Horse lessons

The Earlham equestrian program will not be offering lessons outside of co-op members for the spring 2023 term.

Horseback riding is a challenge. It is the physical challenge of developing new muscles and the mental challenge of coordinating your intentions with your movements. Some days it’s frustrating, but most days it’s fun.

We welcome both Earlham students and members of the Earlham and Richmond community to join us for weekly lessons. Most of our instructors teach the fundamentals of English hunt seat riding, and our advanced lessons often work on jumping. In some years Western lessons may be available for interested students.

Lessons are offered only during the academic year; we do not currently offer any summer programs.

Sign up for lessons

Earlham students interested in taking riding lessons for fun or Wellness general education credit should register for AWPE 171-175 according to your riding ability and experience level via the Self-Service Registration tool. View course descriptions for detailed information and feel free to write [email protected] for assistance with course selection. There is a $150 fee for riding courses that would be charged to your student account.

Earlham and Richmond community members interested in riding lessons should check Earlham’s academic calendar and contact the Lesson Coordinator before the end of the first full week of classes. The course fee of $210 for nine lessons would be due by the time of your first lesson.

Once registered for a riding course, you’ll receive a scheduling request from the lesson coordinator. It will ask you to describe your previous riding experience and indicate the lesson times for which you are available. Please reply as soon as possible!

Following receipt of scheduling and experience information from all registered students, the lesson coordinator will schedule lessons according to everyone’s experience and availability. Either the lesson coordinator or your lesson instructor will contact you once that process is complete.

Please arrive on time for your lesson wearing appropriate clothing. Shorts, sweatpants, dresses or skirts are not suitable for riding, but jeans or tights are fine. Your shirt should be comfortable and secure. Horse barns are by nature dusty and dirty, so we discourage wearing anything you would like to keep nice. Helmets are provided as are certain sizes of riding boots, but please wear your own socks.

Earlham students are required to attend nine lessons in order to receive credit and a grade of CR for riding lessons. Instructors may offer additional make-up riding times as well.

Lesson placement

Please register for the course most appropriate to your experience and ability level. Discuss course selection as needed by contacting [email protected] or the lesson coordinator directly. The following table outlines what you can expect from your riding lesson course according to your experience. 

If you… you should register for… and can expect to… 
have never ridden or have done a few guided trail rides or pony rides AWPE 171 Riding Lessons I: Beginner learn to catch, groom and tack up a horse safely; mount and dismount; move, stop, and steer while mounted; begin the posting trot. 
can catch, groom, and tack up a horse safely with some assistance; know how to mount and dismount; know how to stop, go, and steer reliably at the walk AWPE 172 
Riding Lessons Ii: Advanced Beginner 
develop proficiency in horse care; develop balance in the posting trot; improve accuracy in changing speed and direction. 
are confident in preparing a horse to be ridden and well-balanced at the posting trot AWPE 173 
Riding Lessons III: Intermediate 
perfect the two-point trot; begin and develop cantering. 
are confident and well-balanced at all gaits AWPE 174 
Riding Lessons IV: Beginning Jumping 
develop finesse in all gaits; begin to develop finesse in all gaits and begin to learn safe jumping techniques. 
are confident and well-balanced at all gaits, and have some experience jumping AWPE 175 
Riding Lessons V: Advanced Jumping 
develop finesse in all gaits and continue to develop safe jumping techniques. 

More information and resources

The Office of Student Life works behind the scenes to keep you safe, healthy and fulfilled throughout your journey at Earlham College. Whether you are looking for academic advice, a shoulder to lean on, or opportunities for personal and professional growth, our team is here to support you through it all.