FAQ

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Calories burned during recreational horse riding is about 250-810 per hour, and competitive riding can be up to 450-1,080 per hour.

Class sizes - We keep our class size small, so each rider has the optimum opportunity to learn.

Am I too old or young to start riding?  You are never too old to learn to ride.  Riding is a great low impact cardio work out.  If you are interested in starting to ride as an adult let one of our instructors know.  We recommend that kids start 5/6 years old based on their attention span.  With younger children you will sometimes see that the lesson does NOT go a full 30 minutes because of the simple fact that they might not be ready.

  • Tiny tot (3-5 yrs old)  Tots class is designed to help the preschool & younger rider develop coordination on the horse with the incorporation of games and toys. Making a very fun environment for the young rider. This is an entry level class for children who have not ridden before. One parent required on around the horses, in shoes to assist rider. Riders start safety and development reasons. Beginner Level
  • Childhood (6-7 yrs old)  Riders develop preliminary coordination and strength to move around on the horse. The introductory classes are divided into four progressive levels for kids with no prior riding experience to build confidence in riding and themselves. Fun and games make this positive experience for your kids enjoyable and memorable.  Beginner Level
  • Middle Childhood (8-11 yrs old)  The best age to teach children, they have strength and understanding to be around horses. Beginner / Intermediate Level
  • Tweens (12-13 yrs old) Life changing moments with the mind and body.  If they start riding at this age, we go  the speed they are comfortable.
  • Pre Teenagers (14-15 yrs old) Looking to find a good friend, horses are that friend to help them mentally.  
  • Teenagers (16-17 yrs old)  Just take one day at a time if they haven’t been consistent with riding. 


The Adult curriculum is designed for the beginning adult rider. It will promote physical fitness and improve balance and coordination while learning proper skating techniques. Adult skaters will progress at an individual rate while being challenged and motivated.

  • Adults  (18-35 yrs old)  Following your dreams to become reality.
  • Adults  (35-54 yrs old) Finding your passion.  We can help in anyway. 
  • Adults (55- yrs older) Love at First Sight… your Never to old.


What kind of apparel should I get…& how should they fit?
Must wear long pants and closed toed shoes. Stables has helmets. Proper Attire Page
La Fleur Stables/ Madison Riding Academy/ Hippoi Institute  provides free helmet rental to anyone enrolled in Riders Up lessons.

Learn to Ride, you may want to buy your own helmet.
BUYING THE RIGHT Helmet FOR YOUR CHILD 

  • Use the following guidelines when looking for helmet for your child: 
  • Buy your child’s helmet online 
  • Stable Store for purchasing helmets.

Buying riding boots? 
Good used boots can be okay for your child, especially in the beginning stages. If you do buy used, you may have to know a bit about the brand and model of the boot. Ask your coach about suggestions on what to look for. Sometimes a good used boot. 
Correct fit - The foot has to fit in the boot so that there is no extra room in the boot, especially in the heel. The lacings should be about half an inch apart from the beginning to the instep and may go wider when you lace the boots to the top. Some boots have a higher arch built in than others. The rider should try on several pairs of boots if possible for a correct fit. 
A small rider doing a lot of riding and progressing fast may need a higher quality boot than the same size skater who puts in less riding time and less aggressive practice. 
Buying Jodphurs (riding pants)?
You want the pants to fit in the waist so they can sit down.  Knee patches with suede works awesome, better grip. Length of pants for practice not to long.  Showing is different, you want longer pass the boot 2-3 inches.

Can I get used riding apparel? Yes there are many consignments places. 

When will I have to buy a saddle?  We offer in the lesson program the ability to use the school saddles.  BUT if your rider is thinking about potentially showing or becomes serious about their riding it is a great idea to purchase your own saddle.  You can purchase irons and leathers for your rider to prevent time wasted by having to constantly adjust the length etc.


