Frequently Asked Questions

Do you give trail rides?

Only if you have your own horses. We do not give trail rides on our lesson horses. We have access to a public gravel trail which is a 5 mile round trip and takes about an hour and a half if you walk the whole way. We’re also a part of the Orlean Community Trail System if you’re interested in finding other horse trails in the area we encourage you to join the group, membership is free. If you’re looking for a place that can provide horses for guided trail rides you can find a list of them in our Resources section.

How do I sign up for a lesson or visit?

Schedule online, send us a text message, message us on facebook or send an email and we’ll help you setup an appointment. Please only call as a last resort, we don’t answer numbers we don’t recognize. If you do call please leave a voice mail or we will not return your call.

How much do lessons cost?

Please refer to our price list. We offer pay as you go or packages of lessons at discounted prices. Lesson payments are non-refundable.

How long are lessons?

Group and private lessons are 60 minutes long. Time in the saddle will depend on how quickly riders learn how to properly groom and tack and pick out the feet of their horses.

When are lessons available?

Lessons are available Saturdays and Sundays typically from 10am – 3pm and on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons from 4pm – 7pm. Lessons are first come first serve so if you want specific days and times please book them in advance.

Why aren’t you answering my calls?

If you don’t leave a message we will not call you back. Emailing, texting and messaging us works best. If you do call please leave a message, we will not pick up the phone durning lessons or when we are with a client or otherwise preoccupied on the farm. Typically it takes us longer to respond to calls and voice mail than it does to messages and emails.

How do I pay for my lessons? Do you accept cash or credit cards?

We accept cash, checks and all major credit cards through PayPal. You can pay with check or credit card when you schedule your lesson online. We also accept cash, check and credit card at the farm.

What’s the difference between lessons?

Group Lessons – 60 minute instruction for ages 7 and up. In depth instruction is given on parts of the horse and tack, how to ride, horse care and stable management. Riders learn to groom and tack their horses properly and how much time they spend in the saddle will depend on how quickly they can complete these parts of their lesson. Grooming and tacking is included in the lesson, however you may come early to groom/tack if there are no other lessons before you. There will be as many as 3 riders in the lesson.

Private Lessons – like group lessons however you will be the only rider in the lesson.

Do you teach English or Western?

We have both English and Western adult and children saddles so you can ride in whichever you feel most comfortable in. We teach all English disciplines, however we specialize in Hunt Seat Equitation. For Western we only offer pleasure and trail instruction, no roping, penning or speed disciplines.

What should I wear to my lesson?

Something you don’t mind getting dirty in. A mid, quarter or long sleeved t-shirt or polo shirt. Riding pants or jeans, yoga pants are okay as long as they cover your leg all the way to your ankle. Socks and narrow toed shoe with a 1 inch heel or lower. No open toed shoes or dresses. Your clothing shouldn’t be movement restrictive but it shouldn’t so large that it makes it hard to see the outline of your body which makes it hard to properly evaluate your position in the saddle. Wear a fitted jacket or vest with a hood or a sweater and a pair of gloves when it’s cold.

What is appropriate riding gear for lessons or summer camps?

  • Paddock boots
  • Riding pants
  • Half chaps
  • Schooling helmet

What is appropriate riding gear for schooling shows?

  • Paddock boots and garter straps for children, tall boots for adults
  • Riding pants
  • Polo shirt with button up collar (solid color or minimal pattern)
  • Belt
  • Black riding gloves
  • Show helmet

What is appropriate riding gear for horse shows?

  • Paddock boots and garter straps for children, tall boots for adults
  • Riding pants
  • Dress shirt with collar
  • Riding jacket (dark blue, black or dark gray)
  • Belt
  • Black riding gloves
  • Show helmet
  • Hair net for ladies

Where can I get riding gear?

Our favorite places to shop online are, and the yardsale groups on Facebook. You can also try local stores like Tractor Supply, The Galloping Grape, CFC Farm & Home Center, Dover Saddlery, Saddlery Liquidators and Horse Country. You can often find a summer camp package for children that includes everything they need for about $100.

Can I just stop by and visit?

No. White Oak Stables is a private family farm and we do not have an open door business. Visitors are by appointment only. Unexpected visitors will be turned away. It is not fair to our clients to interrupt their lesson or take time away from their instruction to talk with you. It is also a safety concern for some of our more timid and fearful riders.

Is this is the right place for me to take lessons?

You won’t know until schedule an appointment to come out and meet the instructor and horses. We welcome prospective visitors to come meet us, see what the place is like and watch how other people and the animals are treated but you must have an appointment. If you can watch a lesson at various barns to see how the students and instructor interact with each other and how the horses behave when they’re being ridden. Are the students engaged and actively learning? Are they asked to reflect critically and does their instruction vary based on skill, comprehension and other personalized needs? Does the horse fit the rider’s abilities? Are students constantly falling off horses or getting hurt? Is the instructor asking them to do something beyond their skill level? Advancing students too quickly is a huge contributing factor to riders getting injured. Make your own decision and don’t be afraid to try out other places.

How long until I can start jumping?

First of all, do you want to jump? A lot of places will start teaching you to jump even if you’re not interested in it. If you want to jump we start out with lots of ground poles and jumping position and lower leg exercises before moving on to cavalettis and small cross rails. Jumping depends on each person’s physical capabilities and learning styles and natural abilities. Typically it takes 6 months to a year for the average rider who takes lessons once a week to start jumping. Developing the muscle strength to properly hold yourself in the saddle without being thrown forwards or backwards isn’t an overnight learning process. However, riders that are able to stand in proper jumping position (no falling forwards or backwards) for 2 times around the arena may start learning to jump.

Can I sign up for weekly or bi-weekly lessons?

Yes we can accommodate anyone, whether you want to ride once for fun or come out regularly. If you’re planning to come out on a regular basis we encourage you to purchase a pair of riding pants, chaps and boots. You may also be interested in purchasing a helmet however we have helmets available for you to use. If you’d like to take regular lessons you should consider purchasing a package of lessons which are offered at a discounted price.

Which riding instructor is right for me?

Each of our riding instructors have a different personalities and skills and teaching styles. Please review our riding instructors page for more information on each instructor and to see if one might be a better fit for you than another.