Where is Cevalo Located?
Why is there a work requirement?
Do I have to pay by the month?
Do you offer "drop-in" lessons?
What do students do during lessons?
Is there a weight limit?
What clothing and equipment do riders need?
How do I sign up for lessons?
Do you accept credit card payments?
Are lesson fees tax deductible?
Cevalo Riding Academy is about 20 minutes south of Hwy 85 and Almaden Expressway. We're located on Croy Road in Morgan Hill, about 1/4 mile in from Uvas Road. See the Directions page for a map and detailed directions.
All members are asked to perform at least 2 hours of volunteer work at Cevalo each month to help us care for the horses and our facilities and equipment. Not only is this an important part of learning true horsemanship, it's vital to Cevalo. Without everyone's help, Cevalo simply couldn't exist.
In general, yes. New riders can schedule an introductory lesson to get a feel for what it's like before they commit to a full month. For those who choose to continue, lesson fees are pro-rated during the first month, and then paid monthly thereafter.
We've adopted a monthly program for several reasons:
- The number of students we can accommodate is limited by the number of horses we have available.
- Knowing in advance how many students will be riding each week enables us to ensure that each of our horses will get the right amount of exercise.
- Students progress much faster when they ride on a consistent basis.
Lesson fees are non-refundable. If you can't make it to your lesson, let your instructor know as soon as possible. Make-ups are offered as long as you give at least 24-hour notice or miss a lesson due to extenuating circumstances. Make-ups should be scheduled within 30 days of the missed lesson and MUST be taken in addition to your regularly-scheduled lesson. You may not apply accrued make-ups toward lesson fees.
At this time, we do not offer a drop-in program. If you have a work or travel schedule that makes it difficult to schedule a regular weekly lesson, contact us and we'll be happy to work with you to come up with a custom schedule.
Students spend a half-hour before lessons grooming and tacking their horses. Lessons last one hour and include warm up time and stretches, various exercises designed to improve balance and control, and (for intermediate and advanced riders) schooling over fences. Afterwards, students untack and take care of the horses' needs.
Some of our horses have weight restrictions under 185 lbs or less because of their size or age. We cannot accommodate anyone over 250 lbs.
- Riding Helmet: Helmets are required for all riders. Cevalo has loaner helmets available for intro lessons, but continuing students need to have their own ASTM/SEI certified equestrian helmet. (Bike helmets do not offer adequate protection and are not permitted.) Our head instructor can assist with helmet fitting and offers helmets for sale through The Equine Clothesline.
- Boots: Sturdy, close-toed shoes or boots with a 1" heel are required for all riders. Tall rubber English riding boots are an economical and practical choice for beginning riders. Our more experienced riders prefer paddock boots with half chaps or tall leather boots. For those just starting out, by all means feel free to wear your cowboy boots if you already have a pair!
- Clothing: Riders should wear clothing that doesn't restrict their movement and comfortable, long pants. Schooling tights or breeches are ideal and much easier on our saddles than jeans. Dressing in layers will ensure that you can stay comfortable as the day warms up or cools down.
Additional items that many riders will purchase over time:
- Crops: Riders should get accustomed to carrying a short jump crop from the start and will need a longer dressage whip as they progress beyond the basics. Crops are used to reinforce leg and rein aids.
- Gloves: Riding gloves are not required but will help protect your hands and provide a good grip on the reins or lead rope. Work gloves are also recommended for when you're helping with chores around the stables.
- Safety Vests: Safety vests (also known as body protectors) are popular with our students and required on the cross-country course. While they aren't a guarantee against getting hurt if you fall, they can help distribute the force of the impact and offer protection against solid objects like fence posts and hooves. They are not required, however, for lessons in the arena.
To start lessons at Cevalo:
Email or call us and book a lesson. An "introductory lesson" is available on request with the cost pro-rated.
Print the Cevalo Liability Waiver and bring a signed copy with you for each participant. (There are also copies at the barn in case you forget or are unable to print the file.) Waivers are required for all Cevalo students and volunteers.
Note that instructor fees are paid directly to your instructor and membership and horse fees are paid to Cevalo. Payments are due on the 1st of the month.
We can accept credit card payments if you pay via PayPal. You don't even have to have a PayPal account! When you click through to PayPal from our website, simply choose the Pay with a debit or credit card, or PayPal Credit option below the sign-in area. You'll be prompted for your credit card information to make a secure, one-time payment.
In general, only amounts over the value of the goods or services you receive are tax-deductible when you make donations to a non-profit. In some cases, fees might be an allowable child care expense. For more information, consult your tax advisor.