How do I support my child?
Your Responsibilities as a Supporting the sport
As a parent of a rider or riders, you want the best for your child. This page should help you do much more than survive your child's riding experience. It should equip you to enjoy it to the fullest and help you make it fun and valuable for your child. To do that, you first need to understand your responsibilities as a riding parent: 
1. Encourage your child to ride but don't pressure. Let your child choose to ride if he or she wants to.
2. Understand what your child wants from riding and provide a supportive atmosphere for achieving these goals.
3. Put your child's participation in perspective. Don't make riding everything in your child's life; make it a part of lifestyle.
4. Make sure the coach is qualified to guide your child through the riding experience.
5. Keep winning in perspective and help your child do the same.
6. Help your child set challenging but realistic performance goals rather than focusing only on “winning.”
7. Help your child understand the valuable lessons riding can teach.
8. Help your child meet responsibilities to the coach.
9. Discipline your child when necessary.
10. Turn your child over to the coach at practices and competitions – don't meddle or coach from the sidelines.


Why don’t you want me helping teach my rider during their lesson?  We ask for no side coaching for the same reason that you would not do it if your rider was in dance, football, basketball or any other sport.  The instructor is your riders coach and we need them to be focused on them for their safety and to learn.  If you want to help; video your riders lessons and have them review it before the next lesson.

Helping Your Child Enjoy Riding
You can help your child enjoy Riding by doing the following: 
Developing a winning perspective – Every decision parents make in guiding their children should be based first on what is best for the child and second on what may help the child to win. 
Building your child's self-esteem – Building self-esteem in your child is one of your most important parenting duties. It is not easy, and it is made even more difficult in sports by the prevailing attitude of “Winning is everything.” Athletes who find their self-worth through winning will go through tough times when they lose. 
Emphasizing fun, skill development and striving to win – The reason you should emphasize fun is quite simple: without it, your child may not want to keep skating. Children don't have fun when they feel pressure to win and don't improve or learn new skills. Conversely, they do have fun when riding lessons are well organized, when they develop new skills and when the focus is on striving to improve. 
Helping your child set performance goals – Performance goals, which emphasize individual skill improvement, are much better than the outcome goal of winning because they are in the athlete's control and help the athlete improve.
Being a Good Role Model
Children learn behavior from many different people – coaches, teachers, other adults and peers - but the people they learn the most from are their parents. Your child not only soaks up what you say; he or she soaks up what you don't say. Non-verbal messages often speak louder than words. Your attitudes toward your child and other people are not as easily hidden as you may think. Telling your child to respect others is great, but the message is lost if you don't model that respect. You'll have many opportunities as your child skates to model good behavior and attitudes. By putting your child's development and welfare ahead of winning, you'll be better able To display a healthy attitude toward sports and life – as will your child. 
Modeling Good Sportsmanship
It's especially critical that you model good sportsmanship for your child. “Being a good sport” is much easier said than done – just look at the examples of certain professional and collegiate coaches and athletes who do the opposite. It's crucial that you maintain a cool head and a healthy attitude toward sport if you expect your child to do the same. Here are ways to model appropriate attitudes and behavior when you are at your child's practices and competitions: 
Encourage all riders
Control your emotions in frustrating situations 
Respect and accept judges' decisions 
Congratulate other riders when they win


When should I pay for private lessons? Private Lesson are one rider with one instructor.  Every once in a while is helps to have a private lesson help with your situation.  Set up by appointment. Neva@Lstables.com 


Which instructor is right for my child? Finding the Right Riding Instructor-- There are many factors involved in selecting an instructor. Things to consider are personality, learning and teaching styles, experience and technical know-how. You know your child and have the best idea of who might make a good fit. Keep your child's personality and needs in mind when interviewing and selecting an instructor. 
Characteristics of a Quality Instructor

  • A quality instructor makes riding fun by being: 
  • Motivational 
  • Positive 
  • Encouraging 
  • Enthusiastic
  • A quality coach fosters a positive environment for training by being: 
  • Knowledgeable 
  • Professional 
  • Educated 
  • Organized 
  • Punctual
  • A quality coach prepares a child for testing and competing by being: 
  • Sensible 
  • Practical 
  • Polite 
  • Fair 
  • Respectful 
  • Calm 
  • Experienced

A Coach’s View of Leadership

  • You have to have vision where you want to go.
  • You have to have a plan of how you’re going to get there.
  • Core Values
  • Do the right thing​


How do tacking the horse? An instructor will help your child put the halter on the lesson horse and lead them to the grooming stall to get them ready to ride.

