Our break down of Horseback Riding Levels

 Help us know your real riding level by telling us your actual experience and comfort level based on the descriptions below to ensure your safety and care of the horse.
Important note: years of riding does not translate to an automatic predetermined level; neither does owning your own horse

Our break down of Horseback Riding Levels


Let me start by saying your guides/ instructors will do their best to guide you through the learning process, but YOU must be patient, please do not blame your horse! The horses know what they are doing, you may not. Your horses will do their best to comply with what may be clumsy and inconsistent requests from YOU.  You will be instructed to sit up straight. Please, No slouching or allowing your shoulders to roll forward, stay balanced in the center of your saddle, keep your heels down and your toes up while the ball of your foot is on the stirrup( Picture yourself standing on the edge of a step with the ball of your foot.  Now drop your heel down to the lower step while keeping the ball of your foot on the original step, this is what you will be doing).  We will go over all of this when you are mounted on your horse.

<>The PRE-BEGINNER rider is someone who is totally inexperienced with horses and needs to learn about them from the ground up.  They  must learn basic rein and leg aids. You will be given horses who will calmly tolerate riding errors. Mark: B-

<>The BEGINNER is learning to follow the horse's movements, move with the horse, and not interfere with the horse by sitting off balance or using the reins to balance oneself.  They have knowledge of the basic rein and leg aids at this point and can control a quiet horse at a walk. The beginner rider slows down and walks if he/she feels they are losing their balance at the trot. One will remain a beginner until he/she has developed the balance and confidence to do a controlled Posting Trot and be able to stop at any given moment. You will be given horses who will calmly tolerate some riding errors.  Mark: B

The BEGINNER PLUS is balanced with the horse at the walk and can perform a balanced posting trot as to not bounce on the horse’s back or interfere with the horse’s mouth all while maintaining the proper 1-2 rhythm. They have knowledge of the basic rein and leg aids, possess at least an aware seat, meaning they must be able to post a trot, sit a trot without bouncing, and ride a short canter.  He/she will remain a beginner plus until one has developed the balance and confidence to lope or canter the horse in a controlled manner. Mark: B+

The INTERMEDIATE is learning to put a trained school-horse through its paces, and can ask correctly for walk, trot, canter, and halt. They can get from the horse what someone else has put into it in terms of training and conditioning.   They are able to ask accurately for transitions between gaits and be comfortable in all 3 gaits. The horses at this level are light, willing and sensitive. These horses will NOT tolerate riding errors.   If you are having troubles with your horse then chances are it is due to rider error!  If you say you are an intermediate rider you should be able to keep your horse from stopping to eat.  If that is not the case you may want to reconsider your riding level. Intermediate riders are expected to know how to Direct rein. Mark: INT.

The EXPERIENCED Rider is able get from a horse everything that is in a horse’s ability. The horses at this level are very light, willing and sensitive. Horses at this level will NOT accept riding errors. Riders at this level may be offered mounts that are younger and more spirited as well as other more refined and challenging horses.  If you do not want a horse of this level please be sure to inform our staff prior to your arrival or drop yourself down a level. Experienced riders are expected to know how to Direct rein. Mark: EXP.

The ADVANCED rider  usually rides more than one horse on a regular basis and can ride correctly using their seat and legs. The horses at this level are very light, willing and sensitive. Horses at this level will NOT tolerate riding errors. Often advanced riders may be offered mounts that are younger and more spirited as well as other more refined and challenging horses. If you do not want a horse of this level please be sure to inform our staff prior to your arrival or drop yourself down a level. Advanced riders are expected to know how to Direct rein. Mark: ADV.

Frequently Asked Questions:

What sets your services apart?
As family owner/operators, and residents at this farm, we have a direct stake in ensuring that your experience here be the safest and most enjoyable possible.  It’s a lifestyle choice!  The beautiful setting and trails here speak for themselves.  We work hard to keep the horseback rides small sending your reservation out with your own private guide.  We only use strong, sound horses, and hear many favorable comments about their excellent condition.  The skilled guides who work here know how to set horses and people at ease, and are trained to prioritize safety. Their services are a central asset, of course we think they’re the best guides around!

