Fallowfield Stables offers lessons in Hunt Seat Equitation. ‘Great,’ you say, ‘But what the heck does that mean?’
Hunt seat is a form of English riding. That means we use the saddles without the big handle on the front (aka a ‘saddle horn’). Hunt seat is handle-free for a good reason: it tends to really get in the way when you’re going over a jump. The focus in hunt seat riding is on jumping horses over various “natural” type obstacles at a controlled, rhythmic pace. Hunt seat, also known as hunters, is the most popular English discipline, primarily because although you’re asking a 1000lb animal to leap through the air over things, you’re not trying to reach extreme speeds or even extreme heights while doing it. Hunters is not easier than other equestrian activities, but we do like to think it’s a little bit safer.
Ok, so now you kind of understand what hunt seat is, but what about that other part, ‘equitation’? Equitation, as defined by Wikipedia and most of the horse books on my shelf, is the art or practice of horse riding or horsemanship. That probably doesn't help you out much, so let’s try that in English this time: equitation is using your body to communicate with the horse in the most effective way possible. While that sounds easy enough, equitation really is an art form. Most upper level riders don’t achieve greatness until middle-age, because it can take a long time to get really good at riding. But don’t scrap your Olympic dreams just yet. There are a lot of steps on the road to becoming a great horseman (we don’t have horsemen and horsewomen in our sport, because it’s the only Olympic sport where everyone competes together regardless of gender) and we’re here to provide you with a solid road map.
At Fallowfield our schedule primarily revolves around group lessons. Private lessons are reserved for inexperienced riders or students working on a specific issue with their horse. Group lessons are an hour long and consist of 2-5 riders of a similar age and skill level. This means that adults ride with adults and kids ride with kids. Our goal is to provide a safe and fun environment for you to advance your skills. Group lessons are an hour long and private lessons are 30 minutes. All riders are expected to arrive about 30 minutes before their lesson time to groom and tack up their horse, then stay an additional 15 minutes after the lesson to cool out their horse and put them away. New riders will have assistance with caring for their horse until they feel ready to manage on their own. We have a large selection of school horses that suit all levels of riders, so having your own horse is definitely not necessary to take riding lessons. The only must have is a pair of paddock or field boots (way cheaper than a horse and no mucking required). Lessons can be purchased at the farm with a check or cash. If you prefer to pay with credit card, you can do so by clicking here.
Ready to ride? Looking for a barn tour or more info first? Feel free to use the lesson sign-up form below! You’re guaranteed to get a reply within 24 hours, although Facebook has conditioned me to reply as quickly as possible, so don't be surprised if you have an unread email about 2 seconds after you hit send. It’s my super power.