Windhorse Path Natural Horsemanship Lessons for new riders or those without a grounding in Natural Horsemanship begin with simple introductory work and progresses to riding. It is very important to spend time on the ground, in a round pen, coming to understand the emotional logic of a horse, establishing a relationship based on trust and leadership, and, most importantly, reflecting on and refining our own sense of power and identity within that relationship. This often includes practices that help potential riders develop awareness in themselves and in their horses of posture and breath, tension and relaxation, where energy is moving and where it is getting stuck. When the relationship has been built, we move on to guided riding that allows us to practice the awareness and control we’ve developed on the ground while mounted on the horse’s back.

RIDING LESSONS

Private LEssons:

$50.00 per session

Lessons are approximately 1.5 hours long but are always timed to end on a positive note for both horse and rider. Some lessons may be slightly shorter and some slightly longer to accommodate the needs of a particular situation. A successful lesson or training experience needs to end on a high note. We can work with your horse on your property (Peninsula, Southside, Isle of Wight County) or our horses in Smithfield, Virginia. Private lessons are tailored to an individual’s level of experience and desired outcome, based on an initial assessment and ongoing feedback. (Please see Rider’s Prep section below.)

Introductory Lesson Special:                

$25.00 per session

Your introductory lesson is designed to take the risk out deciding whether my teaching and training style matches your temperament and meets your needs. It also allows me to get to know a little bit about you, assess where you are as a rider, and suggest and design a course of training to meet your needs. This lesson is also approximately 1.5 hours in length.  (Please see Rider Prep section below.)

 

SMALL GROUP RIDING LESSONS

Small group lessons:

$35.00 per rider-per session

Sometimes small group lessons up to 3 riders are a more affordable alternative for families of friends. Like private lessons, these sessions are approximately 1.5 hours long and are always timed to end on a positive note for horses and riders. We can work with your horses on your property (Peninsula, Southside, Isle of Wight County) or our horses in Smithfield, Virginia. (Please see Rider Prep section below.)

 

LESSON PACKAGES

Getting Better

Experts who study the phenomenon of mastery tell us that getting really good at something (anything, really) requires two things: time and coaching. As far as time goes, they suggest that it takes about 10,000 hours of consistent, high-quality practice to move into the realm of mastery. That would be about 5 solid hours of practice everyday for five and a half years. As far as coaching goes, they suggest that time in practice alone does not get us to mastery. Without effective coaching and feedback, we are more likely to be practicing and getting good at doing the wrong thing the wrong way.What that means for a rider, is that a lot of time in the saddle, riding in a way that is sloppy, ineffective, inefficient and overly hard on a horse just means that you may well master being a bad rider and be especially resistant  to changing old, bad habits.

But even if mastery is the furthest thing from your mind, it’s human nature to want to get better at doing the things we love to do. If that’s you, then consider making a commitment to improving your riding with coaching and regular lessons. A lesson package is usually the best and most economical way to do this.

3 Month, 12-Private Lessons Package: $550.00

This is one 1.5 hour lesson a week over three months (12 lessons). By paying in advance, this package gives you one free lesson out of your 12. Lesson packages are individual designed to meet your needs and increase your skill level.

6 Month, 24-Private Lessons Package: $1050.00

This is one 1.5 hour lesson a week over six months (24 lessons). By paying in advance, this package gives you three free lessons out of your 24. Lesson packages are individual designed to meet your needs and increase your skill level.

3 Month, 12-Small Group Lessons for 2 Package: $770.00

This is one 1.5 hour lesson for 2 participants a week over three months (12 lessons). By paying in advance, this package gives you one free lesson for 2 out of your 12.

3 Month, 12-Small Group Lessons for 3 Package: $1155.00

This is one 1.5 hour lesson for 3 participants a week over three months (12 lessons). By paying in advance, this package gives you one free lesson for 3 out of your 12.

6 Month, 24-Small Group Lessons for 2 Package: $1470.00

This is one 1.5 hour lesson for 2 a week over six months (24 lessons). By paying in advance, this package gives you three free lessons out of your 24.

6 Month, 24-Small Group Lessons for 3 Package: $2205.00

This is one 1.5 hour lesson for 2 a week over six months (24 lessons). By paying in advance, this package gives you three free lessons out of your 24

RIDER PREP

At Windhorse Path on Timberline Ranch we have a strong commitment to the health of our horses and the safety of our riders.

Riders need to have the following:

  1. A riding helmet
  2. Riding boots or (at the very least) close-toed shoes with a heel
  3. Long pants
  4. Bottled water
  5. A signed release form

If you have trouble with one or more of these things, let me know and I may be able to help. If you or your children are new to riding, I suggest you not invest too much money in equipment until after you have some sense of whether this is a one-time exploration or a passion. I do not let riders under the age of 18 work in the round pen with or ride horses without a helmet. I can discuss optional equipment with you before, during, or after a lesson.