Services - Training & Lessons

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Boarding

Your horse will enjoy large 14’x14’ matted stalls, custom feeding programs, and the daily turn-out in our large fields.

Training & Lessons

Our students include all levels of riders; from the first-time rider learning the basics of equitation and horsemanship, to the serious "AA" show competitor.

For Sale/Lease/Sold

Juliet - A wonderful mare with a great attitude. A far more athletic mare than one would except for her size, Juliet is very enthusiatic about her job!

IEA Teams

Hillmar Farm Middle School IEA Team train out of our facility in Gainesville, GA.

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Our Services

Boarding | Facility Services | Training & Boarder Lessons | Riding School | Venue Rental

Riding School

The difference between a lesson program and a riding school is focus. Lesson programs just teach riding; a riding school teaches horsemanship. Riding School students receive a well-rounded education that is so often lacking in other programs.  Students don’t just learn what they are supposed to do; they also learn why they are supposed to do it.  Students learn how their actions affect their horses’ reactions and performance, and what they can do to improve that performance.

Riding School Lesson Packages: *Please Note: All prices shown are per rider

    • All lessons may be purchased individually or as part of a monthly lesson package. Discounted rates are given for lessons purchased as a monthly package.  To qualify for these rates ALL LESSONS IN THE PACKAGE MUST BE PURCHASED TOGETHER & PAID IN FULL before the beginning of the first scheduled lesson of the month.
    • All lessons purchased as part of a package must be taken within the month of purchase. (*Lessons cancelled 24 hours in advance may be made up at no extra cost. Make-up lessons must be taken within 30 days of original appointment).

    New students must take an initial Private Evaluation lesson

REGULAR PRIVATE LESSON: Single Rider / 45 Minutes - One Hour

      Individual N/A  $60 per lesson
      Package of 4 $220/month  $55 per lesson
      Package of 8 $400/month  $50 per lesson

SEMI-PRIVATE LESSON: 2 Riders / One Hour

        Individual
      N/A $50 per lesson
        Package of 4
      $180/month $45 per lesson
        Package of 8
      $320/month $40 per lesson

GROUP LESSON: 3 to 6 Riders / One Hour

      Individual N/A $45 per lesson
      Package of 4 $160/month $40 per lesson
      Package of 8 $280/month $35 per lesson

FAQ's

Who are the instructors of the Riding School?
Students of the Riding School meet Trainer/Instructor Katie Matteson Sutko.  Katie is great with both children and adults, and she brings something special to the table.  See Bio's on our Bio page.

Why is it called a Riding School?  How does it differ from a regular lesson program?
The difference between a lesson program and a riding school is focus. Lesson programs just teach riding; a riding school teaches horsemanship. Riding School students receive a well-rounded education that is so often lacking in other programs.  Students don’t just learn what they are supposed to do; they also learn why they are supposed to do it.  Students learn how their actions affect their horses’ reactions and performance, and what they can do to improve that performance.

Do I have to own a horse to enroll?
There is no need to own a horse; Hillmar has a number of safe and reliable school-horses and ponies for the use of our students.  Each student will be matched with a horse or pony that is suitable for the student’s size, amount of past riding experience, and current skill level.

I’ve never ridden before; neither has my child.  What can we expect to learn during a Riding School lesson?
 Students of the Riding School will receive a solid education in Hunt-Seat Riding (also known as English Riding).  Initial lessons for beginning riders will consist of both ground work – how to safely handle a horse, the correct way to groom and prepare a horse to be ridden, and basic safety rules – as well as mounted work – how to give the horse proper commands to go, stop, and turn.  As lessons progress, beginning students will learn to walk, trot, canter, and eventually begin to jump small fences.  There is never any pressure on any student to move up faster than he/she is comfortable with.  The most important aim of the School is to allow students to enjoy the pleasures of riding horses safely and correctly.

I’ve been riding a number of years, and have shown successfully in Local shows. I don’t have a horse, though. Is the Riding School suitable for me?
Absolutely.  Even the most advanced riders can always learn to refine their riding technique and to become more effective riders.  There is always room for improvement!  Showing is definitely a part of the Riding School. In fact, an important facet of the Riding School is Hillmar’s Show Team (more info can be found on this website). Within the Show Team, Hillmar Farm’s School horses are available to lease for shows; our Instructors regularly take students and their favorite School horses to the Local shows, where they can experience the pleasure of competing and can gain good show experience without the hefty price tag or pressure often found at “A” Rated shows. When students do move up to the “A” shows, they are well prepared and have a good foundation from which to move up.

We are interested in doing more than just taking lessons.  Does the Riding School offer any opportunities for leasing a horse or pony?
The Riding School always has good, safe School horses available for half- or full-lease.  Leasing allows students to enjoy the experience of horse ownership without the commitment.  When a student does make the decision to move up to horse or pony ownership, Our Instructors are always glad to help with finding a quality horse or pony in the student’s price range.

What do I need to bring to my/my child’s lessons?  What is the purpose of these items? 
Every Riding School student must wear long pants, sturdy boots with a small heel, and a riding helmet. These items are necessary for the comfort and/or safety of each student.

  • Long pants help protect the student’s legs from uncomfortable chafing from the saddle or stirrup leathers.

  • Although horses are usually quite careful with their own feet, the possibility of them stepping upon a student’s foot remains.  Wearing a sturdy boot will keep a minor injury from becoming a major one!  The purpose of having heels on the boots is to keep the student’s feet from sliding through the stirrups and potentially becoming caught.  This is particularly important for our young students with small feet.         

  • The most important item that a student must have is an S.E.I.- certified riding helmet that fits his/her head properly.  When worn correctly, helmets can prevent serious head injury, and can even save lives! We do have a few helmets available for our students to use; however, helmets (like heads) come in many different sizes, and we are not able to guarantee that our helmets will fit every student.  Since a helmet must fit correctly to be effective, we will not allow any student to ride wearing an ill-fitting helmet.  Therefore, we highly recommend that each student purchase his/her own S.E.I. –certified helmet.  There are a number of fairly inexpensive options available; we will gladly help in finding one for you or your child.

In addition to the items listed above, every student must turn in a completed and signed (by an adult) “Rider Release and Registration” form and a “Riding School Information and Policies” form.  If the student is a minor, only a parent or other legal guardian of the student may sign for him/her.  For liability reasons, no student, whether that student is an adult or a minor, will be allowed to mount a horse until these completed and signed forms are received by Hillmar Farm management.  These Forms are available at the farm, or can be downloaded from our website.

How much do lessons cost?
Please refer to the posted price sheet on this website.

How do I enroll myself/my child in the Riding School?
All potential students must take an initial evaluation lesson.  This is a 45 min.- 1hour private lesson, during which the Instructot is able to assess the rider’s skill level and place him/her in an appropriate group if applicable. (Please note, all beginner riders must remain in private lessons until the Instructor feels they are skilled enough to join a group safely.)   Please contact an Instructor directly to set up an evaluation lesson.  Contact information for all of Hillmar’s Instructors can be found on this website.

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