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  The mission at Maple Ridge Farm is to provide a safe, fun, premier learning environment to help students of all ages and levels reach their riding goals and become proficient horsemen. The first step in our lesson program is to master safe and proper horse handling practices on the ground. During riding lessons, students learn the "feel" and technique of skilled horsemanship. Each lesson focuses on building and mastering fundamental skills before moving to more advanced maneuvers and patterns. Students are encouraged to follow their passion, set goals, practice their skills often (in lessons or by leasing a lesson horse), and participate in local horse shows and farm clinics. Our lesson program is equipped with proven, quiet, show quality horses that make excellent, safe teachers. We carefully match horses and riders, to encourage the perfect fit and best learning environment. We currently have 10 lesson horses and over 30 lesson students. Approximately one-third of our students are adult riders, the other two-thirds are youth ages 6 to 18 years old. We enjoy a variety of English and Western disciplines, and also enjoy trail riding.

Please contact us to discuss your individual needs and schedule a time to visit the farm. Lesson students may enroll for weekly (highly recommended) or every other week lessons, or prepay for a certain number of lessons and schedule as you wish. A lesson handbook and fee schedule is available upon request. We offer private (30 or 60 minute), semi-private (1 hour), and small group (1 hour) lessons. All beginners are started in private lessons. Click here to meet our lesson horses.

Beginner Riding Lessons (English or Western)
All students learn horse safety, catching, haltering, leading, grooming, tacking, and mounting/dismounting. Additional topics include basic horse management and show preparation. When riding, students learn the fundamentals of English and/or Western disciplines. Lessons cover riding safety, correct riding position/equitation, steering or neckreining, transitions, speed control, the fundamentals of proper horsemanship, and the basics of equine body control (headset, side-passing, pivots) and training. Students begin on a lunge line and move to the round pen before advancing to the main arena. This allows us to teach one fundamental skill at a time, building upon skills at each lesson. This teaching format creates highly skilled, confident, proficient riders in a shorter amount of time.

Barrel Racing & Gaming
Learn how to barrel race! Lessons focus on training exercises and practicing the pattern and preparing for turns and speed. Additional fun games such as pole bending, speed barrel, and TX barrels, and other fun show events are also taught. There are many opportunities to show in these disciplines within 5-30 minutes from our farm.

Reining
“To rein a horse is to control his every movement.” Reining is a fast-pace sport that requires precision and attention to detail, mostly at a lope. Students master each individual maneuver (spins, sliding stops, rollbacks, lead changes, circling, transitions) and learn how to put maneuvers together into miniature patterns. Full reining patterns are mostly run at NRHA reining shows in Williamston, NC.

Hunter/Jumper

Hunter/jumper lessons focus on both flatwork and jumping. Equitation is a very important part of our lessons. We like to make each lesson fun and unique by learning different equitation patterns, coursework, individual jumps, jumping gymnastics, lower level eventing, and more. We attend a few local shows a year that offer hunter/jumper classes for all experience levels.

Working Western & Ranch Riding
Working Western and ranch riding focus on the horse’s natural way of going. Lessons are a mixture of rail work and pattern work. Patterns include elements from horsemanship, trail, western dressage, and ranch riding. We attend a few open shows each year that offer these classes.

Training Lessons
Learn how to train a horse (or your horse!). Students are taught proper handling on the ground, teaching a horse manners, how to lunge and how it helps prepare a horse for riding and certain skill sets. Depending on each student's level of riding experience, mounted exercises will also be performed. Basic fundamentals (neck reining, body control, headset, stopping on "whoa," etc.) to more specific skill sets for various disciplines (jumping or sliding stops, for example) will be covered. Students are welcome to haul-in with their own horse, too, to work on specific training topics.

Students are encouraged to attend local shows in order to complete their learning experience, gain new skills, ride horses under new circumstances, and set goals. The farm attends local one-day or weekend shows (within NC) throughout the year, primarily April through October, and also hosts a mini show series on-site. Most shows offer a wide variety of classes for young leadline students through advanced riders. We also attend local rodeos/barrel races and reining shows. Students interested in showing will prepare for such events in their lessons. Additional lessons and/or leasing is encouraged but not required. Preparation sessions are also available. Our trainers help prepare students and horses for each show and coach the day of the show.

We offer a variety of riding and educational camps and clinics throughout the year. Would you like to be added to our email list for camps and clinics at Maple Ridge Farm? If so, please let us know! **Reservations and deposits are required to hold your spot for our camps and clinics.**

A few of our lesson horses are available for partial on-site lease. Leasing is an affordable alternative to owning a horse, with nearly the same benefits. It gives enrolled students an opportunity to practice skills learned in lessons while gaining the experience and confidence of independent riding. Leasing is geared towards intermediate to advanced students, but only if your instructor feels confident that you have reached a level of competency and responsibility that makes leasing beneficial.

Maple Ridge Farm has an active 4-H horse club for ages 7 through 18. You do not have to own a horse, and you do not have to be involved in our lesson program. We have monthly meetings and 4-H events throughout the year. Come join us! Check out our photo album on Facebook.


 
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