- No member is permitted to ride or work with horses until s/he has completed an "Introduction to Horsemanship" class appropriate to his/her experience level.
- No smoking and no alcohol is allowed on the premises.
- No glass bottles or glass containers are allowed on the premises.
- No loose horses.
- Dogs are only permitted on the premises with special, prior written consent from the Academy. Dogs must be leashed and under control at all times.
- All members need to have their emergency contact information on file in the tack room.
Facilities and Grounds
- Arena, fence, and horse stall gates should be closed and latched at all times.
- No locks of any kind are allowed on horse stalls in case of fire.
Leading, Handling, and Tying
- Horses must be under the supervision of a current member at all times unless they are in their stalls or turned out in a pasture. Do not leave a horse alone at the tie rail, etc, without someone watching.
- Always speak to a horse before touching him. Most horses will jump and some will kick when startled. Let him know you are approaching.
- Whenever possible, approach a horse from the front. If moving around the rear of the horse, keep a hand firmly on him so he knows where you are. Do not tickle him.
- The closer you stand to a horse, the less likely you will be kicked. You may be shoved away, but not hurt.
- Never tease your horse or allow others to tease or abuse him. He may develop undesirable habits or react unexpectedly.
- Learn simple means of restraint, such as cross tying in the open and holding up a front foot.
- Learn the safe and proper way to lift and hold feet, particularly the hind feet.
- Use a long lead rope when leading and never wrap the loose end around your hand. Snap a chain over the horse’s nose if he is difficult to handle. Learn the proper way to attach the chain to the halter so as not to hurt the horse.
- Keep both hands on the lead rope. If the horse rises up, release the hand nearest the halter so you don’t get lifted into the air.
- When tying the horse, the lead should only be 4" from the halter to the ring on the tie rail. If the horse is tied with a long lead, he might get his legs wrapped around it and could even fall. If the horse is eating, he should be constantly watched, and the lead should only be long enough so the horse can reach the ground.
- Remember that the horse is stronger than you are. You cannot out-pull him, so you must out-think him. A quick snap on the lead rope will usually remind him of his manners.
- Walk beside your horse when leading, not ahead or behind him. Do not look at him.
- Keep lead ropes and lunge lines off the ground so your horse does not get his feet entangled.
- When leading into a box stall, paddock, or pasture, turn the horse around so he is facing the door or gate before releasing the lead rope so he can’t kick you if he gallops off.
Grooming and Working with Tack
- Always check your bridle, stirrup leathers, and girth each time you tack up a horse. Wipe down all tack after use to keep it clean and in good condition.
- Adjust the saddle carefully so it does not slip when mounting.
In the Saddle
- Helmets must ALWAYS be worn by all riders/boarders regardless of age while mounted.
- No mounting, dismounting, or hacking in the barn aisles.
- All riders must wear riding boots, paddock shoes, or other footwear with an adequate heel that are appropriate for riding.
- No jumping on a school horse without the expressed permission of an Academy instructor.
- Unusual objects and noises can frighten horses. Anticipate such fright and steady your horse. Ignore what they are spooking at and stay relaxed in your body. They will react if you react.
- Mount in the open and away from rocks and hard surfaces. If the horse sidesteps, you will have a softer landing.
- Always take BOTH feet out of the stirrups before dismounting so that the horse won’t drag you if he bolts.
- If the horse is too full of steam, work in the round pen or on a lunge line for a few minutes before riding.
- Walk up and down hills. If riding in a group, keep your distance from the horse in front of you and be alert for overhead obstacles.
- Keep your horse under control at all times. He is working for you and not vice versa. Adjust your gait and speed to the terrain. Keep off the pavement and generally follow the rules for the safe operation of a motor vehicle.
- If your horse is frightened and attempts to run, keep him turned in a circle in one direction and tighten the circle until he stops.
- You are the brains of the outfit. Avoid holes and obstacles where you or the horse can get hurt.
- More people fall off horses than are thrown or bucked off. Sudden changes of direction or an insecure seat while posting the trot often contribute to a beginner’s falls. Develop a secure seat and do not blame your horse for your lack of experience.
For Parents and Guardians
- Children under the age of 8 years must be accompanied at all times by an adult/parent while on the property.
- Small children that are not part of the riding program must be kept away from the horses at all times unless they are being picked up and held by the adult/parent to pat a horse.
- No running, ball playing, or loud or disruptive behaviors are allowed around horses. Parents and guardians should keep the children under their care in control at all times.