; 3) Intermediate;
4) Advanced. The definitions of these four levels are outlined below:
Beginner: An individual of any age that has little to no practical horse knowledge.
An individual who has had no proper riding instruction or riding experience.
(Having ridden a “rental” horse or “camp” horse, is not considered riding experience.)
Advanced Beginner: An individual who has had at least four months of proper English riding instruction
or who proves their ability to handle a horse safely on the ground (including bringing the horse in from pasture), can tack
up their own horse, can ride the horse at the walk, do a proper circle, halt, back-up and post at the walk. All abilities must be demonstrated and meet the satisfaction of the instructor before being placed in an
Advanced Beginner class.
Intermediate: An individual who has had at least six months of proper English riding instruction or who proves their
ability to complete the skills of Advanced Beginner as outlined above, along with the ability to post at the trot and ride
at the walk and trot without stirrups. All abilities must be demonstrated and
meet the satisfaction of the instructor before being placed in an Intermediate class.
Advanced: An individual who has had at least 12 months of proper English riding instruction or who proves their ability
to complete the skills of Intermediate as outlined above, along with the ability to sit the canter, ride without stirrups
in all three gaits, jump cavelleti and cross rails in a balanced, secure manner. All
abilities must be demonstrated and meet the satisfaction of the instructor before being placed in an Advanced class.
1. WHAT WILL BE TAUGHT:
i. Basic and safe horse handling on the ground (leading the horse, backing, cross tying)
ii. Proper grooming techniques, including hoof care
iii. Basic tack and grooming equipment (what they are, the different parts, how to care
iv. Stall cleaning
v. How to properly tack up the horse for riding
vi. Mounting the horse and riding at the walk, posting at the walk, doing circles, backing,
staying on the rail and figure eights/serpentines
vii. Basic equine anatomy
B. Advanced Beginners
i. Increased equine anatomy (including hoof form and function)
ii. Riding at the rising/posting trot, gait transitions
iii. Walking over ground poles
iv. Two-point and three-point position in saddle
v. Limited lunge line work without hands
vi. Limited lunge work without stirrups
vii. Basic equine health care (wound treatment, de-worming, etc.).
viii. Trail Ride (walk only on the flat)
i. Increased equine anatomy (including hoof form and function)
ii. Trotting over ground poles, cavelleti and/or cross rail jumps
iii. Riding at the canter
iv. Two-point position in saddle and over ground poles
v. Greater lunge line work without hands
vi. Greater lunge line work without stirrups
vii. Riding ½ the class without stirrups
viii. Greater health care and basic equine nutrition
ix. Trail riding (walk/trot…some hills)
i. Cantering over ground poles
ii. Cantering over cavelleti, cross rail jumps and/or other jumps no greater than 2’
iii. Riding at the canter without stirrups
iv. Two-point and three-point position in saddle, over ground poles and jumps
Riding the entire class without stirrups
vi. Intensive health and hoof care, equine nutrition.
vii. Trail riding (walk/trot/canter/hills/natural jumps)
All skills listed
above are purely basic and in no way reflect every detailed instruction to be given.
Students will not move up to the next skill level, regardless of length of time
in lessons, until the Instructor is satisfied that the student can perform all the skills required in a safe, secure and
confident manner. The Instructor reserves the right to downgrade any student
at any time when it is in the best interest of the student’s confidence and safety or to avoid discomfort to the horse.
All students, regardless
of level, will be given homework to complete prior to the next lesson. Homework
assigned is at the discretion of the Instructor. In addition, quizzes will be
given, both oral and written, at various times during the lesson program. Quizzes
will be both scheduled and unscheduled (aka: “pop”).
A. The student will arrive on time for each lesson.
Should there be an issue where the student will be tardy, a courtesy phone call is requested to inform the Instructor. Should there be a need to cancel due to illness, the student or parent should call
at least one hour prior to the lesson. Cancellations received prior to the lesson
start time will result in no charge to the student/parent. Cancellations received
after the lesson start time, will result in the regular lesson fee being paid.
B. The student will be dressed properly and ready to ride/work. (See “Dress Code” policy below.)
C. All students who are not licensed drivers, will be accompanied by a parent or legal
guardian, who will stay in attendance during the lesson.
D. The student will have homework completed and ready to turn in upon arrival.
E. The student will abide by the rules of the barn and conduct themselves in a safe manner
at all times.
