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General Questions

Do you rent your horses out?

Since we are a teaching stable, we do not rent our horses out for the general public. We do, however, have lesson horses that may be used for our students–whether they are new or existing–who do not own or lease a horse to lesson on. 

I don't really want to lesson. What else can I do?

Unless you own or lease a horse, you must ride a lesson horse. To ride a lesson horse, you must be in a lesson or other instructor-facilitated event. If you don’t wish to lesson (or ride), we do have a host of volunteer activities available for those who would rather work from the ground. 

Lessons

What can I expect of my first lesson?

Your first riding lesson will be a one-on-one session with your riding instructor . It will consist of a tour of the barn area, a basic introduction to horses, safety, grooming and everything you’ll need to know to get ready to ride! You may expect approximately 30 minutes of mounted instruction. The mounted portion of the lesson is tailored to make you comfortable with your horse and learn the basics of stopping, moving forward, and turning. Don’t expect to be jumping the first day! As you improve your riding skills, you will have the choice to move to lessoning with a peer group – people who match yourself in age and/or skill level. You should always plan to arrive half an hour before the lesson starts to get your horse ready to ride.

What should I wear to a lesson?
Long pants and closed toed shoes with a one inch heel are required for safety. Dress for the weather – layers are advised! Loaner helmets are available; however, if you decide to ride regularly, it is recommended that you purchase your own riding attire. If you or your child use assistive devices that do not allow for wearing of boots, please let us know before the lesson.

How do I fit a riding helmet?
A riding helmet generally fits properly if:

  • there is no more than one or two finger widths between the rider’s eyebrows and the helmet
  • without the harness buckled, you can shake your head and/or look down at the ground and the helmet does not fall off. (We call this the “achoo” test. If you can “achoo” like a sneeze and the helmet doesn’t move, it fits!)
  • the harness is snug against your chin with no obvious gaping.

When will I be trotting/cantering/jumping?
Generally, it takes several lessons before a rider is completely comfortable riding the horse independently just at a walk. Depending on the rider, it may take anywhere from a few lessons to several months to be able to trot independently; this holds true for cantering and jumping as well. In addition to trying to remember all the new things you are learning, you also have to build up muscle strength and memory. Learning to ride requires that you be proficient and safe with each new skill before you can move on to the next. Each rider is different, and time is an essential component of the learning process. We make every effort to ensure that the rider is secure in each skill before we progress to the next step.

Therapuetic Horseback Riding

Is therapeutic riding the same as hippotherapy?

Therapeutic horseback riding is not hippotherapy. In hippotherapy, the client is not taught to ride the horse; the horse’s movement is used as a tool in a therapy session by a physical therapist, occupational therapist, or speech pathologist. While Trinity Farm does not provide hippotherapy, we are happy to coordinate with your therapist or doctor to get the most out of your lessons.

Do you offer hippotherapy?

We do not currently offer hippotherapy. However, we are happy to coordinate with your or your child’s therapist, social worker, doctor, or school/IEP plan to make sure that we are getting the most out of each session.

What is equine assisted learning?

Equine facilitated learning uses the horse to teach unmounted skills or knowledge. It might be horse related – observing what the horse eats in the paddock, helping prepare feed for the day and then researching supplements and grain online and writing a report – or non-horse related – encouraging the student read a book to the horse to encourage literacy. It could be a lesson in confidence, leading the horse over an obstacle course.

What does a therapeutic horseback riding lesson look like?
A therapeutic riding session might not look any different from a typical or traditional riding lesson. The instructor might simply be more aware of physical limitations if the rider has an impairment, disability or condition such as arthritis, cerebral palsy, or cancer or adjust teaching methods as needed for someone who is autistic or Deaf.

A therapeutic riding session might look very different, with leaders and sidewalkers for each rider. But while lessons might look different, the essence is the same for all of our riders regardless of age, ability level, or inclusion in the therapeutic riding program. Generally, instructors will be working towards big picture objectives and goals, whether you want to trail ride with your family, be able to post a trot, jump a course, or simply be able to ride with minimal fatigue for a whole half hour session.

What benefits can one receive from riding and equine assisted activities?
Physical benefits can include greater muscle strength, tone, and coordination – sitting on a horse is strenuous work. Because of the nature of horseback riding itself, sessions also naturally include work with both fine and gross motor skills, proprioceptive input, and sequencing. There is also a bond that grows between horse and rider; horseback riding tends to grow confidence and build independent skills – and it’s fun!
Does insurance cover therapeutic riding?
Insurance coverage varies widely. Some insurances cover therapeutic riding, some only cover hippotherapy, and some do not cover equine therapy at all. Please call your insurance and ask about your coverage! We will make every effort to help you provide the necessary documentation to your insurance provider.
What if I don’t want to be in the therapeutic riding program but have a physical issue that may affect my riding?
Our therapeutic riding program does not operate separately from our lesson program; all of our riders are included in as many activities as they wish to participate in. If you have a condition or disability that could have a precaution or contraindication for horseback riding, we will ask for an evaluation from your doctor or physical therapist. However, because we do offer therapeutic riding lessons, we are an ideal facility for someone who may be cautious about getting into horseback riding because of an older injury, mobility issue, or degenerative condition.