When conditions are safe, I lead small groups on local trails to practice safe and fun ways to enjoy riding out in nature. These lessons focus on trail safety and etiquette, handling your horse out in the open, and de-spooking your horse around unfamiliar objects.
For horses with little or no trail experience, I start with arena lessons and progress to the trail with just that horse/owner pair. When ready to join a group, these lessons have a maximum of six horses, including one that I ride. Beginner rides last 1.5 – 2 hours, while more advanced rides take 3 – 4 hours.
Each trail lesson begins with introductions where riders share a brief description of each horse’s typical behavior on the trail. During the lesson, we stop whenever needed to address any training issues that arise. Goals and speed for each ride are tailored to the specific horses and riders present. Typical obstacles we encounter include bridges, water, bikers, hikers, dogs, wildlife, and trails with drop-offs on one side. For more advanced riders, lessons may include loping, more technically challenging terrain, and jumping. Those who need groundwork or lungeing before the lesson need to finish before the lesson starts, either at home or before the other riders saddle up at the trailhead.
Ride locations vary and are open to request. Trailer pooling is encouraged to save gas and for people who don’t have trailers and wouldn’t be able to join us otherwise.
For new clients, you must take at least one private lesson with me before your first trail lesson so I can evaluate your riding ability and your horse’s general behavior. This helps me place you in an appropriate group to maintain the safety of everyone on the ride.