Instruction is given in a positive but ‘matter-of-fact’ way so that students learn to become independent thinkers and problem solvers in the sport horse and working horse disciplines.
What does Starting Point Stables teach?
We teach much more than horse-back riding. Starting Point Stable’s niche is the beginner to intermediate level student that REALLY wants to have a solid foundation with no holes in their basic equestrian-education. We believe that everyone should become a well rounded horse-person and that is the basis of our equestrian educational program. After reading this information please visit the related links at the bottom of this page for more detailed reading on this subject and see our stable’s blog.
Horse Handling Students who become confident and skilled at handling a horse from the ground will be more confident in the saddle. Horse handling is more than leading a horse from point A to point B in order to ride the horse, ‘ground work’ is THE foundation where all other horsemanship learning builds from. The basic concepts of being able to give the horse clear directions, following a plan to get the horse to do a task, then evaluating the results are all started in ground work sessions.
Riding Education We focus on the dynamic, balanced seat – very useful for dressage, jumping, trail riding and working western disciplines. We use concepts from classical dressage, modern studies on biomechanics and having an understanding of horses as a species (behavior).
All lessons given on our school horses are in a balanced seat ‘all-purpose english saddle’ (we do not offer western tack or use flat close-contact type english saddles). Most people tend to find balanced, all-purpose, english saddles quite secure once they are introduced to the proper sitting position. These saddles are the most productive for doing seating exercises in on the lunge line (western saddles are too bulky for most seating exercise work).
We admire the following instructors / coaches and use similar methods and techniques in both our riding and ground work lessons;
- Lynn Palm – articles
- Sally Swift – Centered Riding®
- Susan Harris & Peggy Brown Anatomy In Motion™
- Cherry Hill Cherry Hills Horsekeeping©
Horse Care & Stable Management We focus on common sense, keeping up with the evolving horse care industry standards passed down by research facilities, vet schools and trustworthy trade publications.
We also have a ‘students only’ area of our website dedicated to posting lessons, and having conversations between students between lessons.
Over all our program never bullies or belittles a student through issues related to fear or lack of comprehension & skills. We build a students physical abilities and add to their knowledge level at their own pace. We strive for mutually respectful horse-human relations regardless of the task at hand, and that starts with friendly but meaningful instruction.
Accepting Students & Expectations
Starting Point Stables is a small facility, with a limited number of lesson horses and hours in which to teach. We only take on a small number of students and are very interested in catering to students who want to learn all aspects of horsemanship, not just riding.
5 -8 -2012
Due to an injury of our beginner pony we have suspended our group youth programs, and are only offering private lessons for students ages 10 – and older. We will remove this notice if and when there are any changes to the availability of the youth programs below.
- “Try It!” – all ages
- Private Riding Lessons for ages 12 to adults
- Intro to Ponies / Level 1, group for 4-8 year olds
- Kids Pony School / Level 2, group for 6 – 11 year olds
- Riders’ Academy / Level 3 group for students ages 10+
Students must be willing to be dedicated. Horseback riding is not a ‘quick return’ activity. It takes hours of dedicated and enthusiastic practice if you want to enjoy riding as a sport and progress. If you are interested in a short term ‘experience’ please see our “Try It!” program which would be suitable for birthdays, Scout badges, home school groups etc.
Students must be WILLING to get to or keep at a satisfactory personal level of physical fitness, for themselves and the horses they will be riding and caring for. This is a life style which involves constant activity! At this time we we only have small and medium sized horses in our lesson program and must restrict the size of our students to 225 pounds and/or 6ft tall (an 18″ english saddle). All students should have had a health screening from their doctor before starting horseback riding. Regretfully we can not offer riding instruction to to individuals with significant (moderate to extreme) mental or physical impairments. We do not have the facility nor the training for dedicated intense equine related hippothearpy.
- Purchase an ASTM-SEI certified Equestrian Riding Helmet ($45.00 and up)
- Purchase / wear proper equestrian footwear (paddock boots/shoes, riding sneakers/all terrains, leather tall boots – NO RUBBER TALL BOOTS PLEASE, and we prefer students not to wear cowboy boots that are loose and offer no ankle support)
- Wear appropriate riding clothes (Comfortable pants that do not pinch or rub, we do NOT suggest jeans, and any appropriate gender specific support or padded undergarments and a tidy shirt)
Each class has it’s own fee. Payment for each class is due at the time of class, payable in check (written out to Starting Point Stables) or in cash. No credit cards or electronic payments accepted.