Richmond Hill Farm

Lesson Program

Our lessons focus on teaching proper communication with the horse.  We don't believe in quick fixes or harsh methods.  Instead we work on developing skills.  There are no short cuts to learning proper body position, form and use of aids.  It takes time and practice to develop the feel and the tools you need to ride well.  What comes easy for some, may be more difficult for others.  Each student is different and we customize our lessons in response to each rider's needs.

Whether you are riding just for fun or in pursuit of ribbons and national ranking, the skills required are the same - 

  • Effective Communication
  • Horse Handling
  • Safety
  • Balance
  • Form
  • Effective use of aids
  • Listening
  • Focus
  • Persistance
  • Goal Setting
  • and much  more

All riders are required to wear a properly fitted riding helmet with current  ASTM/SEI  certification. Riders under the age of 18 are encouraged to wear their helmet at all times while working on the ground or on horse back.

As safety is critically important, we ask that parents and visitors please DO NOT speak with the rider or instructor during a lesson. If you have questions, please schedule an appointment or wait until after the lesson.  Remember that other riders may be waiting for lessons and require the instructor to be in the ring, so keep your questions brief or schedule an appointment for a phone or personal conference at your convenience.

Each lesson focuses on the student's individual needs and the horse they are riding.

As communication between horse and rider is the single most important skill, students are required to spend time working on the ground with the horse.  This includes pre-ride grooming, tacking up and warming up the horse.  When the lesson is over, riders are required to untack and groom the horse they rode and to clean the tack and return it to its proper location.  This time on the ground is critical to building trust, the corner stone to a productive relationship.  It also teaches responsibility and follow-through, which are both valuable life skills as well as horsemanship skills.

All riders are expected to tack up prior to their lesson.  We schedule lessons for your convenience and expect you to be on time.  If you are late tacking up, it cuts into your lesson time. Please arrive at the barn at least 30 minutes before your lesson to assure that you have maximum time in the ring.

Space in our classes is limited.  If you are not going to be able to make it to your lesson, we require 24 hour cancellation so that we can attempt to fill your spot.  If we do not receive sufficient notice you will be billed for the lesson.

Beginners -
lessons are typically 45 minutes.

Group Lessons typically last 1 hour, however, if  horse and rider are having a particularly good lesson the time may be less to allow it to end on a good note.  If a rider is having a difficult time, lessons may last longer. Remember you are paying to learn, you are not paying simply for time.

Private Lessons last 1/2 an hour.

Students, particularly beginners, are encouraged to ride at least once a week.  However, the more time spent in the saddle, the faster your skills will develop and the more effective you will be. Like any sport, riding requires practice and muscle development that comes with repetition and frequency.

While our horses are tame and use to humans, they are still horses and as such can hurt you without meaning to. This is particularly true if you do not have experience around horses.  Because safety is our primary concern, we ask that you not bring other children or friends to a lesson.  If you must do so, then we require you to sign an Assumption of Risk statement BEFORE you bring any child onto the property. Any child or visitor that you bring onto Richmond Hill Farm property is your full and sole responsibility and are to be in your complete control at all times.  This policiy exists solely to provide a safer environment that optimizes learning and to protect any visitor.

While everyone at Richmond Hill Farm loves animals, especially dogs, we  DO NOT EVER ALLOW ANY VISITING DOGS.  Dogs, even those familiar with horses may accidentally frighten a horse, which may cause injury to a rider, horse or dog.  Please keep your dogs safely at home.

Every rider progresses differently.  What may come quickly for one student may take another student more time.
  Please allow for these differences and not compare yourself or your child to anyone.  As the saying goes, there will always be riders with greater or less skill than you.  Appreciate that ultimately we are all continually learning how to ride better.  It doesn't matter how high you jump or if you are jumping at all.  It doesn't matter how long it takes for you to master a skill.  Ultimately all that matters is that you are setting goals and working towards those goals.

Riding is a skill like any other.  Some can master it quickly and effortlessly, while others require more time and work.  Our job as instructors is to help you set riding goals that are achievable and realistic.  The rider's job is to trust the process and go at your own pace.  Remember that riding is meant to be fun.  Please allow it to be by not comparing yourself to others. 

Riding is not just about winning ribbons.  It is about learning how to create an invaluable relationship that will teach you communication, focus, persistance, goal setting and many other life skills that will make you a better more successful person.  And this is the only sport where your equipment (the horse) will love you back.

If you are looking for a way to satisfy physical education or science requirements, we can help.  Our riding instructor and trainer has a bachelor's degree and can work with you to design a lesson program that will meet state requirements in physical education.  She can also help with science projects involving horse care, nutrition, anatomy and other related subjects.

Both the Boy and Girl Scouts offer badges in horsemanship.  At Richmond Hill Farm, we are willing and able to work with you to satisfy your badge requirements.


   Call today!
(337) 739-0989
225 Amy Road
Opelousas, LA 70570

WARNING Under Louisiana law, an equine activity sponsor or equine professional is not liable for an injury to or the death of a participant in equine activities resulting from the inherent risks of equine activities, pursuant to R.S. 9:2795.3.

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