Riding Lessons

Learning to ride develops skills that positively nurture the rider for all aspects of life.

Lesson Structure

Bookmark’s premier hunt seat lesson program emphasizes the classical seat and is suited for beginners and experienced riders alike, ages three and up. Each student receives instruction based on individual abilities and goals. We want every student’s experience to be educational, enjoyable and safe. Lessons are taught in private, semi-private or group formats. In order to maintain consistent progress, we encourage students to ride in at least one lesson per week, usually scheduled at the same day and time each week.

Our insulated indoor arena allows lessons to continue year round regardless of the weather. It is located in the main barn and is easily viewed from our heated observation room.

Each rider receives instruction based on their personal ability and initially, this is best accomplished in private lessons. As students advance, instructors may suggest semi-private (two riders) or group lessons (three or more riders). For young beginning riders, half-hour private lessons offer an opportunity to get started riding without a great time or cost commitment.

Our school horses are well trained, sound and schooled regularly. They receive very regular vet, shoeing and dental care, vitamins and supplements, as well as massage and chiropractic treatments. Our first consideration in matching horses and students is ability level and what that particular horse/pony can teach a student.

 

Lesson Costs 

Half-hour Private: $50
Grooming and tacking will be done by Bookmark staff. The half hour lesson is primarily devoted to riding. This format is most appropriate for younger or very beginning students.

Hour-long lessons include training in grooming, tacking and the cooling out process.
One Hour Private: $70
One Hour Semi-Private: $60
One Hour Group: $55 

 

Lesson Payment Policy

Lessons are paid in advance each month (four or five weeks) to ensure a student’s weekly time slot. We accept cash, personal check, MC and Visa. There is a $15 fee charged for returned checks. If a lesson must be cancelled, charges will still b e applied but students should contact their instructor within six weeks to schedule a make-up lesson. 

FAQ

My child loves horses! How can I get her involved?

Bookmark Farms has a variety of options for parents whose children express an interest in horses! Weekly riding lessons are for those kids ready to commit to learning to ride. Riding lessons are great for kids who like coming to the barn year round and it is the best way to truly progress and build riding skills. For small children we offer “mini” riding lessons (15 minutes in length). These lessons are good “orientation lessons” and are usually scheduled during the day while older kids are at school. Our summer day camps are packed with information about safety, caring for horses, daily riding, and of course, fun at the stable with other kids. In the Fall, our Sunday Pony Rides program is great for families to drop in and let their child get in the saddle for a lead-around ride.

Would Bookmark Farms take me as a student?

Bookmark Farms has a variety of lesson horses suited to the beginning adult or the experienced equestrian. Likewise, our instructors, being experienced teachers and skilled equestrians themselves, are qualified to teach all levels of adult riders. No matter what the age, we have started or continued adult riders in pursuing their equestrian goals. Whether you are interested in showing and jumping, looking for a new fitness challenge, overcoming fears, or wanting to partner and bond with a friendly lesson horse at Bookmark Farms, we welcome the adult rider.

May I start riding lessons with a group or in semi-private lessons?

Bookmark Farms requires most new students, regardless of age or skill level, to begin lessons in one-on-one, private instruction. For safety reasons, our instructors believe it is of the utmost importance give new students their undivided attention. Instructors may decide a student is ready to ride with others when the rider is physically ready and able to keep full control of their horse under a variety of situations.

How long does it take to learn to jump?

There are many factors that go into the progress of a student’s riding ability. The short answer is that Bookmark Farms requires students to be able to canter and execute transitions and turns with their feet out of the irons (the stirrups) before beginning their jumping training. When a student acquires these abilities, the instructors will allow them to begin jumping low cross rails. Important to note: New riding students will work on jumping position and body readiness (balance and strength) during their very first lesson!

My child has been riding for six months. Why isn’t she progressing more quickly?

Children progress at different paces and there are a variety of reasons for this. More importantly, parents should take into account the actual time in the saddle that a child receives when riding once a week. If a child takes half-hour lessons, she is riding two hours per month. At most, a child taking weekly hour-long lessons may be in the saddle for five hours in one month. We understand the cost of riding lessons may be prohibitive to riding more than once per week. Have patience with your young rider. As with any new skill, progress tends to come in spurts. Also, consider enrolling your child in a week of riding camp. The repetition of riding every day (even if only for a week) gives campers a great advantage in making good progress.