Horsemanship Lessons

FOR BEGINNERS AND CONSCIENSCIOUS HUMANS WHO WANT TO FILL IN THE MUTUAL EMPOWERMENT GAPS IN THEIR HORSEMASHIP, HOWEVER ADVANCED IT MAY ALREADY BE.

Here is everything you need to know about our lessons: what we teach, lesson formats, who our students are and more!

Our curriculum

Our curriculum goes from zero to high levels of disciplines such as dressage, colt starting, liberty, gentling, trail riding, cooperative care and more.

We’re focused on helping humans be the best (and happiest!) possible horse sidekicks, and on helping horses to feel great in the domestic world they live in, as well as making them happy and healthy mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

Beginner students start from leading and husbandry, and once they know how to keep themselves safe, they start liberty, positive reinforcement and intrinsic motivation. Watch the video to know more about your journey within our curriculum! 

We accept new students (both human and equine, meaning horses in training) a few times a year. 

 

Our Students

Adults

We work with adult students from all experience levels, disciplines, and interests, but the goal for our teaching is always the same:  to help our students learn how to better support horses through connection and partnership.

Many adult students are thoughtful and heart-felt first-time horse owners.  Some are long-time dressage enthusiasts looking for a different or better way to dance with horses.  Some adults are just trying to fulfill a childhood dream!

Teens

Our teenage students love to engage with horses in different contexts and disciplines, such as dressage, jumping, liberty, tricks and trail rides. Our teenage students also find depth in the pure relationship with their equine partner/s. Horses can make us laugh, protect us, communicate strong emotions, carry us, connect or disconnect with us. Interacting with them gives us lessons for life, especially valuable in complex times such as adolescence.

Children

Children come to Hatha Equus to meet horses as holistic beings, sometimes for the first time. They learn to stay safe around these beatiful, mighty…and quite flighty beings. They learn the basics of “horse whispering” from the very beginning, through foundational horse handling, and liberty. These foundations are necessary, whatever horse-related path they might choose in the future: be it competing in a specific discipline, adopting a horse for personal pleasure, gentling a wild mustang or becoming a trainer.

New Students, Start Here!

Some of the “languages” we speak and teach humans in communicating with horses (and training them kindly) are cutting edge, different, not well known. This is why we have two entry programs aimed at getting folks up to speed on those foundational principles – one more hands-off and one more hands-on. 

Sneak Peeks

Sneak Peeks

Audit some of Hatha Equus' select classes! Three of these sneak peeks are a prerequisite for horse owners to haul in and attend a Hatha Equus Playground with their horse! This is what you'll see till the end of June: Tuesdays: Consensual Riding Wednesdays: Consent,...

New Student Orientation

New Student Orientation

If you are new to Hatha Equus, whether you are new to horses, or you have previous horse experience, this is your “entry” program with us!

What’s Next?

After we’ve shown you (or your child) what our approach is all about, we are ready to support you step by step, in getting all the tools to feel safe and knowledgeable in starting a lease, or even “owning” your “own” horse partner. We do so through our Beginner Horsemanship Programs.

These are mostly for folks who don’t have their own equine +1 yet, BUT over time there have been many horse-owners who wanted to come learn the tools more in detail with horses who already knew them, before hauling their horse in for playgrounds! So don’t hold back on our account!

Adult Beginner Horsemanship Program

Adult Beginner Horsemanship Program

Our FocusWe think of our horsemanship classes as the place for all-round horse-related learning. That's where we teach the skills and the knowledge to train and care for horses. Week by week, we rotate among different horsemanship frameworks — such as...

Child Beginner Horsemanship Program

Child Beginner Horsemanship Program

Our Focus We think of our horsemanship classes as the place for all-round horse-related learning. That's where we teach the skills and the knowledge to train and care for horses. Week by week, we rotate among different horsemanship frameworks — such as...

FAQs

Where Will I (Or My Child) Start?

