THE FIRST LESSON — Lessons are booked and paid for in advance. The first lesson can be booked as a single before deciding whether the rider who is wishing to carry on with the lessons. Prior to the lesson the parent of children under 18 will be asked to read and sign a Release form. A friend or relative can not sign for the student. An approved riding helmet will be provided should the rider not own one. The students are welcome to use our riding helmets but we ask that you please purchase your own once you have decided whether or not riding is for you. Proper riding footwear is mandatory, in particular, a heeled boot.
MONTHLY SCHEDULE — Before the end of the month, please make sure you have informed us that you wish to continue to participate in lessons at your regular time. This ensures that you receive the same time slot as the month before. If you do not pay for your lessons before the beginning of the month they are not considered to be booked. Should the student want to take a hiatus from lessons over the summer months their current time slot will unfortunately not be held open for their return. Parents of small children (or teenagers) who are unable to read posted information should make sure to check out the online schedule every week. There are often changes and important messages posted.
Riding Lessons and Clinics
CANCELLING LESSONS — Please call or leave a message on the barn phone or text Sarah’s cell phone should you have to cancel your lesson. It is important that you call and not become a “No Show”.
MAKE-UP LESSONS — It is the rider's responsibility to make arrangements with their instructor to make up the missed lesson. The missed lesson must be made during the month in which it was originally scheduled. NO CARRY OVERS to the next month to avoid schedule and administrative difficulties.
WHEN TO ARRIVE FOR LESSONS — Grooming, saddling and bridling the horse are part of every lesson. Horses need to be thoroughly groomed before and after each ride. All equipment must be put away. Students should arrive 10 minutes before the lesson. The more the riders learn about grooming and tacking up skills the more tasks they can do by themselves in the future.
ROUTINE FOR PARENTS — Parents are welcome to watch their children ride. For safety and stable management reasons, only riders and Picket Hill Equestrian Centre staff are permitted in the riding arena. Parents, relatives and friends are welcome to watch lessons in the lounge or nearby areas. However we ask that the conversation be kept at a low volume as it is very difficult to have to raise our voices above the chatter in order for the student to hear the instructor. Please do not hang on or around the gate to the entrance of the riding arena. It is a heavy traffic area with riders and horses passing though.
HORSE ASSIGNMENTS — The instructors consider many different factors when assigning horses including the riders' size and skill, and the horses' temperaments, workloads, training. Each horse will teach you something. Asking is all right, but please do not demand that you ride (or not ride) certain horses.
WHAT TO WEAR — Helmets: ASTM-certified riding helmet. There are helmets available to borrow. Boots must have a well-defined heel. Breeches: leggings or sweat pants may be worn instead of breeches. Gloves are recommended year-long but are a must during the cold weather. Tops: Form-fitting tops should be worn tucked in. Riders should dress for the weather in layers with sweaters that zip or front-button so they can be easily removed or put on while the student is helmeted and mounted. Jackets must be zipped up if they are worn while riding. Hair must be kept out of the face by being tied back. No gum chewing while riding. We often have second-hand riding boots and other items available.
FEEDING TREATS — Horses love carrots and apples but please ask first before feeding them.
COACHING — Coaching is mandatory at all shows that we attend as a stable. This fee includes schooling of rider and horse including the day before warm-up rounds. Coaches make sure you are signed up for your classes and that you are properly prepared and ready to show, including, most importantly, jump course strategies. This small fee includes traveling expenses and meals for your coach. Remember, your coach is there to "coach" you and is not your personal groom. Please have someone capable to help you groom, tack up and/or lunge your own horse at the show.
RULES OF THE BARN — All Riders, parents and guests are expected to follow the Barn Rules. These rules are in effect for the safety and well being of all the horses and all the riders. Please respect our rules and understand that everyone has the same rules. If a person attending at the barn can not respect and participate under the said rules they will be asked to ride and train elsewhere.
We provide lessons and clinics for riders of all levels. Whether you are a beginner or a competitor we have specialized EC coaches who can meet your needs. We regularly host specialized clinics in dressage, show jumping, eventing, centred riding, saddle seat, and introductory driving, with top quality clinicians.
Sarah King is currently working towards her Equine Canada Coach certification and has over 40 years of riding experience. Her passion from an early age was show jumping. Originally from England, she developed her skills through Pony Club, and worked weekends as a stable hand at a racing stables during her early teenage years. Sarah has lived and competed in Alberta and BC for the past 16 years. Having ridden under instruction from many accomplished competition riders and coaches Sarah has enjoyed competing regularly at Rocky Mountain Show Jumping and Spruce Meadows (2004-2008) where she regularly placed in the ribbons with her amazing little mare Highfalutin' Miss. In 2008 she received a $10,000 sponsorship from Lake Newell Resorts enabling her to pursue her passion and win the Winter Series Championship at Rocky Mountain Show Jumping on 'Missy'. Sarah has since coached students privately and trained horses for Country Haven Stables in Alberta. Having taken a break from regular competition since 2009 due to other commitments, Picket Hill Equestrian Centre gives her the opportunity to pursue her love of horses and the joy they bring to so many. She hopes to compete regularly and help her students develop their riding skills enabling them to achieve their dreams.
Please contact us for our lesson and clinic rates