Will you trailer my horse?
In most cases, yes! Long distance pick up or delivery is $20.00 plus $2.00 per mile loaded.
We also trailer to clinics and for camping trips. This costs $20.00, plus fuel costs, which are divided equally between all horses, excluding the driver’s horse.
Transport to local horse shows is free, but donations toward fuel are appreciated.
What kind of riding does Hillside Stables focus on?
All kinds! Dressage, natural horsemanship, and trail riding are our personal favorites, but we can help riders and horses of most disciplines, ranging from hunter/jumpers to barrel racers to endurance riders.
We have found that the dressage basics apply to every discipline, regardless of saddle type. Our program teaches students to have a safe and secure independent seat that improves the horse’s natural ability at each gait, while using quiet, tactful, invisible aids to communicate with the horse in a polite manner that does not hurt or injure the horse. The dressage training scale and its principles for gradually building muscle tone, flexibility, and cardiovascular capacity create a horse that is able to do any task that is asked of them while reducing the risk of injury to the horse’s joints and soft tissues. Students who understand the training scale and have an independent seat will be infinitely more successful at their chosen discipline, and their horses will be happier, healthier, and sound for many years longer. The horse’s well-being and the rider’s competence are our priority in all lessons; these are skills that translate to any discipline, and once we have established that each student has these basic, foundational skills, then we move on to discipline-specific techniques.
What type of clothing should I wear to my lesson? Do I need to purchase any special equipment?
We suggest wearing long pants that are comfortable and allow a wide range of motion. We have helmets available for students to use during their lessons, although most students prefer to get their own after the first few lessons. We also suggest that students wear boots with at least a 1/2″ heel. We provide all of the appropriate tack for students to use during lessons on school horses.
Many students purchase: a helmet, jeans or breeches that are specifically designed for riding, and western riding boots or paddock boots and half chaps. If there are additional questions about purchasing riding attire, Lisa and PK are generally able to provide some guidance about where to start shopping.
For more information about lessons, please see our Lessons page.
When am I ready for a group lesson?
Group lessons are a fun way to learn to ride! Many students enjoy riding with and learning by watching other riders. Students should be able to safely walk, trot, and steer before riding in a group lesson. We require all new students to take at least a few private lessons before joining a group lesson to ensure a safe and seamless transition to riding with others.
How often may I take lessons?
In an ideal world, where money is not an object, students would take lessons every day for several years to become a skilled horseperson. Unfortunately, most people have limited time and funds, so most students take one or two lessons each week, but students are welcome to take as many lessons as they like.
Are lessons cancelled if it is raining?
Not usually. The safety of our students is our primary concern and because we have a covered arena, we are generally able to hold lessons, rain or shine. However, if there is lightning, high winds, extremely heavy rain that could cause flooding, or if the weather otherwise makes it unsafe to ride, lessons will continue for the day as “unmounted” lessons in which the students will learn about any of a wide range of topics that are appropriate for the students’ age and skill level. These topics might include saddle and bridle fitting and care, horse health, anatomy, and biomechanics, horse care and maintenance, exercise and training theory, or another equestrian topic of interest to the student. Unmounted lessons are a fun and informative supplement to regular riding lessons and are our way of making the best of bad weather. We want our students to have a well-rounded equestrian education and bad weather gives us an opportunity to teach our students about equine subjects that might not be covered during traditional riding lessons.
I would like to lease one of the Hillside Stables horses. How do I go about doing that?
Great! Leasing is a wonderful way to ease into horse ownership and to improve your riding. We require that lessees be able to safely groom and tack up, and be able to ride safely at a walk and a trot without hurting the horse. We generally only lease to current students because part of the leasing program is four lessons per month. We require that students provide their own appropriate and correctly-fitting helmet, saddle, saddle pad, and girth, as well as grooming supplies. Horses available for lease are listed on our Sale/Lease page. PK can answer additional questions about the leasing program. Leasing is $500.00 per month and includes four lessons per month.
Can I work to pay for my lessons/board/lease?
Yes! We have a Barn Bucks program for responsible, long-term students who are at least 15 years of age with reliable transportation. Hours worked in this program may go towards paying for lessons, board, or a lease of one of our school horses. And yes, adults may also participate in the Barn Bucks program. PK can answer additional questions about the Barn Bucks program.
Do you have summer camp?
At this time, we do not offer summer camp for anyone other than current, long-time Hillside Stables students. If your child is a current, long-time Hillside Stables student and is interested in Summer Camp, please let Lisa know.