You can print off the release form at the bottom of this page!
Getting your child started in a new activity can be very overwhelming, especially when it is an activity that is new to you as well. We are here to answer your questions and guide you in every way. Below you will find some helpful information to get you started.
You are encouraged to come watch others ride at Twin Lakes. You, or your child, will pick up a lot and learn much faster by watching the more experienced riders, and the show horses. There are people to watch every day. Saturday is a busy day and a great day to stop by and watch.
What should be worn to riding lessons?
Riders should wear an ankle-high boot with a smooth sole and a 1/2 inch heel. Do not wear a hiking-boot type sole as it may get caught in the stirrup. The low heel keeps the boot from sliding all the way through the stirrup. Boots may be lace-up, zipper, or elastic. A sneaker can slide all the way through the stirrup, and also does not offer adequate protection if a horse should step on the rider's foot but is acceptable for your first few lessons.
Helmets must fit properly. A poorly-fitting helmet can cause serious problems. When you have the helmet on, it should not be possible to pull it down over the eyes. We recommend the "Troxel" helmets which have an adjustment in the back so that they will fit any head and will grow with your child.
Ask Miss Hannah about a free helmet fitting at your next lesson!
Helmets are also available at Tractor Supply in Moulton, AL.
Riders must wear full-length pants, never shorts or capri pants. We strongly recommend riding pants ("Kentucky Jodhpurs"), which are long pants with a bell-bottom and straps that go under the boots. Please keep the straps on the pants at all times! The straps keep the pants from riding up on the leg and chafing.
Riding pants and boots may be purchased at:
National Bridle Shop online: click here for Jodhpurs; click here for Boots
Hartmeyers online: Hartmeyers has some very small sizes for very young riders.
Jodhpurs and boots can also be purchased from World Champion Horse Equipment.
Is it better to take private lessons or groups?
There are benefits to private lessons, and benefits to group lessons. The ideal schedule is one private and one group lesson per week. In private lessons, the student receives intense individual attention and will progress more rapidly in many areas. However, group lessons are also very beneficial, as the rider must be able to steer around other riders and control the horse in a group. It is also very helpful to watch other riders, and the students in groups learn quite a bit from each other as well. Riders who are interested in showing need to ride in a group as that is what they'll do in the show ring, and they must be able to maneuver around the other horses. Every student begins with private lessons. For a beginner, it will probably take about 20 private lessons before you are ready for the group.
***Please keep in mind that every rider progresses at a different rate. Very young riders will need more private lessons before riding in a group; it is very rare for riders under the age of 6 to be safe in the group, so very young riders should plan to remain in private lessons.***
If you have ridden quite a bit before, we still like to start with one private lesson so we can place you in an appropriate group for your level of expertise.
When are lessons available?
We give lessons Tuesday, Thursday from 11 to 5 and Saturday from 11 to 4. Please arrive fifteen minutes prior to your scheduled lesson to insure you are ready to ride. Riders are welcome and encouraged to arrive early and/or stay late after their lesson as they need to learn to tack/un-tack and care for the horse.
Why should we consider riding in horse shows?
Riding in shows gives students goals to work toward. Riders focus much better in their lessons, pay better attention, and work harder with a horse show in mind. Showing is not just about winning blue ribbons, but it is about working for your own personal best; learning to win and lose graciously; learning to cheer for your teammates; learning to come back from a disappointing defeat; learning to climb to greater heights; achieving a close teamwork relationship with a horse; conquering fears of performing in front of an audience; and much, much more. Showing is a vehicle for building self-esteem and self-confidence. Those who show learn that hard work pays off! And kids get to learn valuable life lessons doing something they love to do. We make showing affordable also. Payment plans are available if you need a little extra time paying.
What do we need if we want to show?
We take our lesson horses to local shows to show in the "Academy" division. Academy is a division for riders who are just starting to show. The riders compete on lesson horses. To show in Academy, you only need dark-colored riding pants (Kentucky jodhpurs), jodhpur boot, a form fitting shirt, tie, gloves and vest. Most of these items can be found right at the tack stores listed above. The shirt is a dress shirt like an oxford and can be purchased anywhere; the tie is a men's tie. The vest should fit VERY well, not be baggy or loose. Color is great! For your girl, try to find a colorful, fun tie in bright or pastel colors. Extra length on the tie can be cut off if necessary; you'll find more selection in men's ties than in boys' ties. One of Twin Lakes Riding Instructors will help you pick out your show attire before your first show.
Click Here to download our 2014 Registration form to bring to your first lesson!