Our Lesson Program
We offer riding lessons for beginner to advanced riders, both English and Western styles of riding. “We teach you how to ride the horse…not the saddle” is our motto, and therefore we welcome all styles of riding, believing that the basics are the same for all. You will see a strong “dressage” influence in our teaching, which we believe is essential for successful communication with the horse. We agree with and follow the education and safety format of the United States Pony Club. In fact, we recommend that all students of our stable purchase and read the USPC Manual of Horsemanship D-Level, written by Susan Harris.
We have instruction in hunt seat and jumping, dressage, western and recreational riding styles. Gale is certified by the American Riding Instructors Association to provide instruction in each of these riding disciplines.
Taking lessons at our stable are riders at 6 years of age, right up through retired adults. For the safety of the horse and rider, we do have weight limits that our horses can carry. The industry standard indicates that most horses can carry safely 20% of their body weight - which includes the rider and the saddle. This means that a typical 1100 pound horse can carry about 220 pounds. The typical western saddle weighs about 35 pounds. This leaves about 185 pounds for the rider. Thank you for understanding the limits of a horse’s back.
Most of our lessons are taught in our beautiful indoor arena. As students progress, we also teach lessons in the outdoor riding arenas, on the cross country jumps and out on the trails.
Gale truly enjoys starting the beginner rider…of all ages… she’s very good with new riders, being able to adjust her training techniques to accommodate the various ways that riders can learn. Gale uses her over 40 years of riding instruction experience to specialize with working with adults learning to ride and also with adults returning to riding after being away from horses for awhile. Her niche is to work with the working adult professional that is trying to juggle all aspects of life in “too short of a week”. She offers flexible lesson schedules to accommodate the busy adult.
Our lessons encompass much more than just the riding portion of horsemanship. We believe that true horse people should be able to prepare their mount for the riding lesson, including grooming and tacking-up the horse, and should also be able to take care of their mount and the equipment after the ride, therefore our lessons, time wise, might be a bit longer than the standard lesson program. Keep this in mind when comparing stables.
After conclusion of the four intro lessons, ongoing lesson options include continuing with private lessons ($75 per lesson for 45 minutes of instruction) or joining a group lesson ($65 for 60 minutes of riding instruction). A normal group lesson actually provides two hours of horse-contact time, as group lesson riders at Gale’s do the grooming and tacking up of their horses before the lesson and take care of the horse after the lesson as well. As said before, we are a complete horsemanship lesson facility. Discount monthly packages are available. Working student packages are also available.
Helpful Hints for Visiting the Barn and Taking Lessons
Students should dress for the weather. In hot weather, it is tempting to wear “beach wear” type of clothing, but this is inappropriate in our horse barn. T shirts and other “well covering” shirt apparel is the dress code (meaning that you limit the amount of bare skin to be seen). Absolutely NO FLIP FLOPS OR SANDALS are allowed in our barn or anywhere around our horses. Shoes appropriate for being around animals should be worn by all. Although, in warm weather, workers and guests can wear shorts, our riders must still wear long slacks when riding.
In cold weather, layers of clothing are best, so you can shed a few layers when you warm up during your rides. For starting out with riding lessons, new students should wear jeans or other sturdy long pants, high socks, and a sturdy shoe with a small heel. Fingered gloves are also recommended to protect hand and improve grip on the reins.
Everyone must wear an ASTM approved equestrian helmet when riding. We do have loaners for beginner riders to use until they can get their own. Prior to learning to canter on a horse, a student must have and wear their own helmet.
Please do not wear dangling jewelry such as bracelets and earrings. Please pull long hair back into low pony tail or braid. Do not wear any jewelry or piercings that could get caught on horse hair.
Our experience is that riders do better in the saddle with riding attire, specifically made for our sport. State Line Tack has a major catalog and internet sales business, as well as Dover Saddlery. Our local Tractor Supply stores can also meet some of your riding needs for helmets and such. Carriage House Saddlery in Trumansburg and Thundering Hooves Tack Shop in Bath, NY both are nice tack shops which will assist in outfitting your riding apparel closet. “Cowboy Up” owned by Hope Johnson, is an eBay store, but operates from Hope’s home, just east of Corning. Phone numbers are available at our stable.
We will require your execution of a
prior to your activities at the stable. We also will require that you read and understand our
Quick List Rules (Click here for Helpful Rules ).
We also have an
Operations and Procedure Manual (Click HERE for The Manual)
which outlines “how we do things” at Gale’s Equine Facility.
And for new riders, here is a great link to give you guidance as a beginner rider:
Click the ARIA Logo to learn more about the Association >>
Where to buy horse riding gear:
Lena schools lesson horse, Elizabeth over some small jumps during a lesson. >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
Ashley schools lesson horse Jingles around the cloverleaf barrels pattern during a western lesson.
The Liability Release
and Recommended Reading
Click our link to our “Lesson Horses” page to see photos of the horses used in our program at Gale’s.
Every Olympic Rider Began as a Beginner Rider!
Everyone who comes to the stable must practice “bio-security”. It is important to not bring “horse diseases” into the stable. If you have been to other stables, or if your clothing was worn at other stables, you must change and/or launder your clothing and disinfect your shoes/boots before you come to our stable. When you arrive at our stable, you will be required to stomp your shoes/boots on a foot disinfection that contains a strong disinfectant (see photo). Therefore you must wear footwear that will allow you to do that. You will also be asked to wash and/or disinfect your hands.
This should be a requirement at every stable. It is very easy for humans to carry horse diseases from stable to stable and horse to horse. In the winter of 2016, a human brought a horse virus to our stable and this created many problems for us. I am sure that you can understand that we do not want that to happen again.
We normally start beginner riders with our four-lesson “Intro Package”. Each of these four lessons is about 1 ¾ hours long, and includes teaching of safety protocol, grooming, tacking up the horse, along with some basic horse psychology. Each lesson also includes learning to ride a horse at a walk and learning the classical basics of horse/rider communication. The lessons conclude with removing the tack (the saddle and bridle), cleaning up the horse, and the post lesson care of the equipment. By the fourth lesson, the student may be able to ride the horse at a walk/jog/trot around, and in the safety, of our indoor arena. The intro lessons are all private lessons with one-on-one instruction. The intro package costs $ 240 for the four 1 ¾ hours long lessons. The intro lessons can be purchased for $65 per lesson, as well.
We enjoy it when, and recommend that, parents learn the “ground work” of the lesson prep, right along with their younger children. Just like any sport, in which a child participates, it is helpful if the parents learn the “rules” and know a bit how the game is played, so to speak. Parents can learn to help to groom and tack up the horse with their child, and then enjoy social conversation with other parents during the lessons, or sit in our warm areas and read a book or watch TV during the riding lesson. Parent participation is not mandatory….it’s just nice to do. If you or your child develop an interest in competitions, in the future, all of the horse care skills, including preparation for riding, and stall maintenance will need to be learned….might as well start learning right at the beginning. We offer education in all aspects of normal horse care. Please contact Gale directly regarding information about our working student programs.