In this section we try to answer the most frequently asked questions about lessons. Click on one of the questions below to see the answer. If you have other questions, just call or e-mail us and we'll be happy to help you.
What should I wear for my lesson ? For your safety, we require:
Riding breeches or close-fitting long pants (i.e. no shorts or baggy pants), preferably made of stretchy material such as Lycra or Spandex.
Tall riding boots (not cowboy boots), paddock boots, or high-top shoes with a LOW heel. Shoes with clunky buckles and aggressive tread are dangerous, and should not be worn in the saddle.
ASTM-certified riding helmet for riders under 18 years of age. Please note that we STRONGLY recommend EVERYONE wear protective headgear when mounted on a horse. If you are 18 years or older, and do not wish to ride with protective headgear, we may ask you to sign an additional release waiver to this effect.
For your comfort, we recommend:
Gloves and half-chaps (if you do not wear tall boots) to minimize chafing and blisters.
Will you travel to another facility to teach me (off-site lessons) ?
Yes. There is an additional charge for travel that will depend on the round-trip distance between Cardinal Points Farm and the lesson site (e-mail us to get an estimate of this travel charge). If you do not own the lesson facility please make sure that you have obtained approval from the facility's owner to bring in an outside instructor.
How do I book a lesson ?
Simply call or e-mail us for available times - it's that simple !
For off-site lessons, please book your lesson at least 1 week in advance.
What if it the weather is bad on the day of my scheduled lesson ?
If you have scheduled a lesson with us, and we determine that the weather on your lesson day is hazardous for riding or driving, we will contact you to arrange a make-up session.
How do I cancel a lesson ?
Please notify us 24 hours in advance if you cannot make it to your scheduled lesson, so that we can allow others to use your time-slot.
How long is my lesson ?
The average lesson will last about 45 minutes. For new students, and students needing help preparing the horse for the lesson, this will include the time spent on ground instruction, so that the total time in the saddle will be less than 45 minutes. In addition, lunging lessons may be 10-15 minutes shorter duration than off-lunge lessons.
For students riding their own horse, or those already familiar with our tacking-up procedures, you should arrive with plenty of time BEFORE the scheduled start of your lesson, in order to prepare the horse and yourself for the ride.
Please note that it will be at our discretion to end a lesson early without refund, if we deem it in the best interest, or necessary for the safety of the rider(s) or horse(s). The only exception is if a lesson is called or cancelled due to weather conditions; we will then issue a refund for all or part of a lesson.
If you use our horse and equipment, you should also allow at least 30 additional minutes AFTER the lesson finishes to untack the horse, put it up in its stall, and clean and put away any equipment you've used.
Why do I have to clean the horse and tack myself ?
If you use our horse and equipment, you (the rider) will be grooming the horse, tacking it up before you ride, and putting it all away after you ride. If you have never done this before, or feel uncomfortable doing this, we will guide you through this process as part of your lesson, until you become proficient enough to do it on your own. If you wish, we can schedule one or more lessons exclusively on stable and ground management prior to any mounted lessons.
The horsemanship experience begins well before you climb in the saddle. Remember; you are about to partner with a 1000-pound living creature. Handling the horse on the ground is necessary to develop a bond of trust between horse and rider. It will also develop the physical strength and dexterity needed for effective horsemanship, especially in younger children and small adults. Finally, it provides the initial glimpse of the responsibilities of horse ownership, especially for those considering owning their own horses in the future.
Can I ride my own horse in a lesson ?
Yes. You have the option of using our horse or yours. The lesson price per rider remains the same. To ride your own horse, you can either trailer your horse to Cardinal Points Farm, or arrange to have us travel to your facility (additional charges apply for off-site lessons). All horses brought onto our property must have proof of negative Coggins within the last 12 months.
Is my child old enough to take a riding lesson ?
We teach adults and children of all levels, from 8 years of age and older. We have found that by 8 years old, most children have acquired the minimum required physical strength, coordination, and the ability to concentrate and focus on a lesson for at least 20 minutes at a time. A younger age will be accepted if we are satisfied that the child can demonstrate these qualities. Feel free to contact us to discuss your child's suitability before signing up for lessons.
What will you teach ?
All lessons will have a focus on safety, enjoyment of the horse, and good horsemanship. WHY DO WE TEACH THIS
Depending on the goals of individual students, lessons may have additional focus on riding technique, or practical applications in horse handling from the ground.
Examples of lesson topics are: understanding horse behavior; communicating with your horse; horse anatomy and biomechanics; rider anatomy and biomechanics in the saddle; identifying and understanding the function of various pieces of riding equipment (tack); and rider responsibilities.
All new students must start out with at least one private session to allow us to evaluate your skills. Intermediate and advanced riders will focus mostly on horse training topics, although continued attention will be paid to rider and horse-handling technique.
I've never been on a horse before ...
Don't worry - ALL of us must start at this point. If you are a beginner, you will start out on the lunge-line, and develop your seat and balance in the saddle. As you progress, focus will gradually shift to more complex exercises, and topics on influencing and controlling the horse off the lunge-line. READ MORE
Do you board, run summer camps, or rent out ponies for special events ?
At this time we have no plans to offer horse boarding, camps or horse rentals.
I have other questions ... Please call or e-mail us with your questions, and we'll be happy to help you.
Please read ... Under Texas Law (chapter 87, Civil Practice And Remedies Code), An Equine Professional Is Not Liable For An Injury To Or The Death Of A Participant In Equine Activities Resultant From The Inherent Risks Of Equine Activities.