LEARN 

to Ride @ Sandridge

Learn to ride at Sandridge on our well-mannered, experienced and well-schooled horses.

 

We are proud to bring you excellence in instruction with the most up-to-date coaches and standards in a top-quality facility with a focus on classical education and rider safety.  All instructors at Sandridge Stables are certified or in process of becoming certified, through Equestrian Canada, the national governing body for equestrian sport in Canada and the National Coaching Certification Program, which governs coaching and certification standards for all amateur sport in Canada.  This ensures students have the best possible instruction with specific attention to safety and the learning progression.  Standards under this program are comparable to those in other equestrian countries such as England, Germany, the Netherlands and the U.S.  Our instructors continually pursue their own professional development and teach under the guidance of Equestrian Canada High-Performance Coach, Tricia Dahms.

Beginner Rider Programs

No riding assessment is needed for beginner riders.   Riders must be at least 6 years of age to participate in our programs.

 

Sandridge Stables teaches correct riding basics along with a classical approach to understanding the horse and riding with harmony.  Beginner riders are working to establish comfort and skill in all three gaits (walk, trot, and eventually canter) while working up the training scale.  Exercises on horseback and games of various kinds make learning fun and easy for all ages of students.  While learning to ride takes time and practice, its rewards are many and often extend past the riding arena and into personal development.

Once riders progress into canter work, there is the option to start to learn jumping basics.

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The learning to ride journey is unique for each rider.  However, many people ask how long it will take to become a more skilled rider.  It takes approximately 10 months to a year of consistent weekly lessons and riding to attain a good starting foundation for becoming a skilled rider.  We encourage our students to set individual goals for their learning and riding to work towards.  We also let students progress at their own pace.   

 

Beginner lesson components include:

  • an emphasis on safety, which is always at the forefront of both on and off-horse learning

  • barn safety, horse handling & study of equipment parts and functions

  • mounting and dismounting safely

  • rider position improvements,  rein and leg aids with basic arena exercises and games

  • learning and using all rider aids correctly and progressing to more advanced arena exercises

  • learning the training scale of riding with a focus on rhythm, balance and overall control

At Sandridge, we take great pride in developing top riders.  To help establish this standard of excellence we do have a basic dress code expected of all riders.  It consists of:

  • appropriate riding boots with sufficient heel (1/2") for safety

  • a safety-approved equine riding helmet (we do provide rental helmets if needed).  Bicycle helmets are NOT permitted as they do not meet safety standards set by Equestrian Canada

  • proper riding pants - breeches recommended (no jeans please)

  • shirts tucked in, and no baggy hoodies, no tank tops

  • long hair is to be securely tied back and away from the face 

  • no dangly jewelry

  • no chewing gum in the arena

 

GROUP LESSON SCHEDULES:

Children & Youth Learn to Ride beginner programs - Mondays & Fridays starting at 4:30pm, Saturday & Sunday mornings.  The first lesson starts at 8:30am and the last lesson usually ends at 12:30pm.

Adult beginner programs - Primarily Mondays & Fridays evenings as well as Saturday & Sunday mornings. However, we are always creating new lesson times based on needs and availability.  

 

The schedules are based on what classes have openings and if we need to open a new lesson time to accommodate more registrations, we will.  While we try to accommodate requests for lesson days and times, we are limited to what spots are available when you register.

Please note that lesson schedules and groupings can change as riders progress.  Notice about possible lesson time changes is always before being implemented, and affected students and families are consulted about what works best for them.  Unfortunately, we cannot always accommodate everyone's needs, but we try really hard!

We try to have no more than 5 riders per class.

BEGINNER PROGRAM FEES:

All lessons and fees are invoiced on a monthly basis.  Fees are to be paid in full at the beginning of each month either by etransfer, cheque, cash or credit card.  No debit is available at this time.

Group lessons are $260 + gst/month  ~ This monthly fee includes:

  • once a week lessons on a monthly invoice with a guarantee of 4 lessons every month

  • a lesson horse and all tack for the horse

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Flex lessons are also available for $65 + gst/lesson (add $20 if a lesson horse is required).  Payable on the day of the lesson.  Arrangements must be made at least 48 hours in advance.

Semi-Private lessons - $80 + gst/hour per rider  (add $20 if a lesson horse is required).  You book these directly with your instructor.

Private lessons - $110 + gst/hour (add $20 if a lesson horse is required).  You book these directly with your instructor.

Have your own horse?  The group lesson monthly fee is $200 + gst.  Lease horses are available. 

Please note that in winter months (November through to the end of April),  a heating surcharge is billed directly onto your monthly invoice.  You will be given notice of the charge and how much it is prior to being billed.

Certification For Riders

Equine Canada and the Alberta Equestrian Federation have developed English Rider Standards 1-10 to assist in the development process of a rider.  While entirely voluntary, taking these accreditation standards provides focus, motivation, goal-setting opportunities and a pathway to achievement.  Exams are held annually at Sandridge Stables for students who wish to participate in the certification process to progress at their own pace.

At Sandridge, our lesson programs are ongoing month to month.  You are welcome to sign up for as many or as few months as you would like.  You can join mid-month and your fee would be pro-rated to the weeks you began attending.  To cancel your monthly program, you are simply required to give one month's notice in an email to our office.

Occasionally, lessons will be a ground lesson, which means that there will be no riding or a combination of being on-horse and off-horse learning. Instead, instruction will focus on proper horse care (horsemanship) and stable safety.  Lessons are always the full scheduled hour.  

Missed classes cannot be rescheduled or refunded. 

All classes cancelled by Sandridge Stables will be rescheduled.

To enroll -  please complete our registration form and return it either by scan and email or drop it off in our mail box in the main entrance of our barn.  Payment must accompany registration.   If emailing registration, payment must be made either by etransfer (to tricia@sandridgestables.ca) or credit card.  We do not accept payment by interac/debit at this time.

 

 

Have more questions?  Please let us know, we are happy to help.