  • Halter - a set of straps placed around a horse's head so that the horse can be led or tied
  • Lesson Horse – Horse that teaches your child to ride.  While they might not be huge fancy show horses, they are worth their weight in gold and will teach your child as much as the instructor.
  • Lead – To have a horse on a rope following their human.
  • Grooming Stall – Designated area where the horse will be tied up and groomed for their lesson.
  • While your rider is prepping to ride you will most likely be standing to the side watching.  Please feel free at this point to take pictures (no flash).  It is important to have this moment captured.  The instructor will go over the grooming tools and their proper use, they will then disappear into the tack room to gather the saddle, bridle, pad and other gear to ride the horse.
  • Tack Room – Large room where the contents total up to be worth more than your home and truck!
  • Saddle - a seat fastened on the back of a horse for riding, typically made of leather and raised at the front and rear.
  • Bridle - the headgear used to control a horse, consisting of buckled straps to which a bit and reins are attached.
  • Bit – Metal device (HUMANE!) that goes into the horse’s mouth to control the horse when mounted.
  • Pad – Cloth square that goes under the saddle to prevent sores and provide comfort for the horse.


How do I learn to Ride? Learning to Ride a horse is actually quite easy and fun. It requires a little determination, a lot of practice and no fear of falling down! Before you know it, you will be steering around -- forward -- able to show off to your family and friends what you can do on the horse. Whether your goal is to learn to go fast, about the horse, self awareness, we've got just the place for you to start! Remember, every champion had to begin with a few easy lessons...just like you.
Values Kids Learn Through Riding
    Your child can benefit greatly by participating in riding, but those benefits are not guaranteed. They are the result of a cooperative effort among  coaches, officials and parents. Those benefits come more readily when adults put the interests of children first and leave their own egos and desires about winning at home. Through skating your child can: 
Acquire an appreciation for an active lifestyle 
Develop self-esteem, self-confidence, self-discipline and self-reliance by mastering and performing riding skills 
Learn to manage stress, perform under pressure, and test emotional and physical balance 
Develop social skills with other children and adults 
The first riding lesson.  Your son or daughter or even you will be chomping at the bit to get to the barn, but as soon as they arrive at the stable you will most likely see a small flash of nerves and fear mixed in with sheer excitement.  DON’T WORRY this is totally normal.  This is where you come in as a parent…your rider will need a little encouragement and positive motivation to not let their fear take over (even though you are shaking like a leaf at the thought of your baby on a 1200lb animal!!).
     Your rider has successfully learned how to put everything on their horse and are now off to the arena to mount.  From here the instructor will teach them how to check their equipment prior and then how to safely mount (either a mounting block or a leg up).  Your rider’s instructor will most likely start them on a lunge line while teaching them how to balance, steer and communicate with their horse through cues.

  • Mount – To get on the horse
  • Mounting Block – A sturdy set of steps to get on the horse.
  • Leg Up – When the rider receives a boost from the instructor by using leverage and jumping.
  • Lunge Line – Long rope attached to the horse; Instructor has control over the horse while the rider learns to control on their own.
  • Cues – The proper way to ask a horse to do something.

     The end of the lesson will come much quicker for your rider than you.  For you it will feel like 4 hours of sweating and nervousness.  The instructor will then teach your rider how to dismount and safely lead their horse back to the grooming stall to remove the tack and cool their horse down by grooming and putting them back into their stall.
     It is very important that your rider take part in helping as much as they can.  This will make them more comfortable around the horses and will also increase their confidence in themselves.
    You made it!!  You survived the first lesson and now you are hooked for life!!  Please take a look below at the most commonly asked questions that as instructors we hear.


How often should my rider take lessons? We like to look at it as the same as dance class and other sports.  In the beginning once a week is a perfect start.  We try to steer away from doing every other week or less than that based on the fact that often times the retention of the previous lesson is less and most of the lesson is spent going over the same information from the lesson before.


