Frequently Asked Questions
Lessons & Camps
What should I expect for the first horseback riding lesson?
Students who have ridden in the past will also learn to groom and tack during their first lesson. We understand that they may already know this material. However, we may do thing slightly different. Each student learns how our barn works, what we expect, and where things are kept.
How often should my child take a riding lesson?
When is my child ready for a group riding lesson?
Is it possible to work for riding lessons?
Working students must work four hours for every lesson. All working students must be comfortable handling horses, helping younger children tack up, and able to follow direction and work with little supervision.
Is horseback riding camp appropriate for my child?
Current students who are five to six years old may attend camp if approved on an individual basis. Non-students must be at least seven years old to attend camp. Students under the age of eight should only attend summer camp for half days, due to the heat.
Horses & Ponies
When will my child change horses?
What is involved with leasing a horse?
We have full leases and half leases. A full lease means you have access to the horse or pony seven days per week. A half lease means you have access to the horse or pony three days per week.
If you lease one of the lesson horses or ponies at Pony Paddock, the lease or half lease includes one group lesson or one half hour private lesson per week. For a full lease, you’ll need your own tack, including a saddle and bridle. For a half lease, you’ll need your own saddle.
Leasing a horse or pony that does not belong to Pony Paddock would involve paying board at Pony Paddock. The owner of the horse or pony will usually request a fee for the lease.
Students should not lease a horse or pony until they’re able to ride independently. In addition, students should never ride alone!
Do we have to purchase a horse?
When is my child ready to participate in a horse show?
Showing is not required. However, showing is a great way to help our children set goals and judge their progress.
How much does it cost to participate in a horse show?
What should I expect at a horse show?
Unless you’re showing at a dressage show, we’re unable to tell you when you’re going to ride. We’ll try to give you an estimate of the time schedule, but, realistically, it’s a guess. Since show management can’t stop the show if you’re not ready when your class is called, please plan on being there all day.
We live in Florida, so it will usually be hot at the horse show. We recommend you bring a cooler with lots of water. It’s very important to stay hydrated during the horse show. Fruit, water, and Gatorade will help. Bringing snacks will also save you money. Most show facilities have a concession stand with hamburgers and hot dogs.
When you get to the show facility, you’ll need to check in with the office. In the office, you’ll sign a release form, pick up your number, and leave them a check for the show fees. At the end of your division, you’ll go back to the show office and check out. During checkout, you’ll pick up any ribbons you won.
Parents and students must be able to tack up the horse or pony without the instructor’s help. Chances are the instructor will be coaching other students and won’t be available to assist.
We also expect all participants who show to help clean up after the show. This involves loading to come home and unloading once we are home. This is part of the show experience. If a student is unable to help load and unload they will be charged an additional fee.
What do I need to be ready for a horse show?
The easiest way to have everything you need for a horse show is to go to Bits N Spurs in Newberry or Tack Shack of Ocala and tell them you are getting ready for your first show. They will take it from there.
You will need:
- A Pony Paddock polo shirt or a show shirt (if you are wearing a jacket)
- A Jacket
- Breeches or Jodhpurs.
- Breeches need tall boots or half chaps. Jodhpurs need garters.
- Clean black paddock boots
- White fluffy show pad for your saddle
- A black helmet. Helmet covers may be used over schooling helmets.
What are some good books for horseback riders?
Pony Paddock recommends the following books for riders of all levels:
What tack and equipment do you recommend for horseback riders?
Pony Paddock recommends the following tack and equipment for horseback riders: