Updated: Sep 16, 2022
Eden Farms’ beginner lesson program is all about the fundamentals.
A strong foundation is a key aspect for any aspiring young rider and our beginner program develops just that. Becoming an equestrian athlete is a big choice and one that can play a vital role in the development of your child's physical, developmental, and social life. Having a structured lesson schedule encourages children to become more reliable and time-sensitive. Riding is a sport that engages both the mind and the body; it requires attention to detail that encourages children to pay closer attention while working out muscle groups in the body that are often otherwise hard to engage!
"Enrolling kids in riding lessons at an early age is a great way to develop hand-eye coordination, listening skills, and body strength and coordination.” - Megan Galloway
More often than not we see our students building many new friendships and relationships with other riders in the barn which expands their social life and allows them to share their passion with like-minded individuals! As they progress and learn, we often encourage riders to begin thinking about what horse shows they would like to participate in and help them set their goals with a detailed plan of how to get there. If you think competing could be something your child would be interested in pursuing, you can check out our recent blog about our experience at the World Equestrian Center.
Frequently Asked Questions About Our Beginner Program
How Old Does My Child Need to Be? Our beginner program is offered for children ages four to ten years old that are entirely new to horses. We do not recommend starting a child younger than four because they have trouble with many motor skills on their own. If the child is older than ten, our ponies are too small to accommodate the rider.
How Long is Each Lesson and What Does It Include?
In our beginner program, we operate on a system of individual private lessons that are 25 minutes in length. These lessons are based strictly on each child having as much time in the saddle as possible so they can concentrate on the basics. Grooming and handling classes, which are also important parts of horse care, are offered separately on weekends.
What Should My Child Wear?
New riders are permitted to wear boots and leggings if they do not currently possess a pair of riding pants. However, we would like to mention that the Tack Shack of Ocala offers a Beginner Rider starter kit that includes riding pants, riding boots, and a helmet all for only $100. We strongly encourage parents to purchase one of these kits as it will properly attire your children so that they can focus solely on their riding!
What Will My Child Be Learning?
In each beginner session, we emphasize the importance of the basics. Students will start off with their pony attached to a lunge-line so that the trainer can control where the pony goes and the student can focus on finding their balance. As we are a hunter/jumper facility, we will teach each child the fundamentals of steering and body control that they will utilize throughout the rest of their riding career. These basics typically include how to use the inside rein and outside for speed control and steering, and the different seat positions of posting trot, sitting trot, and two-point position. Once the student is feeling comfortable we will also include some fun balance exercises including riding backwards!
Will My Child Be Able to Connect With Other Students?
Yes! We are normally busy with back-to-back lessons during the week and therefore many of the students are there at the same time. You can often find a group of them playing horse-less horse show and jumping on foot over the set of human jumps we have set up in our grass field either before or after their lesson time. We also take group trips to our local show venues to watch Grand Prix events where the kids all get to meet up, watch the show, and enjoy pizza and ice cream from the local vendors.
If your child has a serious interest in horses, lessons are a great way to structure their interests. Almost all of our current students were once new riders as part of our beginner lesson program or during one of our summer camps. Many of these young athletes are now competing at various venues such as the new World Equestrian Center. By asking our riders to be dedicated to their sport and their equine partners, our students are learning valuable life lessons of camaraderie, sportsmanship, and reliability.
“I have many students that are crazy for horses and ponies, but my best students have a passion to achieve the goals that we set for them throughout the lesson program.” ~Megan Galloway
Champions are not born....they are MADE!
To learn more, download our Beginner Lesson Program Flyer or arrange your first lesson by contacting Megan at 352-572-7658!