Anchorage horse boarding

South Anchorage's Affordable Horse Boarding and Stables

A righteous man has regard for the life of his animal… Proverbs 12:10

Horseback Riding Lessons

Western Horsemanship Riding Lessons

We currently offer group and private horseback riding lessons.  Our lessons take place most frequently during Spring and Summer with a reduced schedule taking over in the Fall and Winter.   Our winter schedule primarily consists of clinics that are planned based on weather and riding conditions.

About our lessons

horseback riding lessons

Our Approach

 
Students are taught how to work with the horse on the ground in addition to riding. The relationship with the horse, how to communicate, building connections, and becoming a team are the primary building blocks from which more advanced riding can begin. Lessons progress from groundwork to learning how to control a horse while riding, improving coordination, balance, posture, muscle tone, confidence, and well-being. initially, the horse is handled by a handler and led through several gaits. The different movements of the horse challenge students to use different postural responses, thereby strengthening the rider’s muscles.

The foundation of our instruction is based on the curriculum, Horse Sense® Learning Levels®.  Achievements in horsemanship are measured each step of the way and celebrated as each student progresses!

What We Are Not

Our lessons are not formal clinical therapy or Equine-Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP) or hippotherapy. EAP u&lizes a lot of groundwork to help explore feelings, patterns, and behaviors with a goal to help in social, emotional, cognitive, and behavioral ways. Hippotherapy is an occupational/speech therapy using the gait of a horse to provide sensory input to help improve neurologic functions and sensory processes. We do not offer these services at this time.

We do not focus on Equine-Assisted Learning (EAL), however, students do develop a heightened self-awareness, learn how non-verbal communication can impact others, including their horse, and gain self-confidence as they learn how to work with large and powerful creatures.

How we teach

Lessons use a progression of Western Horsemanship Skills at various levels, from the beginner Pink Level to the proficient Blue Level. The Pink Level is an introductory level for young riders aged 4 through 7, who are not yet able to ride and care for a pony independently. Pink Level riders always practice their skills with the supervision and assistance of an instructor.

Beginning rider goals will include but are not limited to:

  • Basic Care (Grooming, cleaning stalls, feeding”
  • Learning basic parts of tack and the horse
  • Basic Groundwork
  • Mounting and dismounting
  • Balanced position, posture building blocks (eyes, hands, legs, seat)
  • Using aids to instruct your pony
  • Holding reins
  • Performing warm-up exercises at the walk
  • Performing walk-halt transitions
  • Perform maneuvers at a walk
  • Simple ground poles
  • Dropping and picking up stirrups without looking
western horsemanship riding lessons

Lesson Plans

A detailed lesson plan/goals for each level are provided once a student enrolls. All riding requirements must be met to progress to the next level, with the student demonstrating a safe, basic balanced position: heels down, eyes up, quiet hands, and a line running from the head through the shoulder and hip to the heel.

Required Equipment

Students are required to wear a helmet and boots. Adjustable helmets are available for use, or students are welcome to purchase their own helmets. Helmets can be purchased locally at MBarD or on Amazon. Boots are not available for use and need to be provided. Boots should have a 1” heel to help keep the foot from slipping through the stirrup. Students will not be able to ride without boots.

Graduation/Progression

Students are awarded ribbons and certificates of completion when they demonstrate skills at each level. Parents will be invited to a demonstration of their child’s skills in each ribbon ceremony. Children do best at gaining equine skills with repetition and consistent exposure balanced with steady, incremental progress, from success to success.

A little about expectations

Learning how to master the skills to be considered a proficient and safe rider takes practice.  LOTS of practice.  Truthfully, the learning never ends.

To give a little perspective, our instructor has nearly 50 years of experience riding in multiple disciplines, styles, and conditions.  Even as such, she still takes occasional lessons and continues her learning today.

As a student, no matter your level of experience, you will have good lesson days, GREAT lesson days, and days where it seems like nothing will jive between you, your horse, and the whole world.  Learning to become a safe, proficient rider requires time, lots of practice, and patience as you build your basics.  

You owe it to yourself, and your horse to do three things.  Have fun.  

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