F. The student will abide by the verbal instructions of the Instructor.
G. Students and parents/guardians will abide by all Stable Rules as posted.
H. Students will work to the best of their ability to learn the skills being taught.
I. If the Instructor must cancel a lesson, no less than 24 hours notice will be given.
J. Lessons will be conducted regardless of weather conditions. Should inclement weather prevent riding, lessons will be done “on the ground”/in the classroom.
K. Lessons will not just be riding. The
term “horsemanship” encompasses all areas of horse care and stable work (including but not limited to mucking/stripping
stalls, scrubbing/disinfecting buckets and troughs, stacking hay, paddock manure removal, etc.)
3. DRESS CODE
A. All students will report to the barn in long pants (plain non-decorous jeans, breeches
or riding tights are acceptable—sweat pants, jogging pants, etc. are not acceptable).
Shorts are permitted only during the hottest of days and will only be worn for “ground work.” No student will ever be permitted to ride in shorts.
B. All students will wear either a modest, loose-fitting T-shirt, collared shirt or polo/golf-style
shirt (long or short-sleeves). Low-cut shirts/tops will result in the student
being offered a “barn shirt” to wear for the day. Should the occurrence
be repeated, the student’s lesson will be cancelled, with no refund issued.
C. All students will wear the proper footwear of their choice, including but not limited
to: paddock boots, tall riding boots (leather or rubber), work boots, ankle boots
with a heel. No sandals, flip-flops or sneakers are permitted anywhere near a
horse. If the student wishes to bring their boots and change at the barn, this
D. All students, regardless of age, will wear a properly fitting ASTM/SEI certified riding
helmet. Should a student report for their lesson without their helmet, no riding
will be done that day.
E. Hair should be kept neat and in control, meaning either braided, bunned or tied in
F. Students may wear either full or half-chaps (“gaiters”) if desired. This is not a requirement.
F. Female students are strongly encouraged to wear a sports bra suitable to their bust
size to avoid discomfort.
1. All tools, including but not limited to, pitch forks, shovels, brooms, rakes, etc.
must be hung up or placed in the provided tool bin when you’re finished. In
addition, all hoses will be neatly hung up.
2. All tack and grooming products will be wiped down and properly/neatly stored upon
3. Aisle-way, stall-way and grooming areas must be swept before departure.
4. All pasture and stall gates are to remain closed and chained at all times, especially the feed room.
5. No one under 16 years of age is permitted in the tack/feed area unless permitted/supervised
by an adult.
6. Children ages 12 to 16 are not permitted in the pasture or stalls with horses without
an adult present. Children under the age of 12 are never permitted in the pasture
or stalls with horses. Children under 12 must be supervised at all times.
7. No dogs are permitted at the farm.
8. No smoking is permitted within 20 feet
of the barn’s perimeter. All smokers must pick up their own butts. Anyone who violates this rule, even once, will be banned from the property.
9. All riders must wear an ASTM/SEI-approved helmet when
10. Stall waste and manure may only be dumped at the approved pile. NO BALING TWINE OR OTHER TRASH! Regular trash and any baling
twine should be placed in the provided trash bags.
11. Pick up and properly dispose of all piles if your horse poops anywhere outside of
the pasture or stall. Muck buckets are strategically placed for this purpose
if a wheelbarrow is not available.
12. Do not feed any horse anything. If a
student desires their horse to have a treat, the treat will be added to the horse’s evening grain. The only acceptable treats are: sugar-free peppermints, apples and carrots.
13. No riding or hand-grazing in the hay field.
14. Riding or handling other boarders’ horse(s) is strictly forbidden.
15. All riders must sign the Waiver of Liability provided at the stable.
16. All riders will abide by the Dress Code.
17. Parents/guardians will be expected to stay in attendance during the entire lesson
time. There will be no “drop-offs.”
18. Attending parents/guardians will not interfere with any lesson or “help”
the student in their required tasks. (If the parent wishes to participate in
part of a lesson [i.e., grooming], a $10 Learner Fee will be charged.)
NOTE: Parents/guardians are more than welcome to watch
the lesson. However, viewers are expected to remain silent. Failure to abide by this rule, will result in only one courtesy warning by the Instructor. Repeated violation will result in the viewer being restricted to a lawn chair in the tack room, with a
book/magazine and the radio.
19. Vehicles should be parked to the side, away from the main barn entrance so as not
to block the tractor and other farm machinery/equipment. (We recommend keeping vehicle windows closed, lest a barn kitty try to go home with you.)
20. Do not feed the barn cats, goats or geese.
21. General visitors or friends of students are not permitted at the barn. Should siblings have to accompany the student/parent, they must be supervised at all times, be well behaved
and follow the rules.
22. Free-range of the farm property is strictly forbidden.