Frequently Asked Questions
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Do I have to take lessons to ride?
Yes. All riding at Anchorage Farm is done in a supervised lesson situation. We are a learning stable.
Can I go on a trail ride at Anchorage Farm?
We are sorry but we no longer offer trail riding. Having held a outfitter/guide permit with the Pike National Forest for 12 years, we do know a lot about the trails. If you bring your own horse and stay at Anchorage Farm, we will be happy to advise and assist you. See our Trail Riding and Horse Motel pages.
Do I have to own my own horse to take lessons?
No we have several school horses. We provide the tack. You may also borrow a helmet, if you don't have one.
What do I need to wear?
The following items facilitate both safety and proper riding form (equitation).
- An ASTM-approved riding helmet – sufficiently snug to move the rider’s scalp.
- Boots with heels. Cowboy boots or leather lace-up paddock boots are acceptable for beginner riders. Rubber riding boots are totally unacceptable and are banned from Anchorage Farm. (The rider cannot get his/her heels down in the proper position with rubber boots because rubber boots are inflexible.) Serious intermediate and advanced students should purchase high-top riding boots.
- Long pants. Leggings or knit pants are more comfortable than jeans. Jeans chafe at the knees and restrict the rider's seat position. Riding breeches are available at local tack stores for a reasonable price and are very professional looking.
- Riding gloves. Anchorage Farm has leather and synthetic riding gloves for sale at reasonable prices. Please label all clothing - especially gloves. Gloves are not worn for warmth, appearance or to protect the hands. They are worn because they enable the rider to better communicate with his horse through the reins.
- A close fitting upper garment (shirt in the summer, coat/sweater in colder weather) enables the instructor to better see the rider's body so that he/she can teach proper equitation. A close-fitting vest is thus an effective aid to the instructor.
What should I wear in the wintertime?
Many students would be far more comfortable horseback riding in the wintertime if they were properly dressed.
- Long underwear or polar fleece breeches. Sweat pants slipped over other pants can provide a lot of warmth in the event of unexpected cold.
- Thinsulite riding gloves.
- An adequate close fitting coat.
- A close fitting warm sweater or polar fleece jacket/vest.
- Winter, ski-type socks.
- Boots of adequate size to accommodate sufficiently warm socks (possibly more than one pair of socks). Inexpensive lined winter boots, suitable for the snow will do.
- Since a warm head is also important, some students successfully wear a lightweight stocking cap under their helmet. Give it a try!
It is not necessary to spend a lot of money to keep warm. You probably have most of these items already. Dress appropriately. Be comfortable. Stay warm!
What days and times are riding lessons offered?
We give lessons Tuesdays through Saturdays, 9am to 7pm. Although we do not generally give lessons on Sundays and Mondays, we can can offer lessons on these day for our B&B guests.
What happens if it is raining or snowing?
We give lessons year-round in our indoor arena. Since we live at Anchorage Farm, we are always here. If you can get here, we can give you a lesson. On the other hand, we will be glad to re-schedule if you cannot get here.
When is it too cold to ride?
Generally speaking, we consider it too cold if the temperature in the arena is below 10º for experienced riders, below 15º for intermediate riders and below 20º for beginners and for children under the age of seven. Please call if you are in doubt, or check the weather channel
When is my child old enough for lessons?
We will teach any child who can hold the reins and follow instructions. Most three year olds can do this if they are really interested in learning to ride.
Am I too old to learn to ride?
If you can get on the horse, we will teach you. Our oldest students have been in their 70’s, but we are open to giving lessons to people of any age. Please read, "Am I Too Old to Ride?"
Do you have adult riding lesson groups?
We will be glad to accommodate a group that you form. It is very difficult for us to maintain an ongoing group of adult riders because of their complicated schedules.
Can I take a lesson at the same time as another family member?
Jim can teach an adult at the same time Kris teaches your child. Anyone age eight or over can ride as a group or a couple – with one instructor. See rates.
What if I do not know if I really want to take lessons?
If you are not sure, schedule just one lesson. If you want to stop after one, you can pay the rate for a one-only lesson. Other than bed-and-breakfast guests, it is extremely rare for a student to only take one lesson. The vast majority sign up for a group of four lessons. Of those who take four lessons, the vast majority continue with more lessons.
How many lessons do I need to “learn how to ride”?
That is really up to the individual. I always say, “One lesson is better than none. Two are better than one”, and so on. We have many students who have stayed with us for eight years or more. On the other hand, there are many horse owners who have never taken a riding lesson. It is all a matter of the quality of experience you would like to have with a horse. Click here to learn more about some reasons for taking riding lessons.
Can I ride outside?
We give beginner lessons indoors for safety and convenience. Intermediate and advanced riders may take lessons in the outdoor arena if the weather and footing are favorable. Ongoing students may also go on trail rides with an instructor.
Do you lease horses?
We will part-lease a horse if we feel it is in the best interest of the horse. We can make this assessment only after a rider has taken at least the first series of lessons.
What breed of horses do you use for lessons?
We have one half-Arabian, three Arabians, one standardbred, three US-bred warmbloods and five imported warmblood horses.
Now that you've read all this, come join us for riding lessons!