Q: What should I wear to my first lesson?
A: Long pants, a shoe or boot with a small heel, and upper body clothes to suit the temperature.
Q: How often can/should I ride?
A: Most people start out riding once a week then move up to 2 lessons per week as they progress.
Q: When can I go to horse shows?
A: When you feel comfortable jumping a small course of jumps you will be ready to show, however you can always go and watch others and support your other stable mates.
Q: Do I need to buy special riding clothes/boots?
A: You may borrow one of our helmets the first couple lessons but most people prefer wearing their own. Paddock boots (ankle high) with 1/2 chaps or breeches and tall boots are suggested.
Q: Can I feed the horses treats?
A: Yes, but we prefer you feed them carrots or healthy natural horse treats with no added sugar.
Q: How old do you have to be to take lessons?
A: It’s not a bad idea to occasionally put 3 or 4 year olds on a pony for a few minutes. 4 year olds can ride longer. At 5 or 6 they can start in 30 minute private lessons.
Q: Can we get manure for our garden?
A: Absolutely – we constantly produce it.
Q: Do you have any clubs I can join?
A: Once you start competing in horse shows you will want to join the OPHA (Ohio Professional Horseman Association) and the USEF (United States Equestrian Federation).
Q: Are you part of 4-H?
A: No, however we do participate in clinics and informational seminars.
Q: Can I take private lessons?
A: Absolutely! Most people prefer semi private lessons because it’s fun to ride with the friends you make at the barn but private lessons are preferred for the raw beginner.
Q: Do you train horses?
A: Yes. we specializes in starting young horses, hunters – jumpers, finessing already started horses and preparing them for the show ring.
Q: What style of riding do you teach?
A: Heatherl teaches hunter seat riding and dressage as it applies to jumping and the soundness of the horse.
Q: Do you have horse camps?
A: No, but we can direct you toward some very nice ones both in the area and in other states.
Q: Do you have clinics?
A: We attend clinics at other facilities annually and occasionally host clinics with top professionals.
Q: Can I trailer my horse in for lessons?
Q: Do you offer trail rides?
A: We don’t have open riding or open trail riding but we do have trails available for our boarders to use and are located near manicured trails within hauling distance.
Q: What shows do your riders go to?
A: The more experienced riders travel to out of state shows at Kentucky Horse Park, New York, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Illinois, and Indiana. Many of the others stay close to home showing at local OPHA shows.
Q: Do you have classes to learn about horses without riding them?
A: During the beginning stages we teach on the ground as well as in the saddle, then as needed, we incorporate different necessary horsemanship skills into our teaching.
Q: Can I board my horse with Hunter Vale?
A: Boarding is available for horses in training or for people who take at least 1 weekly lesson.
Q: Are you associated with any riding or horse organizations?
A: The OPHA (Ohio Professional Horseman Association) and the USEF (United States Equestrian Federation).
Q: How long are lessons?
A: Lessons are scheduled on the hour and young children's beginner lessons can be 30 minutes.
Q: When are lessons available?
A: We have lessons on Monday thru Thursday.
Q: Can I ride if I don’t have a horse?
A: Yes, we have school horses and ponies.
Q: Do you have lessons for adults?
A: Yes, over half of our students are adults.
Q: Do I need my own saddle?
A: No, we can supply the saddle until you own your own horse.
Q: How big are the lessons?
A: Class sizes vary. We try not to have more then 4 riders in group lessons. (riders need to be independent, confident riders before they can attend semi private and group lessons.
Q: Can we ride in the winter?
A: Yes, we have a large, well lit indoor arena with mirrors and good footing.
Q: Is there any where to sit and watch my child ride in the winter?
A: Yes, we have a wonderful heated viewing area with an indoor restroom.