Riding Lessons

Register here for the 2024 season riding lessons.

Please email [email protected] with questions

Learning to ride horses offers numerous benefits for equestrians of all ages. It provides a physical challenge; helping to develop new muscles, improve coordination and balance. It provides a mental challenge in animal behavior and empathy; learning to work together with another creature who thinks and acts very differently than we do. It teaches you how to regulate emotions, how to exude both relaxation and confidence, and how to be a fair but firm leader. Spending time with horses offers us a chance to reconnect with nature on a deep level not often seen in our world these days.

The Earlham Equestrian Program offers lessons in horseback riding to riders all of ages and skill levels on our own program horses. These lessons can be mounted or unmounted (great for nervous riders or small children) and are offered in both english and western disciplines. We teach from the ground up and expect our students to become well-rounded, learning essential skills from catching, leading, grooming and tacking their lesson horse to the basics of riding, guided by experienced instructors who prioritize safety and create an environment filled with joy and learning, ensuring an enriching and memorable experience for all participants.

Click the tabs below for more details, and check out our facilities page to learn more about our barn!

Sign up for lessons

Anyone interested in lessons during the 2024 year should sign-up through our lesson enrollment form. This will give us the information needed to add you to our system and get started on your enrollment packet. Once we have your enrollment form, one of our program directors will reach out with more detailed information including setting up a time for a facility tour during which you will fill out the rest of the enrollment packet, set a lesson time, ask questions and get to see our facility!


We run lessons on a weekly schedule basis on weekdays only, offered both during the day and evening, with most students taking one lesson per week. Our lessons are two-hour timeslots and are all group lessons unless otherwise specified. Beginner riders, particularly children, may have a few individual one-hour lessons when they are first starting out to ensure they have basic control of their horse before moving to group lessons.

Our current lesson schedule is posted below, if there are open slots available you may enroll in that session, and someone will contact you with more details on specific lesson time availability. Your registration form has a space to fill in your preferred availability, we try our best to match student availability into a lesson with similar riding levels. If a class is closed, our slots are all filled for that session. We make every effort to take as many students as we can safely teach while maintaining a fair workload for our horses, staff and facilities. If the session you are interested in is full, you can request to be added to our riding lesson mailing list to receive future updates about openings or other events!

2024 Lesson Schedule:

Spring Session: Weeks of 4/1 – 5/6 – Open

Summer Early Session: Weeks of 5/20 – 6/24 – Open

Summer Late Session: Weeks of 7/8 – 8/12 – Open

To ensure your safety and comfort during your riding lessons, please come prepared with the following clothing:

  • Long pants
  • Boots with a flat sole and small heel (can be english or western)
  • Clothes appropriate for the weather, that you don’t mind getting dirty
  • No excessively baggy clothing, shorts or dangling jewelry

We will provide the following:

  • All tack and equipment needed for the horse
  • ASTM rated Helmet (you may borrow one of ours or choose to purchase one of your own)
  • Boots & gloves available to borrow in various sizes

By following these guidelines, you can help to ensure that you have a safe and enjoyable experience while learning about horses with us.

Payment for our riding program is designed to be simple and flexible. Each lesson costs $60, you can save $10 per lesson when you register more than one rider.  We ask that payment for the entire session be made upfront and prior to the first lesson. Lesson payments can be made via check or credit card through our payment portal (link in the right hand sidebar). Please wait for email confirmation of the amount and lesson slot approval before submitting a payment.

To ensure the smooth operation of our program, we have developed a cancellation policy that requires 24-hour notice to reschedule a lesson.

Running a lesson operation requires a significant investment of time, training, and money for the care and upkeep of our horses, instructors, equipment and facility. We are often preparing for our day’s lessons hours in advance, and lessons cancelled at the last minute cost other riders the opportunity to ride with us. If you fail to follow our cancellation policy, you will forfeit your lesson fee for that day and the lesson will not be rescheduled. If we need to cancel a lesson due to inclement weather or unforeseen circumstances, we will notify you as soon as possible and reschedule your lesson at a time convenient for you.

If you honor the cancellation policy, we will make every effort to accommodate your rescheduling needs but cannot guarantee specific availability. We value your time and money and encourage you to arrive on time for your lessons and give us sufficient notice if you need to cancel or reschedule. Thank you for your cooperation and understanding.

Lesson Placement for Earlham Students

These designations apply to current Earlham College Students only. Please register for the course most appropriate to your experience and ability level. Discuss course selection as needed by contacting [email protected]. 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
Learn to catch, groom and tack up a horse safely; mount and dismount; move, stop, and steer while mounted; begin learning to 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 and trotAWPE 172 
Riding Lessons II:  
Improve accuracy of trot work, learning two-point and posting; improve accuracy in changing speed and direction. Introduce the canter.  
Are confident in preparing a horse to be ridden and well-balanced and controlled walk, trot, and some canterAWPE 173 
Riding Lessons III
Continue developing canter cues, leads and accuracy. Riding patterns and figures, obstacles; learning additional aids or disciplines 
Are confident, controlled and well-balanced at all gaits AWPE 174 
Riding Lessons IV
Develop finesse in all gaits; Begin to learn safe jumping techniques, or higher level maneuvers for your discipline (pivot, sidepass, leg yield, etc)
Are confident and well-balanced at all gaits, have competition experience, higher level riding experience, and would like to gain more understanding of training methods and techniques for the unstarted or green horse.AWPE 175 
Riding Lessons V:
Learn training methods and techniques for young or green horses to further develop them, applicable to all disciplines. Tips and methods for curing problems.

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.

We continue to monitor the effects of an industrial fire 1.1 miles from campus.
We continue to monitor the effects of an industrial fire 1.1 miles from campus.