Frequently Asked Questions
How long is a lesson?
Each lesson takes about 2 hours from your scheduled time: 30 minutes to prepare your horse, 45 (private) or 60 (group) minutes of riding, and 30 minutes to untack and clean your space. For your first lesson, please come 5-10 minutes early so we can complete waivers and check that your equipment is suitable. Riders are welcome to come early or stay late, but children at the barn outside of their lesson time are expected to be supervised.
What do I need to bring for a lesson?
Each rider needs:
- Long Pants: No jeans please! Leggings or riding breeches both work well.
- Boots with a heel of at least 1.5cm: Approximately the width of a finger.
- An ASTM certified riding helmet: Different from a bike helmet. If you don’t have your own, you can rent them from us for $5 per helmet per ride.
- Clothes for the weather: in the winter, our arena and barn are protected from the wind but not the cold.
- [Optional] An apple or carrot for your horse!
Open toed shoes are not permitted in the barn. This applies not just to riders, but also anyone else in the barn.
If you are looking for riding gear, we have a small selection of used riding equipment for sale. This includes tall riding boots, paddock boots, half chaps, breeches, show shirts, show jackets, and safety vests. Ask your instructor if you are interested in checking things out.
What ages do you teach?
Anyone 6 and over. Adult students are always welcome and I’ve been strictly forbidden to say the ages of my oldest students.
For younger children we can do a shorter more simple pony ride. The rider gets a very basic lesson on lead, and they won’t be as involved in preparing the horse.
How do I book and pay for a lesson?
Book a lesson by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. We will work with you to choose a time slot that works for your schedule and your riding level.
All lesson packages, with the exception of one-time rides, must be paid by the 1st of the month. Payments after the 1st of the month must include a $25 late fee. Payments can be made through e-transfer or cash.
How do I cancel or reschedule a lesson?
If you have to miss a lesson, please let us know by email at least 24 hours in advance. One lesson can be made up at the end of the month. Lessons that are not cancelled 24 hours in advance, or made up at the end of the month, are forfeited. If you frequently miss lessons, you may be asked to choose a different time slot that works better for you.
Lesson packages only ever include 4 weeks of lessons. The 5th week of each month (29th, 30th, 31st) is set aside as rest days for our horses, and there are no lessons on these days.
Lessons are cancelled day-of in the case of road closures or weather below 20C (excluding windchill). In this case, we send notice through Facebook and the mailing list, and lessons are made up at no additional cost on a later date. Riding lessons may be swapped for theory lessons in the case of dangerous weather.
What does it really cost?
It depends which package you go with. The more lessons you commit to, the better the deal per ride. If you don’t own your own certified horse riding helmet, a $5 helmet rental fee applies per ride.
Where can I park when I get there?
There is parking beside the outdoor arena, the small garage, and the house. Parking in front of the indoor arena is not permitted.
In general, please avoid blocking any gates or doors with your vehicle. Ensure there is always enough room along the “U”-shaped driveway for a large trailer to pull completely around, for when we have horses coming and going.
Do you travel to give lessons? How far?
Yes, I travel to outside barns for coaching. Pricing for off-site lessons are the same as standard lesson packages, but gas and mileage fees apply. Gas/mileage can be split between students for group lessons, or if multiple riders schedule lessons on the same day.
I try to stay within an hour’s drive, but I will travel outside of that if group lessons are arranged in advance.
Can students bring their own horses for lessons?
Yes, students can bring their own horses. Riding off-property is a great way for riders to prepare their horse for shows, and our indoor arena is convenient in the winter when weather isn’t always co-operative.
Horse Training Questions
Can you train my horse to do tricks?
Yes, most horses can be taught to do anything with patience and a firm grasp of what your trying to teach. Step by step tricks are easy to teach. The Spanish walk, rear, lay down, bow etc are all tricks that I can teach you, to teach your horse.
What kind of training do you offer?
I specialize in dressage training, and I have also competed in hunter/jumper, eventing, and both performance and speed Western events. Every discipline I have ridden has given me tools and techniques to make me a more well-rounded trainer.
English, Western, Driving, and other styles of horse sports are all based in the same principles to me. I want my horse confident, willing to please, happy, and so well trained the rest of the world thinks I’m just sitting there. One of my favourite things to tell my students is to make their friends think, “I could do that!”
I use short frequent training sessions to keep my horses learning, and enjoying their training. This approach helps them learn everything so thoroughly they can be ridden without a bridle: they steer completely off my seat, weight, eyes, and legs. A clinician once told me it was impossible to ride upper-level dressage movements without a bridle, and I’m out to prove him wrong.
Do you have indoor and outdoor board?
We do, we can accomodate up to 40 horses on our property. Check the boarding section under ‘More’ to see more information on the packages offered.
What about the extras?
Blankets and fly masks are included in the indoor board price. The barn staff will put on and remove as required. It is up to you to keep them in good repair, and replace them as needed if your horse requires them.
If your horse requires extra grain or supplements outside of what we already feed, we are happy to feed it at no extra cost. You must provide these extras, and include them in your board contract so all barn workers can be made aware of dosages.
I have been taking lessons at Fire Fly Stables for a year now, and I absolutely love my lessons. Jenn is so knowledgeable and detail oriented I have learned more than I could have imagined there was to learn. She is relaxed, easy going, the lessons are fun but she is also able to motivate her students to do better each time. Thank you Jenn, I promise someday you won’t have to remind me to keep my heels down and fingers closed!
Hi Jenn, I just wanted to put it out there that out of all the other barns I’ve been to, yours tops the list! You are the BEST trainer I’ve ever had and I can’t wait to see where we go from here. I am always excited to come out and ride, I sometimes have a lack of confidence but you have a way of telling me I can do it! Your teaching style is awesome because you don’t teach everyone the same way, you pick out our flaws and work on them in a way that is really fun and easy to understand. I don’t know how you remember which person has which style. I love coming to every lesson and I always walk away extremely happy and I learn something every time, even if it was small… thank you so much!
I have been riding for a year and a half now and it has been amazing. Sometimes I can be scared around horses and Jenn is really helping. She doesn’t push us to do things, but she doesn’t do the work for us either. I really like it at Fire Fly. Jenn is very laid back and easygoing. Our lessons are always different too!
You have been the best teacher ever! Your horses are nice, you are nice, and thanks for everything. Because you trusted me I believe in myself no matter what happens.