Interested in getting started with us? Here's details:
Please note: our lessons for beginning riders almost always take place at our Gilroy/San Juan Bautista (SJB) facility until riders are ready to join our beginner group lessons in Portola Valley (PV). If you need help with grooming and tacking, expect to start out in SJB. If you are able to post the trot without stirrups or do a flying dismount, expect to start out in PV.
THE LESSON ITSELF
Lessons 30-90 minutes, depending on the nature of the lesson and the number of students in the lesson; lessons usually include both saddle time and 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, then you'll probably be ready to join beginner groups in either PV or SJB.
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.