Rookie Rider Program

Rookie Rider @ York Equestrian

Rookie Rider is a program created by Ontario Equestrian, our provincial sport association.  Rookie Rider provides the opportunity for children to experience the joy of equestrian sport in a safe fun-filled way.

York Equestrian Riding School is proud to offer this program and believes it is an innovative way to introduce children to the sport. 

The program teaches activities and skills that are fundamental to success in horseback riding. 

It includes basic gymnastics on mats, on a “barrel horse” and concludes with an introduction to riding. 

This program is a very safe opportunity to introduce children to horseback riding that will hopefully become a passion we can all share.

Program Objectives

  • Safe and fun introduction to riding skills, horses and horsemanship
    • Riding and gymnastic activities focus on developing balance and coordination necessary for equestrian sport.
  • Introduce and reinforce movement skills within the fundamental stage of long-term equestrian and athlete development
  • Group and individual activities
  • Provides physical, mental and emotional engagement
  • Participants finish with a
    • Strong foundation in the National Learn to Ride Program – Level 1 (English and Western)
    • Rookie Riders Progress Report and Certificate of Completion

Our Certified Coaches and Instructors will be administering this fundamental program through pre-planned lesson plans.

We have divided the Rookie Rider Program into 2 sessions.

Rookie Rider 1 – 1-hour group lesson once a week

This session is divided into 4 group lessons occurring once a week. 

This session students will learn the basic horsemanship of grooming and tacking as well as the fundamental physical skills necessary for horseback riding.  All activities will be in the barn or in our classroom. 

This session is perfect for those looking to introduce a child to horses without making the commitment of buying all the safety equipment needed. 

Students will be able to interact with horses in their first 4 lessons, gaining knowledge and skills of how to work safely around the animals.

For this sessions student will need a pair of boots and helmet for in the barn and running shoes for classroom time.

Rookie Rider 2 – 2-hour group lesson once a week

This session is divided into 8 group lessons occurring once a week. 

In this session students will continue to progress their horsemanship and physical skills as well as be introduced to mounted lessons. 

The skills introduced in Rookie Rider 1 will now be applied on the horse! 

This 8-week session will progress students from short individual riding time to riding as a group with skills in walk, basic steering and group control. 

For this session students must have their own properly fitted industry approved helmet and boots. 

Safety vests are not required however we highly recommend students wear them; safety first!

“I could write an actual book on everything that York is doing right. I'd need a chapter for the horses, one of the staff, one for the coaches, the overall atmosphere of the barn... I could go on! It just works so well for us! ”