Foxfield Riding School emphasizes safety and fundamentals. We want your riding experience to be both positive and educational. Great care has gone into developing your lesson curriculum, and we take pride in offering patient and thorough instruction on quality horses suited to rider ability. Listed below are some answers to commonly asked questions.
Does Foxfield Offer Private Lessons?
Yes. Private lessons are scheduled through the individual instructors. In private lessons, students learn about grooming and tacking as well as riding. When a student is confident with ground safety, grooming and tacking, then she can come early to get the horse ready and stay after the lesson to take the horse back to the correct paddock. (Note: It is very important not to make a mistake; if a horse ends up in the wrong paddock, other horses will more than likely hurt him. Also, always be sure to lock the gates properly. If you have any questions or need help, please ask.)
How Can I Learn More About Ground Safety, Grooming, & Tacking?
Foxfield will be offering Ground Safety, Grooming and Tacking clinics on a regular basis. You will be notified at the barn in advance of these lessons, or you may want to sign up with an instructor for a private lesson to cover these areas which are so important for you to learn.
How Do I Know Which Horse To Sign Up For?
Horses are grouped according to rider ability. Each ring has specific horses assigned to it. Your instructor and the barn manager will help you choose until you get to know each one. We have a wide selection of ponies and horses, and we encourage you to ride them all! Doing this will only make a better rider out of you, and help you progress more quickly. Some horses need a strong leg; some are sensitive and need a rider to sit back with a quiet leg — both qualities that will develop an educated rider. All our horses are wonderful and have a lot to teach.
I Want To Learn To Ride English, Why Am I In A Western Saddle?
The fundamentals of riding are the same whether a rider is in an English or a western saddle. All beginning students are started in a western saddle and are asked to hold the reins with one hand. Western saddles have a deeper seat, fixed stirrups, and a horn to hold onto. This way, a rider can develop a balanced seat without pulling on the reins (which can hurt the horse’s mouth). As the rider’s position strengthens, she’ll start holding the reins in both hands.
Is There Anything I Need Before I Can Ride?
You need to fill out and turn in the appropriate Release Forms, which are available both at the schooling barn and here online as Adobe PDF documents (so you’ll need to have the Adobe Acrobat Reader installed on your computer to read them). Both adults and minors must fill out a Student Release Form. Minor riders must also have a Medical Release Form on file
It’s Raining; Are There Lessons Today?
Foxfield very rarely cancels due to rain. We ride on cloudy days, in the mist and light drizzle. Only in cases of heavy rain do we cancel. Never assume lessons are off; please check our calendar page first. This page is updated daily during the winter months and it may be raining two miles down the road, but if it’s not raining at Foxfield, we ride.
You can view the calendar page by clicking here.
What If I Don’t Get The Horse I Signed Up For?
Foxfield staff and instructors may need to adjust horse and rider scheduling. There are many reasons for this. Please accept these occasional changes as an opportunity to try out a new horse, or ride one you haven’t taken in a lesson for a while. You may just find a new friend.
What Is Covered In The Lesson?
A rider will learn to guide a variety of horses through straight lines, turns, and circles at all of the gaits while maintaining the proper position and balance. They learn how to correctly space their horses on the rail, as well as the fundamentals of posting, backing, diagonals, leads, and balance position. Instructors also teach students about a horse’s anatomy, proper names of riding equipment, and general horsemanship. Once a rider is advanced to an English saddle, she will learn to jump over small cross-rail fences. When a rider maintains a strong position and can effectively jump a variety of horses, she will be moved to the next level.
What Is Foxfield’s Cancellation Policy?
Please call 24hours in advance of your lesson so that another student may have a chance to ride in your place.
What Should I Wear? Do I Need Riding Equipment?
Foxfield recommends long pants and a shoe with a heel. Long hair should be pulled back. Foxfield has helmets and crops to loan if you do not have your own. But, whether you borrow a helmet or buy your own, you’ll need to make sure that your helmet fits you properly. Also, no bicycle helmets, please. Chewing gum, baggy clothing, and jewelry are discouraged. If you wish to purchase your own equipment, we encourage you to speak with an instructor first for recommendations.
What Time Should I Arrive?
Foxfield recommends that you arrive a half hour before your lesson. This allows time to check in, schedule your next lesson, select a properly-fitting helmet and pick up a crop. Then your horse will be bridled and the girth tightened. After you mount, the barn staff will help you adjust your stirrups. You will then walk your horse around the tree to limber him up. If you are going to be late, please give us a call so that we can give you an extra hand to get you into the ring quickly.
When Are Group Lessons Held?
Group lessons are held on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays at 4:00 pm. There’s also a special lesson on Fridays at 4:00 pm for absolute beginners. Foxfield offers Saturday lessons at 9:00 am, 12:00 noon and 2:30 pm. Adult Only lessons are given on Tuesdays at 10:00 am and 7:00 pm.
What Do You Mean By ‘The Correct Position’?
Beginning students will be learning about the center of gravity and how to follow a horse’s motion rather than perch above it. Your shoulders should line up with the hips and heels. Eyes up, heels down, and hands quiet.
When Can I Move From A Western Saddle To An English Saddle?
Foxfield encourages beginning riders to stay in a western saddle until the correct position can be maintained at all three gaits on a variety of horses. Instructors evaluate each rider in every lesson and guide the students when they are ready to progress.