At Serendipity Stables dressage lessons are offered by Dressage Trainer and Instructor, Emily McIntosh, and beginning riding lessons are taught by Horsemanship Instructor, Bailey Deem.
Classical Dressage with Emily McIntosh
With a decade of teaching young riders and adult amateurs, I can help you achieve that light bulb moment. I understand the importance of explaining the "how" and the "why" so that riders don't just achieve one great ride, but gain a thorough understanding so that they can continue to improve on their own. I love dressage theory, reading, and constantly improving. I'm often impressed how books (or instructors) can turn a relatively simple concept into a very complicated one. That's when I grab my Ockham's razor and cut away all the filler that is hiding the purpose of an exercise. By using simple images and analogies, exercises can be clearly understood by children and adults alike.
Lessons (and horse training) adhere to the Classical Training Pyramid. The rider's position and understanding of horse's nature and biomechanics are strongly emphasized in lessons to create an empathetic and effective rider.
Often attention to small details lead to huge improvements. I have been privileged to work with trainers such as JT Burnley (successful international dressage trainer, student of the late Reiner Klimke), Ed Rothkranz (1980 Canadian Olympian), and Tami Crawford (short-listed for US Olympic Dressage Team) and rode in clinics with Axel Steiner (FEI O judge, has judged Olympics) and Conrad Schumacher (World renown dressage trainer, trained many students to Olympics). Because of them I have developed an eye for nuisances that can make a dramatic difference in the horse.
Six months in Europe was an eye opening experience. The norm was adult amateurs competing at Third level (not Training level) and my trainers, Jeannette Jenny and Jorge Sousa (FEI trainers), had half their horses in training schooling piaffe, passage, and pirouettes. Here, in Portugal, I learned the importance of correct basics. When the basics are truly correct the more demanding movements come easy.
A Note on Breeds:
Don't feel daunted if you don't have a fancy warmblood. All horses benefit and improve with correct dressage training. After bringing a variety of breeds up the levels of dressage (including Arabians, Quarter horses, Thoroughbreds, draft crosses, Morgans, Lusitanos, Friesians, and Spotted Saddle horses, along with warmboods), I understand how to customize exercises for maximum benefit to a specific horse. - Emily McIntosh
Beginner Riding Lessons
Emphasis is placed on safety and developing correct horsemanship skills to create a well-rounded rider. Dressage concepts are used, but lessons are not strictly focused on dressage. Riders learn correct position, horse psychology, and how to ride safely out of the arena and over obstacles. Our lesson horses are forgiving and patient - fantastic confidence boosters.
I have always loved being in the saddle since the first ride, and I would love to share my love or riding and horses with your children. I have learned many unique and amazing ways of riding from many different instructors and my wish is to teach your children in what ever way it takes for the student to understand. Whether it is using words, demonstrations or silly ways to remember things I will do what it takes to make learning fun and exciting for all the students. -Bailey
45 minute private lesson: $60
Emily is available for a limited number of clinics. To schedule a clinic contact Emily at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Beginner Riding Lessons
30 minute private lesson: $30
1 hour group lesson: $30
1 hour private lesson: $50
Horses are expected to groomed, saddled, and warming-up by the time the lesson is scheduled. There are lesson horses available or the rider may bring their own. Check out the Policies document below for information about rescheduling, weather, etc.
I am more than happy to share my love and knowledge with other horse enthusiasts. Every equine-lover should feel what it is to be at unity with such a beautiful creature and experience the joy of dancing with them. - Emily McIntosh
Coaching at Horse Shows
If you'd like to show we have several options available.
Serendipity Stables Shows: Hosted at the stable Great for beginners Just pay for the class ($5-$10 per class)
Off site shows: Often at Rojas Ranch Great for intermediate riders
Coaching: $50 Includes riding instruction. It also includes details like making sure horses are tied properly, hay bags are at the correct height, horses are getting enough water, horses are not pawing the ground, any grooming touch ups, reading dressage tests, etc.
When the rider has done enough shows (all the little things are automatic and the rider knows how to do them without assistance) then waiving this fee will be an option.
If rider does not own their own horse: $30 horse fee If rider needs horse hauled: $1 per mile truck and trailer fee If rider does not braid for show: Braiding fee $30 If rider does not groom the horse the day before the show: $50 grooming fee
If interested in competing in a show off site, check with Emily beforehand. The above fees are dependent upon number of participants, driving distance, and duration of show.