We offer lessons to children and adults. Ranging from the green horn to the experienced buckaroo and all levels in between.
PRICES: Start at $40.00 a private session.
Have more than one child that wants to take lessons? NO PROBLEM! I offer multiple child discounts.
I also offer packages of lessons that offer a great deal of savings for student riders that are a bi-weekly to weekly rider.
Horses are my passion and I want to share it as often as possible, so I extend these packages and discounts for frequent "Saddle users"
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
Q: WHAT WILL I LEARN AT MY LESSONS HERE AT THE PONY PLAYGROUND HORSE OBSTACLE COURSE, LLC?
A: How to communicate with your horse on a level that he understands. Horses understand ryhthm, tones of sounds, pressure, and the release of pressure. It's truly like learning another language. All while doing it on the obstacle course.
Q: I DON'T HAVE BOOTS OR A HELMET.
A: You don't have to have boots, just any leather shoe that covers your toes, and you can comfortably walk in will do to get you started.
I have 10 schooling helmets for you to choose from, and I have them in every size! Even hard to find oval and oblongs!
Q: DO I HAVE TO WEAR A HELMET?
A: IF YOU ARE UNDER 18 YES!!!!!!!!
If you are over 18 and I feel you need one, YES!
If we are doing something new, YES!
If you are nervous that day, YES!
IF YOU ARE WATCHING ME WORK ON SOMETHING THAT MAKES YOU FEEL NERVOUS SHOULD YOU SPEAK UP THAT I SHOULD WEAR ONE? YES!
Q: HOW LONG WILL MY LESSON BE?
A: If it's your first time here, about an hour and a half.
** But if I have students or group lessons afterwards, I encourage you to stay and watch. It's amazing how much you can learn by watching others do what you just learned. Also you can get a better feel for my program, the people participating and what is expected of my students (which is to ALWAYS help each other and politeness to everyone, no question is a dumb question attitude, always the best horsemanship possible, in a relaxed fun atmosphere)
After a lesson or two, if you think you would like to participate in a group lesson, it could be as long as 3 hours, from arrival to unsaddle.
**we pride ourselves on including the whole family in the lessons. Even though you may be the only one "getting a lesson" we do FAMILY BUILDING exercises that include them too! Complete with a bonfire and snacks about 2x a week!
Q: I HAVE A FEAR OF HORSES CAN I START SLOW? or MY SON OR DAUGHTER aka the "Rebel riding student" doesn't want "real lessons" they just want to ride. They have been through every organized extra curricular activity or sport...and they just want to have fun. Do you offer that?
A: THE ANSWER IS YES, I OFFER THAT! Because learning should always be fun. Horses should be fun! Both of these personality tendencies I approach the same, see the last question and answer.
Q: SO EVERYTHING YOU DO IS FOR BEGINNERS OR CHILDREN? I WANT BARREL LESSONS. DO YOU DO THAT?
A: Now your speaking my language! All my students that are children are barrel enthusiasts! ! It's what I teach them to walk,whoa,and turn their horses on. We use the pattern like most people use the rail! We have every skill level rider, from the 1D riders to the students that have to retrain their soured barrel horse they just bought, to the leadliners and walk -trotters. I have barrel horses of every stage to get you started in barrels and then to progress to a 1D level. Look to the sidebar pictures of myself and a couple of my students running barrels. I personally don't sell any of my barrel horses, but always know of a few quality running horses for sale if you are in the market also.
Q: DO YOU HAVE SHOWS AT YOUR PLACE?
A: We have group practice days and our own practice shows....but not advertised to the public yet because we have to get the arena panels up necessary to be able to accommodate more than our schooling ponies. Hope to work on it for the end of 2018....maybe a late fall show!
Q: WHEN DO YOU GIVE LESSONS? WHAT ARE YOUR HOURS?
A: When the sun is up, 12 months a year! For real, no joke. Those are the hours.
Q: I HAVE A PHYSICAL DISABILITY, COULD I STILL RIDE?
