Happy 10th Anniversary HHIA!
Happy 10th Anniversary HHIA!
Wow, time sure flies when your having fun and love what you do! We have come along way and we can't wait to see what is yet to come down on the farm!
To celebrate our 10 year Anniversary. We'll be giving each new student who books 10 lessons a free photo experience ($150 value). So check out our teaching programs below and sign-up today!
Because we can teach beginning to advanced students, many of our students stay with us for many years. In addition to Master Classes, we currently teach:
Lessons vary depending on the students' age and skill level. We accept beginner to advanced riders. Most students at HHIA are beginner/intermediate to advanced. Each student has their own interests and we cater to their goals, which range from pleasure riding to competition.
We focus on teaching people to become a part of the horse's world; to understand how they work, think and interact with both humans and other horses. You will learn grooming, tacking and untacking, horse first aid, nutrition, hoof care and more about keeping a horse. We also link horse history, including breed history and how the use of horses has evolved over time into our lessons.
We start most of our students bareback, whether they've ridden before or not. Our experience in the St. Louis area has been that many students coming from other riding instruction have minimal focus on their riding seat and position. The riding seat and position (either English or Western) is what keeps a rider safe on a horse and it is therefore a critical aspect of learning. Bareback riding eliminates dependence on the stirrups and allows a rider to actually feel how the horse moves. Bareback riding also helps them to better develop balance and the right muscles for riding. The horses can also feel the rider better when bareback, making it easier for them to prevent falls.
Once the seat corrections have been made and/or the beginning student can canter bareback, the student earns their saddle privileges. It is a rite of passage on our farm that everyone gets excited about! Then, throughout the next several years of riding lessons, we go back and forth between using a saddle and riding bareback. Our instructors ride bareback in their own training, too.
We partner with the lessons horses in teaching. The horse and instructor are in constant communication throughout each lesson taught. You will find we are unique instructors in that we will walk or run alongside the horse as needed by our students. As students' balance and control improves, we back away to the center of the arena, giving the student full control of the horse.
Our lesson horses know the "syllabus" very well and actively help to teach the student with us. As new lessons horses join our team, they also learn the lessons to be able to engage the student and provide an environment that sets the student up for success.
Our horses and instructors are focused on providing as safe and environment as possible for learning. Horses and instructors alike work to help prevent falls, in order to help keep the riding experience positive for all involved, even though falls do happen. We also teach students to fall safely, using mats.
We used to accept students beginning on their 3rd birthday. Our students are about 1/3rd children and 2/3rds adults. Temporarily, due to lack of a private instructor, lessons are only available to ages 8 and up.
HHIA is a low-profit/no-profit business. It allows us to keep lesson costs as low as possible, but they are fixed, and we do not award refunds. The horses at HHIA depend on lesson tuition for feed and care. The head trainer donates her time as a riding instructor to keep costs as low as possible for students.
Students may choose whether to ride 2 (every other week) or 4 times each month. Payment for the month is due on the first of each month with late fees of $5 a day beginning on the 6th day of each month.
Tuition prices effective September 1, 2022:
Please note that if there are 5 days in a particular month (ex. 5 Sundays), lessons will only occur on 4 of them. The day Lisa is not teaching will vary based on her vacations/holidays and will be sent out in monthly texts.
All riders are assigned a skill level. Available lessons are the same each week and based on skill level. Students may attend a lesson at or below their level. They may not attend a lesson above their skill level.
All students must have a regular assigned lesson day/time (either 2 or 4 times a month). Example: Thursdays at 5:30pm. To change the regular lesson time, text Lisa at 314.276.3337.
In order, skill levels are:
As riders progress, they will be assigned a new skill level. As classes of riders progress, the class may also be assigned a new skill level.
New Students: Let's figure out what level you are! Schedule an assessment ride by calling or texting Lisa at 314.276.3337 and letting her know your previous riding experience and riding history (no experience is ok!).
Each student and/or event participant is required to have a current Equine Activity Release of Liability Waiver on file with HHIA.
Please click the link to print and complete the waiver.
Cancelled lessons by the instructor or with advance notice from the rider are rescheduled rather than refunded so as to keep our horses fed and cared for.
To Cancel A Lesson: Any cancellations not reported via text to Lisa at 314.276.3337 by 8am the day of a lesson are forfeit. Out of courtesy to other riders, share any known cancellations for vacation, COVID, etc. with Lisa as soon as possible.
Illness: Since COVID-19, our illness policy has changed. If you have a chronic cough or fever, you may not come to the farm. You must be fever-free for 24 hours before returning to the farm.
Weather: DO NOT contact Lisa asking about cancellations. No news is good news and lessons are on. Remember, weather at the farm is often different from weather at your house.
Cancellations due to weather are sent out at least 2 hours in advance (longer if we can be sure the weather won't allow for riding). Like soccer, softball and other outdoor sports, the weather must be dangerous (thunder/lightening nearby, dangerous temperatures) for a cancellation to occur.
Dangerous weather is unpredictable, so there may be times Lisa will call last minute to cancel. She uses a lightening tracker and 3 radars to determine safe riding environments. Be prepared to ride in rain (not downpours) or start a few minutes late/end a few minutes early for downpours and pop-up thunderstorms. Thunderstorms and Polar Vortexes are the primary reason for cancelling. With our covered round pen, we tend to ride in the rain and heat. Our valley also protects us from the winter winds.
HHIA uses the same heat policy as Grand Prix riders: Straight addition of temperature + humidity.
HHIA's cold temperature policy is based on temperature and windchill. All is cancelled under 25 degrees Fahrenheit. 20 degrees is the point where horses have to eat more to stay warm and can no longer me worked in order to preserve calories. 25 degrees provides a buffer for our largely older herd.
To Reschedule a lesson: Based on assigned rider skill level, refer to the standard calendar above and text Lisa at 314.276.3337 with the lesson you plan to attend. Don't forget to cross-reference monthly texts that address schedule changes, or you may show up to a lesson that isn't scheduled! While Lisa will try to respond, if you don't hear back, you are scheduled. If it doesn't work, you will receive a text within 48 hours, letting you know that you need to select an alternate time.
Students may attend a lesson at or below their level. They may not attend a lesson above their skill level. Riding twice in a row (example: 4:30-6:30pm on Tuesday), is permissible for a rescheduled lesson. The Training Class and Trail Class are open to all riders as makeup lessons or as separate bookings.
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Welcome! Check out our New Student special. Book 10 lessons, get a free photo experience ($150 Value)