Riding School

Riding lessons for beginner riders from 7 years and older, up to national competitive level equestrians

We offer many learning opportunities on and off the horse to help you live your love of horses

What type of lesson should I take?

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Weekly 45 minute sessions – One-on-one with instructor

Learn the basics of safety, horse care, grooming, tacking/untacking, and how to start, stop and steer while mounted. Students graduate to a group lesson when they can confidently walk and trot off the lunge line and have experienced cantering on and off the lunge line.

Weekly 30  minute riding session ~ 2 riders

A stepping stone for pairs of riders between the lunge lesson program and group lessons.

Fully supervised grooming/tacking up before the lesson and untacking/tidying up after the lesson (approx. 30 mins. each).

One-hour group sessions with 4 riders (45 mins. for 3 or fewer)

Fully supervised grooming, tacking and untacking and in-barn learning

Students work on both group and individual exercises to form good habits and learn new skills.

One-hour group sessions with 4 – 5 riders (45 mins. for 3 or less)

Riders with similar goals and abilities are grouped together and lessons are tailored to meet those goals. Additional group lesson packages are available at a discounted rate and private lessons may be added.

Riders enrolled in group lessons may want to build or reinforce skills by adding private lessons to their group lesson package.

Working one-on-one with one of our instructors or coaches can help to strengthen riders physically and in comprehension.

During the fall/winter/spring optional clinics and activities are available for enriching riding and horsemanship skills. Examples include riding clinics, Equestrian Canada Rider Level Preparation & Evaluation, mental skills training, fitness training,  fun days and social activities.

Skills are acquired and fine tuned as outlined in the Riding Skills Progression sheet. If you are interested in learning more about Long Term Equestrian Development (LTED), there are a number of additional references included.

Lesson Prices

Lesson TypePackage (4/mth)IndividualLesson Length
Lunge Lesson$225$6045 mins
Mini-Group$225$6030 mins
Novice Group$215$581 hour
Intermed/Adv
Group
$215$581 hour
Private Lesson
(30 min. novice)
$255`$7030 mins
Private Lesson
(45 min. novice)
$270$8045 mins
Private Lesson
(45 mins. int/adv)
$335$9045 mins

Additional Lesson Information

Equipment

Riders in the riding school must wear an ASTM or SEI approved riding helmet when on or working around the horses. Westar Farms has approved helmets that riders may use for the first month of lessons while they make sure that riding is the sport for them, however we do not guarantee their fit and function for safety. Long hair should be tied back in a pony tail.

Beginners should wear comfortable stretch pants or riding pants (jeans are not comfortable for riding). No shorts.

Wear boots with a small heel. Garden rubber boots are fine to start.  In winter, warm boots with a small heel.

A suitable top for riding is a polo shirt or t-shirt with short or long sleeves and added layers as needed.

You can can purchase riding equipment at area tack shops including: Vision Saddlery (Bells Corners), Greenhawk Harness and Supply (Nepean),  Ashland Tack & Feed (Ashton)  Encore Equestrian (Merrickville),  or Apple Saddlery  (East Ottawa) or you can find many items second hand. Always buy a helmet, new and not used to be sure it is still in good shape.

Arrival Time & Preparing to Ride

Riders in a mini-group, group or private lesson should arrive 30 minutes before the posted lesson time. Helmets should be worn during grooming and tacking up. Riders should have their horse tacked up and ready to enter the ring 5 minutes before the assigned lesson time. Mini-group and novice group riders are supervised during grooming and tacking /untacking.

Riders in a lunge lesson should arrive a few minutes before the posted lesson time to be ready to start grooming under the supervision of the instructor at the assigned lesson time.

After the Lesson

Riders in a mini-group, group or private lesson should expect to take about 30 minutes to untack, groom, put the horse away and clean tack. Mini-group and novice group riders are supervised during untacking and putting away.

For riders in a lunge lesson, the grooming, tacking, riding and untacking are all part of the 45 minute riding lesson.

Lesson Packages

Lessons are booked as a package, by the month (4 or more lessons in a calendar month). If riders have a planned absence, lessons can be booked individually.

Lesson Payment

Lesson fees are due on the first day of the month for which the lessons are booked. Payment can be made by e-transfer, cheque or cash.

Absences

If you plan to be absent from a lesson, please notify us before invoices are sent out (one week before the start of the month). The lesson(s) may be able to be rescheduled or booked individually. Lessons canceled with more than 24 hrs. notice, may be able to be rescheduled if space in an appropriate lesson is available during the same calendar month, though a make-up lesson is not guaranteed. If less than 24 hrs. notice is given, the lesson cannot be rescheduled.

In-Barn Clinics & Activities

Monthly

Riders can reinforce what is learned in lessons and expand their horsemanship knowledge in many optional activities such as Development Clinics which take place on a monthly basis in the winter and spring. Novice riders learn and practice how to ride courses over poles or small jumps in Jumping Clinics or how to ride accurate figures in Dressage Clinics.  These are also great preparation for the summer Development Shows. Intermediate and Advanced riders can hone specific skills in clinics geared to their training level, such as course walking, understanding stride length in jumping courses, or how to improve their dressage score.

Guest Clincians

We invite other trainers and clinicians to enrich our students’ learning or we attend clinics at other facilities when the opportunity arises. Grand Prix dressage rider, Kerstin Blaeske comes to give specialized flatwork training, and hunter- jumper coach Jen Hamilton gives her annual clinic April 20 – 22. Paige Mattie will be doing a series of Mental Skills Training Sessions, also in April.

Rider Levels

Expand your horsemanship knowledge and riding skills, and prepare for the Equestrian Canada Rider Level evaluation. Preparation sessions take place in the winter and early fall, and evaluations, in the spring and late fall. The Rider Levels help plot some of the milestones of a rider’s learning and can, for those interested, plot the path to certification as a riding instructor or coach through the National Coaching Certification Program.

Development Horse Shows

Riders may choose to participate in the Develpment Show series hosted at Westar from late April to September. These introductory level events introduce students in the Westar riding school along with riders from other area stables to competition in a fun and friendly atmosphere. The Development Show Manual – A Guide to a Fun Show Day gives tips and advice on how to prepare for, and what to expect on show day. The 2020 Manual will be available online soon. Contact Westar for a copy.