Currently-enrolled (and some previous) WRR lesson students who have the maturity to take on an additional level of responsibility in caring for the horse, tack and facilities. Riders (and parents of minors) must be willing to accept the additional risks of riding outside of a supervised class.
Students who can identify, lead in, and properly groom and tack up unassisted. Riders approved for practice riding will demonstrate independent control of the horse with a balanced seat at the trot and canter.
Students who are comfortable and skilled enough to ride a variety of WRR horses.
All riders under the age of 13 must have parental supervision. WRR reserves the right to require supervision for anyone under the age of 18. Supervision means being within eyesight during the ride.
Email your request at least 24 hours in advance. If you do not receive an OK, do not come out to ride.
Before making a request, check the roster for horse availability and total use for the day. If a horse is assigned to 2 classes, it is not available for a PR. Avoid PRs during lesson times when the weather or footing restricts lessons to the indoor ring. No PRs on Saturdays (unless no lessons are scheduled).
You can request a particular horse but it may not end up being available, due to last minute class assignment changes, injuries or use by the lessee or another practice rider. If you notice that someone else did a PR on your requested horse earlier that day, choose another horse you have previously ridden or have received permission to ride. Practice riders should remain flexible about which horses they ride.
Before riding, log into the PR Notebook and leave payment in the brass payment box.
Practice rides are limited to one hour and riders should be sure to track their time carefully. Practice ride time begins when you get on and ends when you get off.
When making up a missed lesson, a 1-hour practice ride equals either a 1-hour or 1.5-hour class.
Begin your practice ride soon after bringing your horse in, grooming and tacking up. Return your horse to the paddock (or pasture) soon after untacking and grooming/cooling out.
Use a saddle for all or most of your ride.
If a lessee shows up during your PR and wishes to ride, you can let them know how much time you have left. The lessee can either decide to wait for you to finish or can request their horse, in which case they can bring in and groom another horse for you (one you have previously ridden or had permission ride).
New practice riders must receive permission to ride off the ranch property for the first time.
Have a group leader. The leader sets the speed. No one should pass the leader.
Stay strictly single file when traveling faster than a walk or jog. This helps the horses stay calm.
Keep 4 to 16 feet from the horse in front of you and keep at the pace of the horse ahead of you. Keep a steady pace so that you don't fall behind and don't fall back and catch up. This helps the horses stay calm.
If the rider ahead of you is unable to keep up, you can ask to move up in line.
If the horse in front of you is speeding up and slowing down, don’t do the same – stay back enough so that you can get your own horse into a steady rhythm without falling back or getting too close.
If you have problems controlling your horse, need to slow down or stop, or see anyone fall off, signal the riders and leader to stop.
The leader should go at a speed that is safe for all the riders and should call out changes in gaits, especially before slowing. Let the leader know before the ride if you have a speed limit in mind. Otherwise, be prepared to ride at various speeds.
If you see a hole, dangerous branch, bad footing or other obstacle, call it out and pass the word back, loudly enough so that everyone hears what is called out.
Check your girth for tightness before cantering, after going up steep hills, etc.
Keep hold of your reins at all times, while on or off your horse. If you fall off, try to keep hold of a rein.
If your horse spooks or is nervous, keep your horse moving forward rather than pull on the reins or stop. If the horse is jigging, try leg yielding and use your voice to help calm it. Stay calm and sit up straight with your eyes up and heels down. If your horse tries to bolt or run away, signal the other riders and pulley-rein or circle as needed.
Walk the last 5 minutes of your ride. Don't canter all the way back home.