White Oak Stables has lessons for people of all ages, riding levels and abilities on our friendly horses and ponies. No two horses are the same just like no two people are the same. We believe that learning about horses should be safe, educational and fun. Our lessons are tailored to each rider’s individual needs and we try hard to match each rider with the most appropriate horse for their skill level. In addition to regular riding lessons we specialize in shy/fearful/anxious riders, adult beginners and plus sized riders. Instruction is provided in the barn, clubhouse or in our arena. Children must be 6 or older to join the lesson program and 4 or older for a lead line ride. Children under 13 must be supervised by a parent or guardian at all times and minors who are not participating in lessons may not be left unattended. Please review our price list for more information.
Watch and Learn – free for prospective students and visitors, by appointment only. You can see the stable, meet the horses and if we have one available you can watch a lesson.
Lead Line – for riders 4 to 6 you’ll get up to 15 minutes in the saddle.
Pay As You Go – come out and ride without the commitment of paying for a lot of lessons up front.
Packages – buy four or more lessons at a time for a discount, they don’t expire so you can use them whenever you want.
Specialized Lesson Groups
We take pride in creating a personalized lesson program for these special groups or riders. There’s no reason to feel out of place, afraid, or embarrassed about your riding skill level or the personal challenges you’re trying to overcome and goals you’d like to reach.
Adult Beginner Riders
No matter how old you are you’re never too old to learn how to ride but it can be difficult to find riding facilities that meet your needs and a lot of adults don’t feel comfortable riding with children. Our adult lessons try to match riders of similar skill levels and age ranges so that you can feel comfortable knowing that you’re learning with someone else who’s in the same boat you are. Whether your ultimate goal is to go to a show, have a trail ride, get some exercises, or just to have fun with a group of other adult riders this lesson program is perfect for you. Lessons are tailored to your needs, goals and physical abilities and/or limitations. Do as much or as little as you’re comfortable with in a safe, nurturing and social environment where there are no judgements or pressures to compete unless you want to.
Shy, Anxious or Fearful Riders
Are you shy, anxious or fearful? Our lessons are perfect for anyone who feel like they have the weight of the world on their shoulders or seem to struggle with some of the basic challenges of stress in everyday life. Horses are a wonderful therapeutic outlet to help people of all ages find their way, become more assertive, and break out of their shell. Our lessons focus on horsemanship, horse care and group activities in order to teach responsibility, enhance communication skills and encourage riders to face and overcome their fears and become more confident in themselves and their abilities. Studies have shown horses reduce stress and are a positive influence on people’s lives. Whether you’re shy, anxious or fearful we’ll help you learn to face and conquer your fears, maintain your calm and relax in our educational, family-friendly environment.
Plus Sized Riders
If you can’t say something nice don’t say anything at all. You are NEVER to heavy to take lessons. While our horses do have a weight limitation of 260lbs that doesn’t mean you can’t come out and take lessons in ground work, lunging, horsemanship or stable management. We will never turn down someone because of their weight even if it means you’re not ready to be in the saddle yet. Horses are a great form of exercise and when coupled with a healthy lifestyle they’ll improve the quality of your life and health tremendously. We’ll start off slow and increase the physical difficulty of your lessons as you get back into shape.
No one should feel pressured to compete if you don’t want to. If you want to come out and ride for fun that’s just fine. However if you’re the kind of person that’s looking to chase the ribbons and take on the local horse show scene we’re more than happy to help you get serious about your riding goals and a career in the business. Coaching and trailering to horse shows is available for an additional fee. Show classes entered will depend on the rider’s skill level and horse availability. If you are interested in showing please check our show schedule and talk to your instructor to reserve a spot.
What to Expect
Students arrive at the barn and find out their horse assignments. They groom and tack up their lesson horse. When the horse is ready they take it out to the arena. Beginner lessons wait for the instructor to arrive before mounting, intermediate lessons mount and walk their horses to warm up while advanced lessons mount and walk and trot their horses to warm up. The lesson begins when the instructor arrives. Lessons begin with an exercises session, followed by the main lesson, and finish with a cool down period. The instructor encourages students to reflect critically and adjusts the lesson to suit the needs of each individual. Students spend at least 45 minutes in the saddle. When the lesson is over students dismount and walk their horses back to the barn to untack and give them a bath if needed. When the horses are taken care of students clean their tack and put it away, give their lesson horse a treat, then grab a drink on the way out if they’re thirsty.
ASTM/SEI helmets are required when mounted, if you don’t have one we can provide one for you. Bike helmets or other sport helmets are not permitted as they don’t offer adequate protection in case of a fall. Mid to long sleeved shirts or polo shirts that are somewhat form fitting work best and we discourage spaghetti straps. Shoes may not be open toed, should have a narrow toe and a heel of no more than 1 inch. Riding pants, tights that cover your leg completely and jeans are acceptable. Half chaps or full chaps and tall boots are also acceptable but not required. Please remove all jewelry and choose clothing that is non-movement restricting and that you don’t mind if it gets dirty. Gloves and a sweater, vest or jacket with a hood are best in cold weather.
Lessons are only cancelled if the weather conditions make it impossible to get to the barn or if it’s colder than 40 degrees or hotter than 90 degrees outside. If the arena or round pen footing isn’t safe to ride in students will have alternative learning and educational activities in the barn or loft clubhouse. Please give as much notice as possible if you can’t make it to your lesson so we can schedule someone else to take your spot.