What is the cost of my first lesson?
Your introductory lesson will cost $50. All first-time riders here at Southlands are required to take the initial Introductory Lesson which is 30 minutes in length and serves as a way for us to evaluate your current knowledge and as a way for you to evaluate us as the proper fit for your needs and goals.
After your initial introductory lesson, one of our instructors will discuss with you whether you are able to move into a group lesson or if you need to remain in privates. Some riders are eager to begin group lessons right away while other wish to remain in privates even when they are capable of joining a group.
The price of each lesson after the initial intro is dependent upon if you decide to become a member of the Foundation. Please click here to read more about becoming a member.
What should I wear to my lesson?
As a student at The Southlands Foundation, we would like you to wear long pants, boots with a small heel, and an ASTM/SEI approved helmet for your lessons. We have helmets available to borrow, however, as you become a regular student, it is suggested that you purchase your own to ensure proper fit.
Any shoe with a heel may be worn while riding, so long as the heel is about one inch in size. As you become a more proficient rider, you will want to purchase proper riding pants and boots. Two boot options are acceptable for lessons: tall leather boots, or paddock boots with riding pants or half chaps. Please no rubber boots as they are unsafe.
For winter riding, students should wear long johns, winter weight boots or extra socks and gloves.
Do I only come to ride or can I also help to take care of and prepare my horse?
At Southlands, we strive to build sound horsemen that are capable in all levels of basic horse care. With that goal in mind, we ask students to participate in the care of their horse before and after the lesson. We also ask that riders take the time to properly clean the tack they used and put all equipment away. This requires about 30 minutes before and after the lesson.
At what age can my child start taking lessons?
We encourage riders to begin lessons no earlier than 5 years old. Prior to this, we offer pony rides as a valuable introduction to the feeling of sitting on and riding a pony or Tiny Trotter sessions which are 20 minutes in length and introduce the beginning basics to riders under 5 years of age who are ready for more than a pony ride.
When can I ride in a group lesson?
Riders are able to move into a group lesson when they are able to walk and trot off the lunge line. The rider must also show that they can independently control and navigate the horse safely in a group setting. Some new riders move into a group in as few as six lessons while other riders continue to ride privately for several months before moving into a group setting.
Students who have prior riding experience are required to take the initial private introductory lesson to evaluate which group lesson would be best suited to them.
Can I ride the same horse each time?
Once you have tried several horses, we try to match you with a horse you like and ride well. Our horses are very special to us and one of the ways we can make their jobs easier and better is to give them students who they like and who like them. However, it is not possible to ride the same horse in every lesson! One way to ensure that you will ride the same horse is to join our share board or lease program. Please contact the main office at 845-876-4862 for more information on these options.
Can we come walk the property and visit the horses?
Yes. Our facility is open to the public on a daily basis and visitors to the land and animals are welcome. However, we ask that all visitors check in at the main office first.
Additionally, we have a strict policy that any visiting dogs must be leashed at all times!
Does the Southlands Foundation offer year- round lessons?
Yes. We have a large heated 80′ x 160′ indoor ring with a heated viewing room for spectators’ comfort! For the warmer months we have two outdoor rings (150′ x 250′ and 100′ x 230′), all with the newest high tech footing and drainage systems. We also have ample grassy riding areas complete with natural obstacles and miles of trails!