Full training (20 rides per month) 700.00 *If booking to start a horse under saddle a minimum of three months is required.
Board (includes private turnout, box stall, blanketing, hay and grain). 300.00 plus GST per month.
Lessons – 50.00 plus GST at Roads End Farm on your own horse (approximately 45 min private lesson). We also offer a limited number of lessons on Andaluisan dressage school masters at 75.00 per 45 min lesson. For lessons at another location please contact for pricing.
Our philosophy/training method in developing horses is best described as riding for lightness. We seek to develop a responsive, willing horse, that is a pleasure to ride, no matter what the discipline.
What do we mean by lightness?
- lightness in the horse’s response to cues,
- lightness in the way the horse moves; correct and efficient use of their bodies
- lightness in the rider as they allow the horse to move through its body, and allow the horse to respond to the aids without unintentionally impeding the horse’s response.
What is the primary foundation needed to obtain lightness?
It is a riding posture that not only allows a horse to move freely, but actively invites the horse’s body into correct carriage. This is the skill every rider is seeking and refining, and for some it comes naturally, while for others it feels like an elusive and unattainable goal.
Why is this foundation sometimes left unattended?
It is our belief that the standard way the seat and aids are taught does not work for many riders. The images of perfect position alignment, and the traditional words to describe it, can be confusing and misleading for riders who have not yet found the movement by feel. Riders get stuck in trying to implement the list of words in their head, and align their body according to the images, but rather than reach this goal, they end up stuck in tension and frustration. Where the rider goes the horse can only follow, so tension and frustration cycles through both.
Is there another road to take? There is a different way to teach the seat that we have discovered in our own learning. It is a less common format of words, and experiential exercises to teach correct core muscle use and movement. The techniques are based in mindfulness, and eastern movement-based mediations such as Tai Chi. We believe in coming back to the foundation – the core muscles, breathing and flexible strength. This is the bottom block of the tower on which everything else rests. So often this bottom block is ignored as if it isn’t there, and we tentatively pile on block after block as they wobble and sway. Then we are frustrated when they continually crash, so we find ways to prop them up. We try all manner of artificial supports in our riding, and on our horses, to solve the problem of fault lines in that bottom block. We are impatient to move on; to be higher on the tower. However, when you bring your mindful awareness and curiosity back down into that bottom block, you have the opportunity to feel the magic of what makes the horse such an incredible partner. The simplicity and ease of what happens when our movement invites their movement is an amazing experience. All the other pieces begin to naturally fall into place.
Understanding the use of the aids:
An aid must be a cue. It does not make the horse do anything. It signals, and the horse responds. This is a simple statement, but not a simple concept.
- First the rider must be able to separate out, and know, the distinct cue they are giving
- Then the rider must be able to feel when the horse gives the response
- Then the rider must be able to follow and allow what they have cued without getting in the way
Techniques to teach these skills:
- Mindful awareness
- Experimentation with body movement and position
- Teaching exercises that isolate muscle groups, to experience correct feel of movement on the ground and then on the horse
- Connecting and feeling responses in the horse as you make adjustments in your body
Learning to ride in lightness is a lifetime journey. We are on that journey ourselves and are honoured to share our own discoveries with other riders who find our style helpful.
Sincerely, Clint and Tracey Kinkead