Info for Parents and New Riders
Getting your child or yourself started in a new activity can be very overwhelming, especially when it is an activity that is brand new. We are here to answer your questions and guide you in every way. Below you will find some helpful information to get you started.
You are encouraged to come and watch others ride at Trinity Farm. You, or your child, will pick up a lot and learn much faster by watching the more experienced riders, and the show horses. There are people to watch many days of the week. Saturday is a busy day and a great day to stop by and watch. Contact Mary Lynn for the best day to watch. Remember, riders are given full attention, please ask questions after their lessons are complete.
What should I wear?
Riders should wear an ankle-high boot with a smooth sole and a 1/2 inch heel. (Not knee high hunt type boots). The low heel keeps the boot from sliding all the way through the stirrup. Boots may be lace-up, zipper, or elastic. Do not wear a hiking-boot type sole as it may get caught in the stirrup. A sneaker can slide all the way through the stirrup, and also does not offer adequate protection if a horse should step on the rider’s foot. Invest in a riding boot as soon as your budget allows. If this is after your 4th lesson, time to go shopping!!!
Kentucky Jod Pants
Riders must wear full-length pants, never shorts or capri pants. We strongly recommend riding pants (“Kentucky Jodhpurs”), which are long pants with a bell-bottom and straps that go under the boots. Please keep the straps on the pants at all times! The straps keep the pants from riding up on the leg and chafing. Jeans are ok until your budget allows. After your 4th lesson, time to go shopping!!
If you are interested in having a helmet for yourself or your child, make sure it fits properly and is ASTM/SEI Certified riding helmet (not a bike helmet).
A poorly-fitting helmet can cause serious problems. When you have the helmet on, it should not be possible to pull it down over the eyes. We recommend helmets that have adjustment in the back so that they will fit any head and will grow with your child. Helmets are available at most Tractor Supply stores that carry equine equipment or Orchard Country Store in Mooreseville, Indiana also on line riding companies, again, Hartmeyer’s. Please keep to basic black or purchase a black cover for showing events.
Some riders benefit from wearing equestrian riding gloves during lessons. Riding gloves protect your hands and enable them to keep a good secure grip on the reins. They also provide warmth during the winter months.
Wear to Buy?
- Hartmeyer’s: www.hartmeyer.com | Muncie, IN: Always has saddleseat clothes
- National Bridle Shop: www.nationalbridle.com
- Horse.com: www.horse.com
- Good Habit: email@example.com | Offers consignment clothing for all levels
- Also, check the lounge for gently used clothes and boots
Is it better to take private lessons or groups?
There are benefits to private lessons, and benefits to semi-private or group lessons. The ideal schedule is one private and one group lesson per week. In private lessons, the student receives intense individual attention and will progress more rapidly in many areas. However, group lessons are also very beneficial, as the rider must be able to guide around other riders and control the horse in a group. It is also very helpful to watch other riders, and the students in groups learn quite a bit from each other as well. Riders who are interested in showing need to ride in a group as that is what they’ll do in the show ring, and they must be able to maneuver around the other horses.
All new riders will be in private lessons until they have developed some basic skills in guiding, balance and feel confident at the trot. ‘Tiny Tot’s’ will be private lessons until the age of 6.
Why should we consider riding in horse shows?
Riding in a show gives students goals to work toward. Riders focus much better in their lessons, pay better attention, and work harder with a horse show in mind. Showing is not just about winning blue ribbons, but it is about working for your own personal best; learning to win and lose graciously; learning to cheer for your teammates; learning to come back from a disappointing defeat; learning to climb to greater heights; achieving a close teamwork relationship with a horse; conquering fears of performing in front of an audience; and much, much more.
Showing is a vehicle for building self-esteem and self-confidence. Those who show learn that hard work pays off! And kids get to learn valuable life lessons doing something they love to do.
What do we need if we want to show?
We take our lesson horses to local shows to show in the “Academy” division. Academy is a division for riders who are just starting to show. The riders compete on lesson horses. To show in Academy, you only need dark-colored riding pants (Kentucky jodhpurs) and jodhpur boots and a form fitting sweater or shirt, tie, and vest. Most of these items can be found at the tack stores listed above.
Mary Lynn often will have gently used riding apparel of various sizes, check with her. The shirt is a dress shirt like an oxford and can be purchased anywhere. The shirt should be form fitting, have button down collar or a collar bar (preferred) and should sleeves just below the wrist bone when the arms are bent in riding position. Color is great! The vest should fit VERY well, not be baggy, loose OR too short. Ties are mens or boys tie – try to find a colorful, fun tie in bright or pastel colors that coordinates with the vest and shirt – be creative but err on the conservative side. Extra length on the tie can be cut off if necessary; you’ll find more selection in men’s ties than in boys’ ties. Spending a fortune is not necessary… we love Goodwill!
Some riders may have a goal of owning and showing their own horse one day… what a great experience! Let us help you when you are ready for that next stage.
Enjoy this time. Taking on a new skill is often challenging for both rider and parent. Give yourself and your rider time to learn and develop in this new adventure. Ask questions! There is no such thing as a silly question. We will help in any way we can. We continue to learn as we grow and are willing to share our knowledge and experience.
Welcome to Trinity Farm! We grow riders here… welcome to the family!