South Anchorage's Affordable Horse Boarding and Stables
A righteous man has regard for the life of his animal… Proverbs 12:10
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.