A: If your Dr says you can...then you absolutely can! Offering different sized mounting blocks to aide mounting the rider onto a horse to offering a 2 person assist on each side of the horse during riding at no extra charge! It started for me when I broke my leg and continued to ride. I had to make a leg sling, like a stirrup, that would hold my cast and move with my leg. WHICH A NORMAL FENDER AND STIRRUP WOULD NOT! We take pride in thinking outside the box to cater to any needs you may have!
I am attending ASL classes after being inspired by some of my students.I have learned a few words in ASL, but hopefully will be more fluent after this 6 wk course!
I also have horse mounted obstacles that really stretch a riders ROM at the PONY PLAYGROUND HORSE OBSTACLE COURSE as I have several students that were referred here by there PT.
Q: YOU HAVE THOSE HORSES WITH ALL THE HAIR, CAN I GET A LESSON ON THEM?
A: Yes, you can. Obviously they are more work to get ready, due to their hair, so the rate is $50.00 an hour on them. But totally worth it for the pictures you will be able to take!
Q: I HAVE A (fill in the blank) ___________, AND I DON'T WANT ANYONE TO SEE ME OR MAKE FUN OF ME.
A: No problem at all! We can make sure your lesson is completely private, and no pictures. It's usually fear of the unknown, or fear of failing at something that is the reason behind these requests! THAT IS THE BEAUTY OF HORSES, THERE IS NO FAILING! It's your lesson.
If all you want to do for your first lesson, is groom the horse on the cross ties to get you touching/handling/interacting with them in a positive NO PRESSURE atmosphere then that is where we need to start. Remember this is your time! I want to build you to the best horseman you want to become.
I tell all my students learning horsemanship, is like putting furniture together you bought at the store. We all have to start at step 1. assembling the pieces.
Q:WHAT KIND OF LESSONS DO YOU GIVE? I DON'T WANT IT TO BE COMPLICATED AND NONE OF THAT GOOFY DRESSAGE STUFF!
A: Western, Barrels and Polebending, Dressage, and plain ole fashioned GOOD HORSEMANSHIP.
Stressing the last part. HORSEMANSHIP. Because it is the relation-SHIP between you and your horse.....
I have a lesson plan outline for every day.
Here's an example:
- Breaking it down to one simple OBJECTIVE for the day.
EXAMPLE: objective for the lesson: how to get your horse to whoa.
Key tips: Hum before you say whoa. So horse can hear/feel vibration.
Introductory activity: Walk with horse in hand, turn body and look at horse, say whoa.
Activity two: walk horse while in saddle, sit back on pockets of the seat, hum your whoa, while making minimal pressure on the horses reins..
Activity three: achieve a whoa on the tires, the bridge, and in between every cone at the obstacle course.
Activity four: achieve a whoa with just the verbal cue and the rounding of your back onto pockets, with less force on the reins and bit.
Group lesson: PLAY MUSIC, when music stops, must have horse to a whoa, with minimal pressure on reins. Have parents in middle of circle as judges. Call out; last one to get horse to whoa. Any hard rein "crankers'
*Have student in the middle help judge to open their eyes to what a rein "cranker" looks like
So by breaking it down to STEPS, it sets up my nervous riders to win at their new task by first trying it while leading the horse instead of in the saddle. And gives them the confidence once in the saddle that they have made this connection with their horse already!
By trying out their new skills on the obstacle course, it gets rid of the traditional riding in boring circles of a "real lesson" and incorporates the fun factor that the "Rebel Student" so desperately seeks. BONUS POINT: by rounding your weight onto your pockets before you asked your horse to stop and achieving the lightest pressure on the bit as possible so your horse kept his form and didn't hollow his back...you have just had your first introduction to dressage in it's most simple form!
**********If you have any other questions that I didn't address here, feel free to send me a text at 814-553-7560 if it's during riding/lesson time (when the suns up) or message me on facebook.
Facebook: Nikki Davis London or The Pony Playground Horse Obstacle Course, LLC
If you wanted to talk via the phone and not messaging, you can expect return calls from me 8:30 to 9:00 pm in the evening