Do you give trail rides?
Only if you have your own horses. We do not give trail rides on our lesson horses. There is 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. Check out the Orlean Community Trail System if you’re interested in finding other horse trails in the area and 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. If you’re looking for maps of local horse trails in the area try these.
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, tack and pick out the feet of their horses.
When are lessons available?
Lessons are available on Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and Thursday. 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 (we get a high volume of spam calls). Emailing, texting and messaging us work best. If you call, please leave a message. We will not pick up the phone during lessons or when we are with a client or otherwise preoccupied on the farm. Typically, we take longer to respond to calls and voice mail than it does to text messages, voice 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 a check or credit card when you schedule your lesson online. We also accept cash and checks at the farm.
What’s the difference between lessons?
Group Lessons – 60 minute instruction for ages 7 and up. These lessons are separated by youth and adult riders. In-depth instruction includes 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 three riders in the lesson.
Private Lessons – like group lessons. However, you will be the only rider in the lesson. Currently unavailable because of high demand for lessons.
Horsemanship Lessons – like group lessons, but you do not ride the horse, only work with it on the ground.
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, barrels, penning or speed disciplines.
What should I wear to my lesson?
Something you don’t mind getting dirty in. A mid-sleeve, quarter-sleeve 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 be so large that it makes it hard to see the outline of your body. Baggy clothing makes it harder to 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 13+
- Riding pants
- Polo shirt with button up collar (solid color or minimal pattern)
- 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)
- Black riding gloves
- Show helmet
- Hair net for ladies
Where can I get riding gear?
Our favorite places to shop online are horseloversz.com, horse.com and the yard sale 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 during open hours?
No. White Oak Stables is a private family farm and we do not have an open door business. Visitors are by appointment only. 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 fearful riders. If you would like a free farm visit, please call or email us to schedule an appointment.
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 hold yourself in the saddle without being thrown forwards or backwards isn’t an overnight learning process. However, riders that can stand in proper jumping position (no falling forwards or backwards) for 2 times around the arena may learn 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 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.
What happens if it’s too hot/cold/rainy/snowy?
Typically, we cancel if it’s below 35 degrees or above 95 degrees. We will ride in moderate wind and mild rain storms (no lightning).
In severe weather, we will call or email the day before to cancel lessons. Otherwise, we will call up to an hour prior to your lesson in the event of inclement weather cancelations. We give you a coupon code to reschedule these lessons online with our booking software.
What if I miss, reschedule or need to cancel a lesson?
We require a 24 hour notice if you intend to miss, rescheduled or cancel your lesson. We reserve the right to charge for lessons missed, rescheduled or canceled without 24 hours’ notice.