LEAD REIN LESSONS
Mom leads. Kid rides. We teach.
Quick Facts: Each rider has their own horse. A parent or helper leads the horse during the lesson. Lessons include 2-6 riders and are 1-hour long. $215/mo for an hour once per week.
Fitness: In one hour at the barn, parents often walk 7,000-10,000 steps with their child. If kids are trotting while riding, they burn the same number of calories they would burn while running. Lead Rein Lessons are good exercise for parents and riders!
Check Out These Fantastic Little Riders!
Having the horse on a lead rein allows the rider to focus on their riding and not on controlling the horse. At first, riders just work on being solid in the saddle, but soon progress to working on the finer aspects of equitation. Equitation means the rider's position while mounted and includes correct use of the aids for the horse (meaning the way we cue the horse using our hands, legs, and voice).
LAUGHTER, FRESH AIR, AND A WORKOUT
Suitable for Ages 2-8
Why You'll Love Lead Rein Lessons:
Bonding for Parent and Kiddo
Lots of Exercise
Students learn to take instruction
Equipment: All necessary equipment is provided by the stable, including a helmet, saddle, etc. Lessons are in a covered arena that is open year-around.
Lesson Structure: Riders warm-up with balance exercises at a standstill then begin circling the arena at a walk. An instructor coaches riders on their position and on good horsemanship, and sets up fun patterns and activities for students to do. Parents lead the horse and kids gradually work up to steering solo.
Games: A teacher leads fun games like Red Light / Green Light, Simon Says, I Spy, and more.
Horse Shows: Lead rein lessons are not just a pony ride. We offer Lead Rein classes at our horse shows. Classes range from just the basics at a walk, to trail obstacles, to zooming through a course of jumps with a helper guiding the horse. All classes help riders to develop the skills needed to continue progressing in horses.
Cost: $215/month for a 1-hour group lesson once per week. Includes help with saddling and instruction while riding
Lead Rein riding is done all over the world - Germany, the Netherlands, England, Australia, Japan... Lead Rein starts at the walk, but can progress to a much higher level as seen here. Showing on the lead rein is a great way to get new riders used to the hustle and bustle of a show and also used to memorizing courses. Lead Rein is also helpful to riders who have a spunky pony and might be nervous about falling off, but still want to show.
LEAD REIN GOALS
You Asked, We Answered
Pony Pros is ever-evolving and we pride ourselves on being very family-centered while doing the best we can for our staff and animals. We sometimes feel like bears on bicycles balancing it all! It's very important to us that we support our local community and provide a much-needed service getting youngsters started riding. Here is how we created the Lead Rein program in response to requests from parents like you.
Tacking Up: Kids love to saddle and groom, and parents want kids to learn these skills! Half hour private lessons do not allow time for these things and one hour private lessons are too expensive for parents. Using parent help, we are able to help kiddos learn to tack up as part of their lesson.
Friendships: Kids want to ride with friends and so many kids truly need more friends than they have at school. We grew tired of telling parents a 6-year-old can’t safely steer a horse in a group. But, if kids have help from a parent, we can allow young kids to ride in a group. We love seeing riders make friends who share their passion at horse lessons.
After School Lesson Times: Many parents were asking for 3-6pm lesson slots for beginner riders. After school and after work are peak hours for us. Our business budget requires that our peak lesson times are used by group classes versus private. There is too small of a margin on private lessons, but we were able to group these young beginners in Lead Rein lessons.
Q: Will my kiddo learn to ride well or just be getting a pony ride?
A: Lessons include coaching on equitation and hand, leg, and voice aids. Students need to show up ready to learn and focused.
Q: What is covered in lessons?
A: Grooming, saddling, steering, walk/trot transitions, posting, leg yields, backing up, two-point, sitting trot, and more.
Q: Do riders learn to saddle a horse?
A: Yes, parents help children tack up the horse with the supervision of a trainer. We start with small steps and gradually give parents and kiddos more responsibility. Kids will ride in equipment that is appropriate for their skill level. They will start in a surcingle with big handles, then briefly move into a Western saddle, then learn English.
Q: What do I need to buy?
A: We expect students to invest in proper riding equipment in lock-step with going up the levels. Riders can start in casual attire, but if they want to ride in a saddle vs a surcingle they must buy boots and riding pants. If they want to jump, they must buy a helmet.
Q: When will my kid learn to steer?
A: During Lead Rein classes, parents will start out holding a rope to help kids guide the horse, but we will gradually wean riders off needing help. Parents will stay nearby so they can help the rider if they get stuck.
Q: My kid wants to steer a horse now. Why won't you let them?
A: We invest in nice horses. Our horses are used by multiple levels of riders. If we let inexperienced riders bounce around on them it will untrain the horses. Likewise, when your child then reaches the level of wanting to do more with the horse, the horse will remember when the child was unskilled, in which case, the horse will not to listen to the child.
Q: What if my kid wants to trail ride?
A: Parents can help lead students on the trail. Students are not eligible to steer their own horse on the trail until they can safely canter 2 laps around our indoor arena.
Q: What if my kiddo wants to show?
A: Students practice the things they would need know to eventually compete circles, changes of direction, halting, backing up, keeping spacing between horses, how to memorize a pattern, and more. By doing lots of patterns in kids become familiar with how to use arena geometry to make proper arena figures that are used in the show ring. Kids can also enter online competitions using videos from class.
Q: Can we bring carrots or apples for the horses?
A: Yes, but some of our horses have special dietary restrictions so must eat low-sugar treats instead, which we provide. Also, kids under 7 should not feed horses by hand but instead place treats in a bucket.
Q: My kid wants to barrel race. Do you teach that?
A: No. We specialize in teaching kids to jump. Although we use a Western saddle with little kids to keep them secure in the early stages of riding, our program focuses on English riding exclusively. We believe that learning to jump a horse is the best way to provide kids with the skills for a lifetime of safety around horses. We do teach Mounted Games, which involves the same games in an English saddle.
Confidence First and Foremost
Learning to vault is the first step in learning to ride. In this video, you can see a rider demonstrating all the more advanced balance tricks that a young student can learn in order to make them feel brave and solid on horseback. Once riders are very confident with the vaulting surcingle they progress to riding in a saddle and bareback.