What will my child learn during lessons?  Great question!  What does your child want to learn during their lessons?  Following the Introduction Package of lessons (4) we will sit down and have a RIDER REVIEW with you and your rider.  At this point we will discuss goals and set a time line of what we want to accomplish.  We recommend Rider Reviews every 6 months, BUT encourage you to share with your instructor if something changes along the way.  We will treat your rider the same whether they want to learn how to trail ride safely or show at the World Championships.  Our goal is to teach your rider how to be safe and confident.

Lesson Scheduling; How should I do it?  We ask that you choose a time that works for you and your rider and try to keep it on a week to week basis.  If there is not consistent scheduling it is hard to guarantee that your rider will get the same time each week.  Sign up Genius has our lesson scheduling. 
How long will it take my rider to look like that rider?
We encourage everyone NOT to compare themselves or their riders to other riders in the barn.  Some have been riding for 20 years while your rider might have been riding for 2 months.  Every rider learns at their own pace and we want this to be fun for your rider.


Why do I need to join a club? Horse Club help to understand horses, promotes and meeting horsey friends.


Do we have to show at horse shows?
NO! 


When should we show?  Again this is when the Rider Reviews and communication will be key for your rider’s success.  There are a number of shows that offer Academy Classes (classes for beginners on school horses).  We will help you to decide what shows you should go too based on skill level and location of the show.
What is the purpose for Tournament Showdown?  Showdown Fun Series Information Page

When do I buy a horse?
Benefits of Owning a Horse

Checklist for Success
     Can you share your son or daughter? This means trusting the coach to guide your child's riding experiences. You must be able to accept the coach's authority and the fact that he or she may gain some of the admiration that once was directed solely toward you. 
     Can you admit your shortcomings? Sometimes we slip up as parents, or experience emotions causing us to speak before we think. We judge our children too hastily, perhaps only to learn later that their actions were justified. It takes character for parents to admit when they make a mistake and discuss it with their children. 
     Can you accept your child's disappointments? Sometimes being a parent means being a target for your child's anger and frustration. Accepting your child's disappointment also means watching your child skate poorly during a competition when all of his or her friends succeed, or not being embarrassed into anger when your 10-year-old breaks into tears after a disappointing performance. Keeping your frustrations in check will help guide your daughter or son through disappointments. 
    Can you accept your child's triumphs? This sounds much easier than it often is. Some parents, not realizing it, may become competitive with their son or daughter, especially if the youngster receives considerable recognition. When a child skates well, parents may dwell on minor mistakes. 
    Can you give your child some time? Some parents are very busy, even though they are interested in their child's participation and want to encourage it. Probably the best solution is never to promise more than you can deliver. Ask about your child's skating experiences and make every effort to watch at least some practices. 
    Can you let your child make his or her own decisions? Decision making is an essential part of any young person's development, and it is a real challenge to parents. It means offering suggestions and guidance but ultimately, within reasonable limits, letting the child go his or her own way. All parents have ambitions for their children, but parents must accept the fact that they cannot mold their children's lives. Youth sports offer parents a minor initiation into the major process of letting go.
Parents’ Guide to Riding
     Welcome to the wonderful world of riding horses!  You are embarking on a brand new adventure that we hope that you’ll love.
     Throughout this adventure there are going to be a million questions that run through your brain; diagonals, leads, left leg right hand etc, you will be sitting there as though you are on another planet and listening to a foreign language!!
     Have no fear this short easy to understand guide will make you feel like you have been doing this all your life!!
     To start with you have made the biggest step and have signed up for lesson at a facility that is clean, safe and an educational environment!  Step one is complete!

Most Common Questions
I have questions when should I talk to the instructor?
We ask that you set up a time before or after the lesson in person or a phone call to have a meeting with your rider’s instructor.  They are often booked following your riders lesson and they often time need their full attention as you would want for your rider.


We’re going to do everything to the very best of our ability with the time allotted. And doing the best we can means you do little things, and the little things make the difference.

We’re going to care about one another. We’re going to be able to trust one another, be committed to excellence, and care about one another.