Frequently Asked Questions
What do I do when I want to sign up for lessons?
Schedule a tour of our facility and we can determine an appropriate class for your level and age group.
What if I just want to try out your facility before I commit to regular lessons?
You can book an assessment lesson at which time the instructor can determine your level of expertise and which classes would be most appropriate for you. You can assess our stable and instruction and decide if you wish to continue. The cost of the lesson is $40.00 includes HST
Can I just come for a trail ride?
Irish Creek does not offer trail riding however as a rider or boarder you are welcome to use the property for leisure rides on a designated and mowed path around the farm.
How old do you take riders?
There is a children’s beginner program for riders 6-7 years while many take up riding in their teens and as adults. We strive to place them into age appropriate groups or private lessons.
Do you take adults?
There are a number of adults who are just learning or are “ rusty stirrup” riders who are returning to riding. This gradual process allowing the muscles and co-ordination to return and although you might be feeling a bit stiff following your class it is well worth it.
What do I wear to my lessons?
Safety is always our priority and approved helmets and footwear is compulsory. In the early stages, we can provide you with a helmet but once committed you are required to purchase your own and take note that bicycle or extreme sport helmets are not suitable. Used helmets are not recommended to insure the integrity is intact. To complete your attire we recommend long stretchy pants, a shirt with at least a slight sleeve and a boot or shoe with a short heel which should be no more than ½” (similar to a rubber boot heel) with no inside zipper that can damage the saddle flap during the ride.
The temperature at the stable is always cooler than in town, so layer your clothing. Gloves are always a good idea for riding especially as the temperature drops. There are always sales at the tack shops which are the best times to buy those more pricey items and most of them offer starter packages. Street clothes are less comfortable and unsuited to the full enjoyment of your riding experience.
As you feel more committed to the sport then the proper riding clothes are certainly more comfortable and suited to riding than street clothes. Most of the tack shops usually offer starter packages.
Will I need any equipment for the horse?
Irish Creek provides all the equipment needed including saddle, bridle, pads and brushes for your instruction and you are only required to be suitably dressed. As a boarder you are provided with your own locker and will bring your own tack, equipment and supplies.
How long is my lesson?
This depends on your level of experience. If you are at the point where you are able to tack up your horse on your own your lessons are one hour. If not, then it may be up to an hour and a half depending on the program you signed up for.
Private vs Group?
Beginners benefit most from group lessons as they can observe other riders and socialize with the other riders share their learning and tacking up time in the stable. If you are an adult or an experienced rider or have a limited time schedule you may be more liable to opt for a private lesson.
How often should I ride?
One session per week is recommended for a beginner. As you progress, you may decide to step it up and take two lessons. Part boarding may also be an option.
When are lesson available?
Lessons run from Monday to Saturday. Most mornings and Fridays are mostly dedicated to private lessons however Friday can be used for group sessions during the winter session Lesson plan times are variable depending on your level and class availability. We try to accommodate everyone but appreciate your flexibility.
What can I expect in my first lesson?
Learn use of reins, body aids, how to handle your horse, safety (both off and on your horse), stop and start as well as a variety of terms that are in riding are all integrated into your lesson. Most of all we want you to have fun, smile and breath!
We help you determine just how much and what you do know. From there we can jointly build a lesson plan to help you achieve your goals. From the very first lesson it is our goal to ensure you learn something new every time or at the very least improve on what you do know. We take a methodical approach and our instructors will help you understand what you are doing and why and not just tell you what to do.
How big are the lessons?
Our Beginner lessons are typically 3-4 riders and Novice to Advanced lessons are up to 4 riders.
Do you offer winter riding?
Our lessons run year around and if you dress warmly the winter is a great time to ride when lessons are quieter.
Where can I observe during the winter?
There is a heated clubroom those who wish to view the lessons taking place in the outdoor ring. The arena has radiant heaters and electric blankets in an open seating area. Winters can be chilly but enjoyable when you bring along a hot chocolate and cuddle up. Lessons are suspended and rescheduled with the temperature falls below -13 degrees.
What type of riding do you offer?
We are an Eventing stable that includes three phases of dressage, show jumping and cross-country jumping. No one is obliged to jump or participate in cross-county but those who wish to experience cross-country can do so if they wear a safety vest which we can provide.
What organizations do we belong to? And do I need to belong to any of them?
Irish Creek is a member of Equestrian Canada, Ontario Equestrian, Dressage Canada and Ontario Horse Trials Association. Unless you are showing at sanctioned shows you do not need to belong to any of the associations. If you are participating in the Hunter Trials and some of the off-site horse shows you may be required to join Ontario Equestrian. If you would like more information you can check out this site at www.ontarioequestrian.ca
Do you offer boarding?
Boarding is available for both indoor and outdoor as well as part boarding one of our horses.
I think I want to own a horse, what is next?
This is a significant commitment and one that requires a lot of relevant information. Irish Creek has been instrumental in assisting and providing assistance and advice for many who have taken this big step forward. There are a number of considerations to consider but the cost of ownership and a budget should be in place before you take the plunge. Once you have decided to do so then we can become involved and work with you to ensure your purchase is an appropriate one. We can act in the capacity as agent or advisor and this can be discussed on an individual basis.
Do you offer horse shows?
We offer in-house horse shows for our own riders at any level and are scheduled during the winter, spring and fall sessions. There are schooling venues for our own students as well as off-site riders to use our facilities. We have coaching available or riders can bring their own coach on our scheduled schooling days.
Do you have camps?
We hold a popular March Break Camp and several summer camps. March Break Camp is available from Monday to Friday however riders can sign up for as many or few days as they choose. Summer Camps are Monday to Friday, 8:30-3:30 with extended hours. There are daily lessons and an assortment of activities most of which are horse related. There is time to cool off in the pool, sprinkler or just bathing your horse. For more information, please see our Camp Activities.
This is normal and experienced by most of us when we get involved in a new activity or sport. Our method is to introduce you and teach you slowly and gently. Just come and enjoy yourself and the connection you can make with your horse. You won’t regret it!
What if I miss a lesson?
We offer one makeup lesson per session however there are some rules to follow. If you don’t contact us and cancel your lesson then you will not receive a makeup. We understand those times you can’t make it to a lesson because of a prior commitment but you are responsible for letting us know with as much advance notice as you can. Last minute cancellations are not eligible for a make-up lesson as your instructor has already arrived and in all probability your horse has been brought in or booked for your time. Emergencies do happen, but if you let us know the circumstances then we can evaluate it and see if we can accommodate. Inclement weather (such as freezing rain, -13 degrees or extreme humidity) will cause us to cancel lessons and we will give you the opportunity to have a make-up ride. Cancelling any make-up ride forfeits that option.
Will you make me do something I don’t want to do? No.