The goal of Thoroughbred School is to create not only greater depth and breadth of skill in riding Thoroughbreds, but also form a community committed to learning with each other and through each other. (So, this isn’t just a set of lessons). “Enrollment” provides access to the lessons, the knowledge, the horses, and the community and to helping build this initiative and make it better.
The school takes the shape of both in “semesters” and “mini terms.” Semesters will be three months of commitment, while the mini terms will be one month. The school will be made up of “classes” and “open gym hours.” Students get to select a “tier” of engagement for each semester – there are options for full time, part-time, and ad-hoc participation, which hopefully will make this as accessible as possible. And each month, there will be a roundtable potluck and discussion about a determined topic relevant to riding / riding and caring for Thoroughbreds. Auditing the lessons and coming to the roundtables will help build community and make all of this more fun, so those parts, even if one doesn’t ride that day or week, are strongly encouraged. In the near future, I’ll work on figuring out a digital component too.
There will be group lessons featuring up to five of my horses. The goal will be to get each rider experience on different Thoroughbreds, so students won’t be stuck on the same one every week. Some classes may involve a bunch of jumping off horses and hopping on another. Classes are two-and-a-half hours two times a week (Sunday from 9-11:30 and Thursday from 5-7:30) *You don’t have to arrive on time – that can be flexible. And I certainly don’t expect the horses to be in constant work for just under 3 hours. There will be breaks, tack changes, horse changes as necessary. But tacking up and learning about their bodies, their brains, their feet, their behavior, and their tack is part of it. Even if you have your own Thoroughbred, classes will be on my horses (see below for the explanation there) and you may end up doing exercises on more than one horse during the class.
Open Gyms are a 2.5-hour blocks that happens two times a month on Tuesdays from 4:30-7. For these, riders schedule a slot and have a chance to practice their Thoroughbred skills on one of mine. I’ll be in the ring, probably working with one of my young ones, and will happily toss ideas around, but these are not in a strict sense, lessons. They are times to have a discussed plan of what you’re working on and ride to test and figure it out partially on your own (with help as needed). To have access to these open gym times though, you’ll have had to have ridden in a class recently within the last three weeks.
Once a month, we’ll all get together and over food and drink, we’ll spend an hour discussing a topic of particular interest to the group – the topic will be sorted out ahead of time. After that, casual conversation and community will get a chance to continue until I close down the barn. *I will work on a way to use Zoom to be able to involve more distant members in the roundtable too.
Bi-weekly, I will publish an email newsletter with updates about the rides, findings, and tips of the trade. Each newsletter will feature insight from a current student about the process and the things they find most useful in the “learning to ride Thoroughbreds process.” Members past and present will have access to a private Facebook group both for scheduling and interaction.
Reach out with any questions!
There are three tiers of membership, as detailed in the chart below. Membership for riding slots is determined on a first come first serve basis, with a couple of caveats. Each semester / mini term opens for new enrollment.
First and foremost, students must want to participate in the learning environment, not just get saddle time. Commitment to audit, discuss, ride, and help fellow riders is paramount. Also, to be eligible to ride these horses, you must be fit *enough* to ride and have ridden regularly and recently. Ask me if this is an issue and we can make a plan to get you ready to be able to participate in a later semester. You must also have your own riding gear (helmet, boots) and solid experience being able to comfortably walk, trot, and canter.
SIGN UP DATES
Riding slots for the first semester open by Jotform on June 25 and close on July 2nd. Ad-hoc and auditing spots remain open through the semester, though sign up and payment is due by the 1st of each month to participate.
Rides will be scheduled either through me or online through a portal with priority going from Full Time to Part Time to Ad-Hoc. Last minute openings will be announced through the Private Facebook group for subscribed riders.
Semester-based students will have the ability to makeup rides by scheduling on future days. Should Full Time Students need makeups due to weather or my absence, I will open an additional Tuesday for makeups through the month. Just like at university, illness or scheduling conflicts do not guarantee the ability to makeup that class for Full Time Students, but I’ll do my best to work with students to ensure they get a chance to ride. Known absences must be informed as soon as possible to open the rides to the Ad-Hoc students.
Lessons: Sunday 9-11:30; Thursday 5-7:30
Open Gym: Every Other Tuesday 4:30-7
Summer Semester: July 6 – September 30
(8 Classes / 2 Open Gyms a month)