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What Makes A Great Lesson Horse?

We have all experienced that exciting moment you feel when you first canter or find the correct posting diagonal without looking. Most of the time we experienced these first special horseback riding moments on a school horse. School horses are worth their weight in gold and are invaluable horses for riders who are wanting to further develop their skills. They are the horses who let you make mistakes while you learn, and the ones who help create a lifelong passion for equestrians.

At Stony Hill, we have patient, highly trained, and comfortable lesson horses that help you gain experience in dressage and hunter/jumper. We have spent many years finding and training the best school horses for horseback riding lessons in the Long Island area. There are a few important qualities that school horses should have before you start taking your riding lessons on them. If you’re looking for horseback riding lessons in New York, then Stony Hill is a great place to start because their school horses exemplify these qualities.

1. Patience - school horses are extremely patient and allow you to make many mistakes while you are in your horseback riding lesson. If you accidentally pull on their mouth or ask for the canter wrong, a school horse is trained to allow these mistakes to occur. Our school horse, DD, is the master of patience and we say he has a PHD in beginner rider development!

2. Highly Trained - school horses can be great beginner horses or a horse you ride when you want to try something new such as switching from the Hunters to Jumpers. Depending on your riding level, your school horse should be many levels ahead of you. For example, if you are just learning to canter, you need a horse that will canter easily, so you can learn the correct canter aid in your horseback riding lesson. Our lesson horses, Lucy and Polka, are the King and Queen of teaching a rider how to canter while being lunged! For more experienced riders, our lesson horse Molly is great for equestrians that want to learn how to jump well. We like to say that Molly throws her heart over the jumps!

3. Comfortable - depending on your riding level and age, riding a horse that has comfortable gaits is a must have! If you are starting to take dressage lessons, you will quickly realize how much easier it is to sit the trot of a horse if they are comfortable! It is much easier for a rider in their horseback riding lessons to get the correct position if they are on a horse that has a smooth walk, trot, and canter. Our school horse, Wiz, is known as the walk/trot master at Stony Hill since her gaits are so smooth.

4. Loves Treats and Attention- possibly the number one requirement of a good school horse for horseback riding lessons is that they must love treats and attention! You will quickly find out that it is essential before and after every ride that you load up your school horse with treats. We like to think they try a little bit harder if they get extra treats. Our school pony, Pony Time, loves all types of treats and attention he can get! Some of our school horses even like eating creative treats. Our school horse, Titan, loves bananas, whereas Pumpkin loves any type of crackers!

No matter your riding level or horseback riding discipline interest, at Stony Hill Stables, we have the right school horse for you to take a horseback riding lesson on!

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