Are gratuities appropriate?            
Although certainly optional, your guides always appreciate a tip in recognition of skilled, attentive private service.

Do you have gift certificates available?
Yes, we offer gift certificates in any amount, which you are welcome to pick up here, or simply send a check with a self-addressed envelope and we can mail one anywhere.

Do you have a weight limit?
Yes, we do but we do not like to post it.  We must have the truthful weight of each rider who is above average; if you are in doubt, please err on the side of overestimation. If upon arrival the riders are of questionable weight, we have a scale on-site. If a rider is too large for the horse reserved, they may not be able to ride since there may be no large substitutes available. To avoid possible embarrassment please be honest!  Larger riders must ride the larger and taller horses. Our horses do not carry more than 20% of their body weight and that includes their tack.

Do you get a refund if you back out when you arrive for a ride? We don't want you to ride if you are frightened. Horseback riding should be fun and enjoyable. However, we have reserved your horse for you,turned away other riders, tacked up your horse specifically for you.  Therefore, we ask that you pay for your ride if you back out or only take part of the ride.

What about bad weather, do you ride?
We ride rain or shine and are open all year round.  If you decide not to ride please call to cancel at least 3 hours in advance.  Please respect our horses and staff and provide them with enough time for cancellations, don't wait until the last minute and please don't be so ignorant as to not show without canceling.

Will I get my full ride if I arrive late?
Chances are no!  If you arrive late and we allow you to take the full length ride we will run late for the next party.  It is also not fair for our staff to work after hours because of your late arrival.  This is why we ask that you arrive 20 minutes early to allow us enough time to do our part and get you on your horses and out for your scheduled ride.  Yes, there are emergencies sometimes and we understand that and can work with you if we get a phone call no later than 1 hour prior to your scheduled ride. Again if we receive  a phone call in advance of the time you are due to be here we will do our best to accommodate your full ride. 

Important Information:
1.    A liability release must be read and signed by all riders or their legal guardians before the ride.
Arrive 15-20 minutes early to read and sign releases and for minors to be fitted with a helmet.

2.    All riders are recommended to wear long pants and sneakers. No sandals, open toed shoes, open backed shoes, high heels, hiking or construction boots. Hiking and construction boots will get caught in the stirrups therefore are not safe to ride in. Cowboy boots should only be worn if they are not smooth on the bottom. The stirrup is to be placed on the ball of the foot not the arch/heel of the foot.

3.    All riders must follow the guides' instructions throughout the ride. Failure to follow instructions can result in immediate termination of your ride without a refund. These instructions are for your safety and enjoyment of riding our beloved horses.

4.    We will travel at the pace of the least experienced rider in your reservation. Do not ask if we can “Run” the horses. This will be an automatic giveaway that you are not a horse person.  Safety comes first so we will work with your riders but will only travel at the pace that is safe for everyone. We want everyone to be comfortable and enjoy their ride.

5.    We will trot if all riders are balanced in the saddle. All riders must be able to do a posting trot.

6.    We will only canter in small groups that are intermediate plus levels. All riders must be in full control and balance at all times.

7.   Heavier/ larger riders will stick to a walking pace.  The trail we use for larger riders is geared for the horses comfort and safety, it will not be the usual trail ride. Horses that are used for the larger riders are not built for fast riding. If we do not offer to trot or canter than Please respect our horses comfort and safety. 

8.    People who are very nervous about riding should not ride until they are comfortable around the horse. We recommend a visit with the horses, followed by a ride in the ring (which is a flat, closed-in arena), then a 1/2 hr. trail ride.

9.    Parties with young children should consider a riding lesson in the ring prior to riding on the trails. This will give us the chance to work with them on proper riding technique. The lesson and trail ride can be done back-to-back when pre-arranged.

Please arrive 15-20 minutes early to sign the liability release and to have minors (under 18 years of age) be fitted with a helmet.

We look forward to guiding you through scenic trails and providing a safe and enjoyable ride for all ages and experience levels.

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