29 Wescott Road Enfield, NH 03748  603-632-1011

Riding Lessons

Lesson with Heidi Tashi on Cutie

First Choice Riding Academy offers a full lesson program from beginners who have never been on a horse to advanced riders who have been riding most of their lives. Our teaching is rooted in dressage, but we also offer jumping and combined training. Our trainers are happy to work with adults, as well as children, 6 years old and up. We have the best school horses around from beginner horses to more advanced horses that have been active show horses and really know their job in the show ring.

  

Lesson Fees

Type Length Number of
Riders
Non-Owned
Horse Rate*
Owned
Horse Rate
Plus Tacking
Assistance
Intro/Evaluation 60 minutes 1 $40 $35 included
Private 30 minutes 1 $45 $40 $25
Full private 45-55 minutes 1 $65 $60  
Semi private 50 minutes 2 $55 $50  
Group 60 minutes 3-5 $40 $35 $15
Practice ride on school horse       $30  
        rates updated January 2013

Includes $5 fee for use of First Choice school horse or training project horse.

Intro/Evaluation Lesson

All riders begin the lesson program in an introductory or evaluation lesson. This lesson is an hour long and only about 15 minutes of this is on the horse. In this lesson, we will explain the expectations of the farm as well as show the rider where things are kept. We will show you how we tack up a horse. From there, we go into a custom riding program. First time riders stay on the "lunge line" until they are able to post at the trot. Riders must earn their reins and once they have done that, they learn to steer. When the rider is capable of steering independently and we feel they would be safe in a group, they are invited to join one. Groups are made up of 3-5 riders and happen weekly. Riders who come to us able to ride utilize the evaluation lesson to show us what they can do and then we place them in a suitable lesson.

Tacking Assistance

We offer a special lesson for those who are not yet confident in the barn and don't have a horsey parent to help. This lesson starts 20 minutes before your ride time. You will be met by the Safety Specialist and she will help you learn all of the steps of preparing for your lesson. Once your horse is tacked up, the Safety Specialist will send you into the arena for your riding lesson and then greet you after your ride to help you put your horse and tack away. This is a super opportunity for those who are under 10, or for those who want a little more help for the first few lessons until they feel comfortable on their own. These lessons are set up on special days and make your child's time at the barn not only fun, but very safe and well supervised, as well as much more relaxing for mom and dad.

What to Wear

For Lessons

At First Choice Riding Academy, we have high standards of respect for the horse and safety in everything we do, including our dress code. We also understand that not everyone learns to ride for competition, so we have devised a required dress code that keeps that in mind. It is important that when one decides what to wear to the farm we remember that the sport of riding is documented from before 460 BC, so we ask that riders stay conservative in their dress.

We expect that the rider's top completely cover the rider's body and that they have short sleeves or longer. A fall in a tank top can result in an abrasion that a short sleeve can prevent.

First time students need to come to the farm wearing long pants and shoes with a heel of about 1 inch or more. We have found that shoes with a smooth sole are more conducive for riding as the foot is easily re-adjusted in the stirrup when needed. Some of the winter boots that kids have are better than hiking boots, however in the first lessons it is fine to wear what is in the closet at home.

Ceci at Jumping lesson

We provide helmets at the farm, so you don't need to purchase one until you or your child know that they will in fact enjoy this sport. Once you or your child have had a couple of lessons, we encourage you to go to the tack shop and purchase a helmet, riding pants, and a pair of riding boots. If the rider is 12 or younger, we recommend paddock boots, and over 12, we encourage tall boots.

When you are ready to make some of your first horse-related purchases, we suggest that you go to a tack shop rather than buy online. A tack shop has a lot of information that you may find helpful and their staff wants to help you find the right stuff. Two of the ones closest to us are Strafford Saddlery and Farm-Way. You don't have to buy the most expensive stuff to be perfectly outfitted. Find comfortable purchases, the fancy stuff can come later!

If your child is progressing to the level of jumping, we suggest making a jumping vest one of the first expensive purchases. Although we don't yet require a vest for jumping, we strongly suggest it. It is inevitable that a rider will come off a horse. When jumping, they can land on the jump as well, so we cannot stress enough that the addition of a jumping vest is a very good purchase.

For Shows

Lexie at dressage showWhen the students gets to the point where they want to show, we ask that they either rent show clothes from us or that you purchase the correct outfit. We have a multitude of coats that you may rent for our home shows and even for some of the away shows. We don't have as many riding shirts and breeches, so those are good items to purchase. For the introductory rider, you can go to Dover Saddlery or State Line Tack for a package deal. For the rider who is showing at the higher levels, Heidi takes a buying trip with riders during the April vacation to help with purchases.

For Clinics

When riders are of the level to go to clinics with outside trainers, we ask that they dress in tan breeches, tall polished boots, and a white polo shirt. If the clinic is in the winter, then a white long sleeved shirt and a riding vest or sweater are appropriate.

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Of course, we are happy to help direct you in the direction that is right for you. As many clients will gladly say, Heidi has a required look in mind. If you have questions, please email Heidi or ask your trainer, we are happy to help.

Scheduling and Cancellation Policy

To schedule a lesson, please call the farm at (603)632-1011 and leave a message or email Heidi. We try to get everyone onto a reliable weekly schedule. We also ask that lessons be paid one month in advance on or before the first of the month. Reminders are posted including the amount due in order to make this easy for you. If you know that you won't be able to attend a class, we ask that you make that class up in the month which it was originally scheduled. If you are going away on vacation, we ask you to let us know in the memo of your check so that we can make other arrangements for that lesson time and we don't ask for payment for that lesson. If you have to cancel your lesson and you contact us by noon the day before your lesson, we will happily try to find a place to reschedule you during that month. If you do not call by the noon deadline, then we will expect you the next week, but we will not be able to reschedule your missed lesson.

Rules

We all know how fun horses are, but rules are necessary to keep the horses, riders and trainers safe. Copies of our farm's rules are posted and are available in the viewing room. Please learn them and feel free to ask your trainer if you have any questions.

New Student Application

Applications can be filled out at the barn before the lesson or click below to print one out at home and bring with you.

Application/Liability Release (PDF)