Q - How old do you have to be to ride?
A - We start the majority of our students at 9 years old but we make some exceptions for 8 year olds who are large enough. Due to the size of our horses and our equipment we feel this is a safety requirement.
Q - Why is this a safety requirement?
A - At HJC we teach all of our lessons from the ground up, with no exceptions. This means our students are learning how to catch, groom, lead, tack up and eventually ride our horses. Although they receive lots of help in the beginning, nothing is done for them - so we must consider what is physically possible for them while maintain a safe environment - as well as what is best for our horses.
Q - Do you offer trail rides?
A - Unfortunately no. HJC is an educational facility and is insured as such. We only offer trail rides to students at a skill level whereby this activity is deemed safe and in such a way the students are learning. We will not offer this service to anyone on a one off basis.
Q - Do you "rent" your horses?
A - No.
Q - What programs do you offer?
A - We have a variety of programs and are open year round. Check out the information on our group lesson program and summer camp program on our Programs page. Meanwhile stay up to date on all of our special programs and clinics on our HJC Events page.
Q - I'm interested in lessons, how do I register?
A - We like to invite all of our potential students our for a brief 30 minute tour and information session before registering which gives you a chance to meet me, see the facility and determine if HJC is the right fit for you or your family. You can register for this service through our website on our Contact Us page. If you are registering from out of province, please email us so we can organize you into the proper program and send you the paper work.
Please note: Deposits are required at time of booking and at minimum you must be prepaid by at least one lesson. Weekly group lessons are booked by the month. We require 2 weeks written notice (email) to cancel your next month’s lessons or your deposit will be forfeited. HJC does not offer refunds of any kind.
Q - How much do lessons cost?
A - We have a variety of programs and we try to fit a variety of income levels. If you need help in this area we have worked with Kidsport PEI in the past and have had great success. Please visit our price list on our About HJC page.
Q - How can I pay for lessons?
A - Payment options are available for every rider, pay by the month or by the week. Payment plans must be discussed and agreed upon by both HJC and our client. We accept cash in advance, cheques (made out to HJC), email transfers (to firstname.lastname@example.org) and use a Square credit card system for credit card payments in office or by request online.
Q - I have 2 kids who are both interested, can they ride together?
A - Although for the initial few lessons we can generally accommodate the kids learning together we tend to find that older kids because of their increased strength and ability tend to advance at a faster rate (the same with adults too!). Just something to consider moving forward.
Q - Can you transfer western riding skills back to english and vice versa without being too confused? My daughter is very much a beginner but has done a couple of english camps. HJC teaches western.
A - Yes of course is the simplest answer. That said - any time you go in to a new barn to work with new horses regardless of the discipline you are in a way starting from scratch. Horses are the same but training styles and handling practices can change a little bit. I believe that good instruction and skills with horses are transferable - so if\when she goes back to English riding if I do my job right she’ll have new tools (skills) in her tool kit which should help her grow as a rider.
Q - Do you board horses?
A - Occasionally yes we do. That said we keep all of our horses in a communal herd of between 15 and 20 horses at any given time. We do not have stalls and hold all of the horses at HJC to an extremely high standard - dangerous behaviour is not tolerated toward our students or staff. Horses under the age of 3 will not be considered, stallions will also not be considered. We suggest all potential boarders book a 30 minute tour and information session through our Contact Us page to see the facility and determine whether or not we are the best fit for you and your horse.
Q - I don't think she'd like full lessons where she can't be on he horse...
A - As for lessons and how they work we can get into that more in person but essentially your daughter’s first number of lessons will be on the ground, how many is entirely dependant on her comfort level and how quickly she progresses through the skill set required to get her horse ready to ride. Whether they are a one hour private or a small group with only two riders (we limit group size based on age and experience level of participant) - we do not offer any programs where the rider is guaranteed to get on the horse.
To explain: in the beginning your daughter will need me for everything so I’ll be with her every step of the way from catching her horse in the field, to ensuring her safety through grooming, to helping her with our large bulky saddles, to helping her put the bridle on and yes eventually to ride. My philosophy is that students are much safer in the saddle the more they understand and connect with their mounts - developing essential skills which will help them when they ride. If your daughter’s goal is to spend as much time in the saddle as possible - I will happily work with her to make that happen but it is a process. As her skill develops she will no longer need me beside her while she’s grooming and she will be able to put her saddle and bridle on without me. At that time we will increase her time at HJC from a one hour lesson to closer to 90 minutes - ensuring she gets close to an hour ride each week.