Back To School: Send You & Your Horse To A Trainer This Winter

August 28, 2023

Does it seem like your horse has a little hitch in their giddyup when it comes to arena work?
Do they get the non-stop zoomies in the spring?
Maybe there is a new discipline that you’ve been dying to try, but may not know where to start?
There is a simple answer to all of these questions: Send both you and your horse back to school.
There are so many new and exciting things to learn in the equestrian world. Keep reading to find a new discipline near you.

Riding girl and horse

Benefits of Sending Your Horse to a Trainer

Does your horse have a hard time during the Spring?
Do they reliably suffer from the spooks and the jumps when it comes to that first day of warm weather?
Send your horse to a trainer this winter.
Sending your horse to a trainer during the rainy months will help your horse stay consistent even if you don’t have the space to work with them while it’s muddy.
You can even get lessons with your horse through the trainer to make sure that you are still connecting with them throughout the winter.
Find a trainer that aligns with both your chosen discipline and riding style. This will make sure that your horse is still worked in the manner in which they are accustomed to.
If you are going with them to the trainer, then you may also learn some new and exciting skills that you can apply when the warmer weather rolls back in.
Your trainer will be able to help you desensitize your horse to all of the events that happened during the winter. If you live in a place where there is snow your trainer can also help show you the best places to take your horse for a fun and safe winter trail ride.
Trainers are able to see the little details that your horse will need to work on, or can even tell you where you can improve with your training or riding ability.

Family taking a horseback riding lesson in the woods

Send Yourself to a Trainer

(no matter how experienced you are)
Even though you may be an experienced rider, it’s still a good idea to have that refresher course on the basics. Sometimes we get so caught up with advancing that we forget the foundation of our seat.
Do you want to learn a new discipline?
A trainer can help with that.
Trainers are fantastic for both the basics and teaching your horse and the advanced steps.
There is no rule that says that you can’t teach an old horse (or cowboy) new tricks.

Check out these top-rated places that cater to both new riders and long-time enthusiasts for lessons:


Diane’s Riding Place

Location: Bend, Oregon.
Services: Lessons, boarding, and leasing their horses.
Discipline: Western
Details: Diane’s Riding Place offers a fun and laid-back approach to their lessons. Showing since the age of three owner Diane has the experience and knowledge to cater to all riding levels. During the summer they also offer camps for kiddos starting at age 7-16
Click the link to mosey on over to their website for more information.

Kardia Equestrian Academy

Location: Springfield, OR
Services: Individual lessons and group lessons
Discipline: English, western, and in-hand
Details: Kardia Equestrian Academy offers lessons from experienced horse trainers in several disciplines including in-hand showmanship, western pleasure, English pleasure, and many more. The owner and lead trainer has over 35 years of experience. The mission of Kardia Equestrian Academy is your success in the saddle. They are determined to tailor their training style to your needs.


Hart Ranch

Location: Yakima, Washington.
Services: Individual Lessons, Group lessons
Discipline: Western
Details: Hart Ranch has a fantastic lesson program that caters to all ages and levels of riding. Whether you’re a beginner or have been riding since before you could walk they have something new for everyone.
Hart Ranch hosts weekend ranch sortings and a variety of other activities that are fun for both horse and rider.

Golden Nugget Ranch, LLC

Location: Selah, WA
Services: Boarding, individual lessons, group lessons
Discipline: Western and English
Details: Do you need a place where you can board your horse and take lessons? Then the Golden Nugget Ranch is the place for you. They offer riding lessons to all ages and riding levels. They have a variety of types of lessons, from one on one to joining a whole group of your soon-to-be horse besties.
Check out their website for more information on all of the amenities they offer.


North Bay Equestrian Center

Location: Petaluma, California
Services: Individual Lessons
Discipline: English
Details: North Bay Equestrian Center offers lessons for equestrians who enjoy or want to learn dressage, jumping, and saddle seat.
Visit their Instagram for more information.

Strides Riding Academy

Location: Petaluma, CA
Services: Private lessons, group lessons, in-house shows
Discipline: English hunter/jumper
Details: Strides Riding Academy has been in business for over 10 years. They cater to all ages and skill levels.
They have horses for you to learn on or you can bring your own. They teach English style of riding and have lessons if you have the urge to compete in jumping.
They also have a fantastic summer camp that your kiddo will talk about for years to come.
For more information and to book a lesson, check out their website.

Horse trainer

Teach You and Your Horse A New Skill

Is there something that your horse struggles with?
Or maybe they’re bored and need a new discipline to focus on.
Whatever your reason, there are many fun new things to try with your horse.
If you love trail riding or have an interest in getting into it try building your own trail course where your horse is located.
If your horse is not used to the unpredictability of the woods then a mini trail course will help prepare them for riding outside of their comfort zone.
You don’t need to have a lot of acreage to build a practical trail course. All you really need is an open space and the time to dedicate to creating some fun obstacles that will challenge your horse’s brain.
Check out these fun and easy-to-build ideas to set up on your homemade trail course.

Walk through pool noodles
This one is pretty easy to build. All you’ll need is roughly 8 pool noodles and some string or baling twine.

  • Find a tree in your pasture with a decently high branch to walk your horse under.
  • Next, you are going to measure out enough string To wrap around both the branch and the pool noodle.
  • Tie the string around the pool noodle first and then wrap it around the branch. Continue to do this with each pool noodle so that they’re hanging about 4 inches (or more) down from the branch so that they can move freely.
  • You want the pool noodles to be able to both touch your horse and move around if it gets windy. This will simulate stuff that may touch your horse on the trail.

A mailbox to open and close
Almost all competition trail courses have a mailbox that you will need to open and close. Plus, how nice would it be to be able to ride your horse down the driveway to get your mail?

  • To set this up you will need to either use your own mailbox at the end of the driveway or find a place where you can dig a hole, pour some concrete, and then put a wooden post down so that it will be safely secure and not risk falling over. If you want to be able to move this trail obstacle fill a 5-gallon bucket with concrete or sand and place your wooden post in it to set.
  • Find a cheap mailbox and follow the instructions on how to set it up. If you don’t have the money to buy a brand new mailbox, you can always look on craigslist, or your local Facebook “No Buy” page, to see if anybody is giving one away.

Set up logs or poles for backing your horse through
Do you have a bunch of branches that you are thinking about putting through a wood chipper? Well, put those branches to work and build a space that you can practice backing your horse through.

  • If you don’t have any branches, you can drop into your local Wilco Farm Store and either pick up some long pieces of PVC pipe or ask To take a look at what they have for wooden posts.
  • After you have your supplies, take your posts or your tree branches and set them up in an L shape. They should be about 3-5 feet apart. This will give your horse plenty of space to figure out how to back up and turn at the same time. Try practicing, backing and turning in the arena or pasture first before you try going through the “L” shape.

Have an idea for a trail obstacle but not sure how to build it? Hop on down to your local Wilco Farm Store to talk to our experts.