Regardless of your riding level or potential previous experience with horses, we will have you (or your child) start from our New Student Orientation program. It’s a 4 week program where we guide you  through the foundational horsemanship languages and horse care aspects that you will then deepen in our weekly horsemanship classes, as well as the lay of the land and the practices at Wildsong Ranch. Read more about this program here:

Do You Do Trail Rides?

We sure do…for our advanced students! In order to take you out on a trail ride, we need to know that you have developed solid safety instincts on horse back, confident seat and cues, and especially a trust based relationship with the horse you are going to partner up with! 

So if you wanted to call us because your daughter’s birthday is next week and you wished to take her on a trail ride…we are probaby not the right fit for you! 

Do You Ride English Or Western?

Both, but the type of saddle we use is not the point for Hatha Equus. We draw from different disciplines and horsemanship frameworks (which we practice on horseback and on the ground), to teach our human students of any age how to support horses physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually…and vice versa! Many new students ask us what sort of clothes they need to wear for lessons. We have no other standard than comfortable and safe (we will be more specific as you join our programs of course!)…for the rest, you do you!

What Horses Will I Work With?

We are lucky enough to have many horse teachers among our herd, of many different breeds and talents, each of whom will teach you incredibly valuable lessons! At the beginning of your journey with Hatha Equus, we try to pair you up with as many horses as we can, so that you can learn to communicate with as many horsenalities as possible! As you make your way to intermediate and advanced level, you might even start considering leasing opportunities with a horse in particular!

Will I get assigned to “my own horse” in classes?

Since most of our offerings are in group format, we will often work with several different horses in one lesson, frequently rotating between them! In the earlier lessons, you’ll likely share a horse, taking turns working on specific skills.  As students become more advanced, they’ll work with their own horse.  We love for students to have an opportunity to work with a variety of horses so that their horsemanship skills become more dynamic. The more horses we work with, the more opportunities for learning there are! 

Do You Have Leasing Opportunities?

They often indeed come up at Wildsong Ranch, and Hatha Equus is excited to facilitate horses and humans finding each other in more committed partnerships! As soon as our beginner students get handy with the horsemanship tool kit we teach and are able to cross a few safety and consent items off of our “leasing eligibility checklist”, then beautiful conversations happen 😍

These are not riding lessons, got it. Will I not get bored?

Our current students would laugh at this question, since when they found us, they didn’t know that so much fun could be had with horses from the ground either! Let us give you snippets of real life to get you an idea of what you’d be up to in our classes (this is a list we compiled for our younger students, but the same activities hold for adults 🤗):
 
 
Later on in our programs, with the Consensual Riding tools already mastered…
– Trail Rides
– Keeping up and developing all of the wonderful things in the list above! 

Testimonials

Respect ad Enthusiasm

These trainers are amazing. I have been a student for the last 2 years and I cannot state enough how much Elizabeth helped me grow.

Their holistic and gentle approach goes way beyond just a simple horse lesson. You learn how to respect your horse and ask him/her permission to create a relationship, which is based on respect and enthusiasm instead of fear and submission.

Highly, highly recommended!” 

empowered

“My daughter has been attending beginner horsemanship classes at Hatha Equus for the past three months.  As soon as she finishes a class, she starts counting down until the next one.  Learning how to care for the horses in addition to learning how to ride makes her feel empowered.  I love that the instructors are patient and kind and have a strong focus on safety.  We highly recommend the classes at Hatha Equus for building a strong foundation in horsemanship.  We feel so lucky to have discovered this gem!”

And When I’m Not a Beginner Anymore?

Once/If you have the tools to keep yourself and (your) horses safe when you play at the ranch under our supervision, as well as a good understanding and foundation of all the languages we speak when horse training, new opportunities with Hatha Equus are available to you!

You can now lease if you so wish AND if the opportunity arises at Wildsong Ranch, and you can attend our horse-training programs together with boarders and horse owners!