Interested in getting started with us? Here's details:

Please note: we have very limited space for beginning riders, especially in Portola Valley. Feel free to contact us about availability--if we can fit you in, we will! If not, we'll try to recommend another barn for you...

THE LESSON ITSELF FOR ADULTS/CHILDREN 12 & OVER WHO ARE NEW TO HORSES
Lessons last 45 minutes, of which approximately 30 minutes is saddle time and 15 minutes is horsemanship time.  As you become more proficient at horsemanship, you’ll be able to do some of those tasks unattended.  Eventually, you’ll be able to get your horse ready on your own, put him away on your own, and ride off-leash (see below), then the riding portion of your lesson will often be longer than 30 minutes.

ATTIRE
Everyone must wear an SEI-approved safety helmet, specific to horseback riding.  As well, please wear breeches, paddock boots & half-chaps or tall dress boots, and gloves.  For your first few lessons, we can loan most of you a helmet and many of you paddock boots; you should wear long, comfortable pants and closed-toed shoes.  Please note:  if we do not have a helmet that fits your head comfortably and safely, you will not be able to ride until you have your own, correctly fitting, helmet..

YOUR FITNESS LEVEL
We’re going to have to ask you some questions about your body and your life:  how old are you, how tall are you, how much do you weigh, what is your current exercise program, do you have any physical/mental issues that could make horseback riding more difficult?  We ask them so that we can make sure that we have a horse that can carry you safely.  We want you to be aware that riding is a physical activity with associated risks:  to be safe on a horse, you need to be fit enough and coordinated enough to mount and dismount easily, as well as to perform a “flying” dismount.  For most people, if you are able to do a forward roll, the first half of backward roll and a T-stand with each leg, you will be fit enough to ride safely.  If you aren’t certain, be sure to ask us about this before you come.

PAYING FOR THE FIRST LESSON/CANCELLING THE FIRST LESSON
You will give Pamela your credit card information to secure that first lesson.  We have a 48-hour cancellation policy, with some exceptions: (1) if we have to cancel because of weather or other unforeseen circumstances, of course you don’t have to pay and (2) if you are sick or there is another emergency, we may waive the 48-hour period and (3) if, at the time of the lesson itself, we feel that we cannot safely put you on a horse, you have the option to take a dismounted, horsemanship lesson or get a full refund.

LESSON PRICES

Lessons are $90 . 5-lesson packages cost $375. Please note that all prices are subject to change without notice.

 

 

BEGINNERS' LESSONS

FROM BEGINNER TO INTERMEDIATE RIDER AT SEVEN OAKS FARM (and for anyone who has been away from horses long enough to need reminders about horsemanship tasks):

All lessons last 45 minutes.

Here’s how the first lessons are organized:
The first 5 minutes would be spent learning to halter & lead your horse.
The next 5-10 minutes would be spent observing your instructor groom & tack up your horse.
The next 25-30 minutes would be spent learning to mount, dismount, do an emergency dismount, do an emergency stop, balance/grip with your body correctly in the saddle at the walk and trot.
The final 5 minutes would be spent observing your instructor put your horse away (untack, groom, lead back to stall)

Once you are able to halter & lead & cross-tie your horse safely without any help from your instructor, you would be allowed to arrive at the barn 5 minutes before your lesson started and bring your horse from the stall to the cross-tie (grooming) area without supervision. 

Then, the next lessons usually proceed:
The first 5 minutes would be spent learning to curry & brush.
The next 5 minutes would be spent observing your instructor finish grooming & tack up your horse.
The next 30 minutes would be in the saddle, continuing to work on your mounted skills, on a lunge-line (a long rope attached to the horse’s mouth that your instructor holds on to, to help you control your horse).
The final 5 minutes would be spent observing your instructor put your horse away.

Once you are able to curry & brush your horse safely without any help from your instructor, you would be allowed to arrive at the barn 10 minutes before your lesson started and bring your horse from the stall to the cross-tie (grooming) area without supervision, then curry & brush him. 

Then, the next set of lessons:
The first 5 minutes would be spent learning to pick out the horse’s front feet.
The next 5 minutes would be spent observing your instructor finish grooming & tack up your horse.
The next 30 minutes would be spent in the saddle, working on your mounted skills, most likely still on the lunge.
The final 5 minutes would be spent observing your instructor put your horse away.)

Once you are able to pick out your horse’s front feet safely without any help from your instructor, you would be allowed to arrive at the barn 10 minutes before your lesson started and bring your horse from the stall to the cross-tie (grooming) area without supervision, then curry & brush him, then pick out his front feet.

Then, the next set of lessons:
The first 5 minutes would be spent learning to saddle your horse.
The next 5 minutes would be spent observing your instructor finish grooming & tack up your horse.
The next 30 minutes would be spent in the saddle, working on your mounted skills, most likely still on the lunge.
The final 5 minutes would be spent observing your instructor put your horse away.

Once you are able to saddle your horse without any help from your instructor, you would be allowed to arrive at the barn 15 minutes before your lesson started and do everything for your horse except pick out his hind feet & bridle him.

Then, the next lessons:
The first 5 minutes would be spent learning to pick out your horse’s hind feet and put his bridle on.
The next 30 minutes would be spent in the saddle, working on your mounted skills, most likely still on the lunge.
The next 5 minutes would be spent learning to untack (tack off saddle &  bridle) your horses.
The final 5 minutes would be spent observing your instructor finish putting your horse away.

Once you are able to completely groom & tack up your horse without any help from your instructor, you would be allowed to arrive at the barn 15-20 minutes before your lesson started.  You would be ready to enter the arena with your horse at the beginning of your lesson.

Then, the next lessons:
The first 35 minutes would be spent in the saddle, working on your mounted skills.  By now, you would probably be working specifically on the skills needed to be safe off the lunge.  You would also learn basic arena geometry and lesson patterns , so that you would be able to join a small group lesson .
The final 10 minutes would be spent learning to clean your tack and making sure that you were able to untack and wipe down your horse by yourself.
You would be allowed to put your own horse back in his stall after the end of the lesson.

After this last series of lessons, you would ready to ride “off leash” and join small group lessons.

How many lessons for each section depends entirely on the individual.