About Lessons

Weekly Group Lessons - Ages 9 to Adult

Year-round group lessons on our schooling horses, for beginners to advanced, in 5-week sessions for ages 9 through adult. We ride inside our insulated arena or outside in one of two outdoor rings, throughout our pastures and on trails around adjacent farm fields. See Class Level Descriptions.

Pee Wees - Ages 7 & 8

Pee Wee classes, for ages 7 & 8, and for some 9-11-year-olds who can't make our Junior Beginner times, are held about twice a month at various times.

Visit a Lesson

Before you register, we encourage you to visit the ranch to watch a lesson and make certain our group lessons and teaching methods are right for you. No need to let us know you are coming if you make sure to view our Session Calendar and Class Times pages.

Weekly Class Level Descriptions

JUNIOR BEGINNERS
Class size: Up to 10
Description: The horses are tacked (in English saddles) and ready for the students when they arrive. Forty-five minute lessons are in the ring and on the trail and include simple and fun exercises that promote confidence in controlling the horse. Students will learn how to untack the horse and put it back out.
Appropriate for:

BEGINNERS
Description: One hour lessons (with English or western saddles) focus on posture, gaining a balanced seat and steering and controlling the horse through various gaits. New riders learn how to halter, lead, groom and tack the horse. Riding in our indoor and outdoor arenas and out on trails, bareback riding, games on horseback, and time for questions may all be a part of the session.
Appropriate for:

ADVANCED BEGINNER/ INTERMEDIATE
Class size: Up to 12
Description: The focus at this level is on refining balance, posture and using aids correctly. Lessons may include dressage exercises, ground pole work, games and riding on the trail.
Appropriate for:

INTERMEDIATE/ADVANCED, DRESSAGE, JUMPING
Appropriate for: New students with extensive experience, or continuing WRR students, who have developed an independent seat and hands and are able to positively effect the way of going on a variety of horses. Riders will be able to do half halts, transitions within gaits and lateral movements.

Fitness Guidelines

Learning to properly ride and control a horse takes strength, coordination and flexibility. Those considering our group lessons should be in good to excellent physical condition. Overweight or weak riders are at higher risk of falling off and injury. We reserve the right to refuse or terminate lessons based on fitness level or other safety factors. For those in the process of getting back into shape or those with other physical limitations, we recommend private lessons at another facility. (Find private lesson stables on the Minnesota Horsemen's Directory.)

How Much Weight Can a Horse Carry?

A horse can carry about 20% of its own weight, including tack. (English tack weighs 15-30 pounds; western tack up to 50 pounds), A horse can handle a heavier experienced, well-balanced rider but we limit beginner riders to 210 pounds for our string of schooling horses (weighing an average of 1200 pounds.).

Registration FAQs

Q. How do I register for a session of lessons and how do I know what level to sign up for?

A. After reviewing the Class Level Descriptions for age and experience guidelines and watching a class to see if it looks like the right fit for you, submit our online registration form and then mail or bring a check or cash, along with a signed waiver form. (We don’t accept credit cards at this time.) You can email or call us if you have recent and regular experience and would like to talk to Mark about a level above Beginners. We will email or call you a few days after our session registration deadline to let you know if we found a spot for you. We don’t cash checks unless we find a space for you. If you have not heard from us, please allow 5 days after the registration deadline before calling or emailing.

Q. What if I don't get in to a class?

A. Your check will not be cashed until we have placed you in a class. If you don't get in we will ask you if you would like us to hold your check until the next session or in case someone cancels, or tear up your check.

Q. What if I know I can't make all the lesson dates?

A. Option 1. You can pay the full session price and make up a planned absence in another class if there's space. When you register, include other class dates you wish to substitute. If we can't find a space for you, we can provide credit or a refund.

Option 2. You can register and pay for as few as 4 out of 5 lessons. However, you must include the date(s) you will miss.

Q. If I miss a class, can I do a makeup or get a refund?

A. Unplanned absences after the session has begun cannot be refunded and we cannot guarantee a makeup time. A makeup might be possible if you provide at least 24-hours notice for having to miss a class, although a makeup space may not be available. If a makeup doesn’t work out, we cannot provide refunds or credits for unplanned absences.

Q. Can I cancel after I register and get a refund?

A. The New Student Registration fee of $20 is non-refundable after we have confirmed your spot in class via email or phone. If you need to cancel after we have confirmed your spot in class but before the session begins, we may be able to apply your payment to a future session, or, if we find a replacement for your spot, refund you (minus the $20 fee). Refunds and credits are not available after the session begins.

Q. Do you ever cancel classes due to weather?

A. If we cancel classes due to factors listed below, or for any other reason, we send emails and put a message on the website at least two hours before class with our plans. We then either schedule a makeup day or provide a credit or refund. We do not provide refunds for those who don’t want to and can’t make it to class when the weather is bad – unless we cancel the class.

Winter Cancellations

Our insulated indoor arena stays about 20 degrees warmer than outside. But we cancel classes when the outside temperature is -5 degrees or below. We do not factor in wind chill, in most cases, because we can stay out of the wind by riding indoors. We rarely cancel classes due to snowy conditions, but have cancelled due to blizzards and ice storms.

Summer Cancellations

We sometimes need to cancel classes due to high heat and humidity, e.g. when temperatures are forecast to be above 95 degrees at class time. Summer storms seem to come up quickly and we have never cancelled due to a summer storm. However, you should know that we do not have a basement in any buildings on our property.