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Frequently Asked Questions - please read before contacting us:)

1.   Are drop-ins ok?

Thanks for asking! Sorry, no drop-ins.  

We are geared for regular riders in our lesson program and want to give them our full attention during class time.

We book in advance for scheduled riders once registration form with prepayment is arranged.  

Prospective riders may schedule a visit (farm tours not offered) with Instructors to observe how our lessons are run.

2.   How much are classes?  

If you LOVE your First Lesson, then you may sign up for recurring Weekly Lessons in our prepaid Monthly Memberships that also includes One Dismounted Lesson on the First Sundays 2:30-3:30.

Semiprivate (ages 3 years old to adult)

$75 for 15 mins. riding with option to groom either before/after, then $200/month 

$100 for 30 mins. riding with option to groom either before/after, then $300/month

GROUP TRAIL LESSONS (ages 7 to adult), max 6 riders

$125 for 45 mins. riding with option to groom before and after, then $400/month

Once we have booked via email, then prepay for the first ride and email us your completed registration form.  

If Rider likes it and wants to continue, then we will find a good day/time that works weekly, prepay ahead for the month to save the Rider's mount during that lesson time slot. We ask for a 3 month commitment to thoroughly evaluate our program and give the Rider the chance to make some measurable progress.  

To cancel the monthly membership, email mysticcanyonstable@gmail.com with at least 30 days notice.

3.    Why are Lessons so Expensive?

Lesson fees cover the horse (its purchase price depreciated over time, its daily care and other expenses like the vet and farrier), its tack, the riding facility, the Instructor's income, business license, insurance, and so much more to cover the cost of doing business while making a decent living.  

Monthly lessons are VERY REASONABLE (with no financial risk for ongoing horse care in case of lay up) compared to initial start up horse ownership of an estimated $30,000+ (initial purchase price from $10,000+; $7,700+ for gear expenses like tack $5000, brushes $200, pads $500, misc. $2,000+; annual stabling of $12,000+/year), plus maintaining a horse fund for unforeseen expenses/emergencies and insurance.

This comparison is not to discourage carefully growing in to the responsibility of horse ownership, just to do so sensibly knowing what you are getting in to financially and timewise (daily 2-3 hours, 6-7 days/week).

Also see #25.

4.   How do I schedule a lesson? I heard you have wait lists.

With our classes full and impacted, we do have wait lists.

Space is based on coordinating availability as openings come up.    

To be added to our wait lists, please let us know via email mysticcanyonstable@gmail.com:

Rider (age, size [height, weight, physical condition], riding experience, riding dreams/goals/purpose),

and ideal availability (most popular times are M-F 2-5, Sat. Sun. 8:30-1, off hours may have space sooner) days/times for lessons, which week/s for camp),

and budget (weekly, multiple times per week).

Once we receive your info., we can recommend the best classes and availability, reaching out when we have space.

We hope you find the wait is worth it! We have limited spots and want to keep class size manageable for safety and quality of instruction by not overscheduling. Please try another stable or instructor (see Links) while being on the wait list, we don't want to hold you back on your riding journey.

5.   How far out do you think your wait list is?

Lately 6 months-18 months... Based on availability, the length of time being on the wait list may vary from days to weeks or months depending on when established riders take a break or change in schedules that create an opening. After school hours and weekends are the most popular.  Thank you for your patience ahead of time.  Please try another stable or instructor (see Links) while being on the wait list, we don't want to hold you back on your riding journey.

6. How do I schedule a camp week/s?

Please see instructions about Camp under Services tab.

April 1-15 Sign-ups are open for currently scheduled riders in our program.

Then April 15 sign-ups open to others. We will likely fill up within 2 weeks, with no date changes and no refunds once booked.

7.   How many riders are in a group at a time?

Max 6 riders per class, preferably fewer.

8.   Do Riders begin getting on a horse from day one or is there a period of days or weeks that you learn about tack, etiquette, etc.?

Yes, Riders ride in every class from their first lesson or camp day. 

9.   Does Rider need their own equipment of any kind? 

We provide riding boots and riding helmets to borrow for up to the first month while Rider shops for their own.

Come EARLY to help your rider try on.

Before reshelving the helmets, we spray them. Disinfectant is also available for boots.

For MAX horse time and less stress/rushing, arrive ready to RIDE by investing in boots and helmet to help save time trying on and adjusting fit. Plus you'll also be prepared to ride with your own gear elsewhere, like on vacations and if your friends invite you to ride their horses!

10.   What does Rider need to wear and bring? 

Wear long, loose, stretchy pants, tall socks, and t-shirt/long sleeved shirt.

Smooth-soled, ankle or higher boots with heels (sorry, hiking boots can get stuck in the stirrups!). 

Rider may borrow riding helmet and boots for the first month while they shop for/order/receive their own equipment within the first month of riding. 

Hair needs to be worn low (below the base of the skull, no buns) and not bulky,

so helmet can safely and securely fit. 

Bring a refillable water bottle with name on it and a positive attitude ready to learn!

11.  I don't have a riding helmet yet, may I bring my bicycle or other sports helmet?

Only riding helmets are safety tested and approved (ASTM/FEI) for riding. Borrow our riding helmets or invest in your own.  Other sports helmets may be as cheap as $11, but do you or your loved ones have an $11 brain?

https://www.ridingwarehouse.com/lc/training/helmet_education/riding_helmet_safety_standards.html

12.   Where can I buy a helmet and boots locally? Why not buy online?

Buying items online may not fit properly, taking more time to return/exchange.  I have bought the same exact model/style of helmet only to find one is more ovular or rounder! Crazy, right!? 

Please buy local, we NEED our local tack shops to stay in business, so they are there when we need them in our community! Help keep our horse lifestyle alive and well! Buying in person ensures the best fit with assistance from staff, support in adjusting/fitting and answering questions too. 

PLEASE SEE LINKS PAGE FOR LOCAL STORE INFO

13. Your business policy of no make ups for rescheduling/cancelation doesn't work for me. May I still ride at your barn? 

We schedule ahead for everyone's betterment and success, reserving equines for, and relying on Riders to exercise/give special care to their mounts every day. Each Rider is that equine's special person for that day! Consistency of practice for Rider improvement, consistent income for our Instructors, as well as excellent care and time off for our equines are of utmost importance.

If you don't want to commit to a reserved/recurring time, that might be ok at other stables, just ask about and know their policies up front.  

14.   Rider has been under the weather lately, how do I let you know?

By EMAIL mysticcanyonstable@gmail.com please do let us know as soon as possible so we can make sure to care for their assigned equine that day. When Rider is fully healthy to resume, please check back so we don't continue to worry.  We will keep Rider's reserved recurring weekly lesson spot until you give us at least 30 days notice to cancel your monthly membership. 

15.   What do you do in classes during rainy season?

Our lessons run rain or shine.

We still care for and exercise each equine daily.

Especially during rainy season, the horses need to be groomed and at least handwalked to get their steps for their physical health and get out of their corrals for their mental health.

Come prepared to RIDE in the RAIN or handwalk if you prefer. It's FUN and educational to go slower and practice cueing each foot fall, really! 

We go as fast as conditions allow, likely walking with some trot, maybe even canter.

We work on leg cues and rein management, lateral work/side passing/leg yielding over poles, turn on forehand, turn on haunches, GAMES, skill building/coordination like whip hand offs, circling and weaving cones, spearing a pool ring, backing through barrel patterns, dis/mounting techniques, and MORE!!!  

16.  Your business policy is lessons run ride rain or shine, yet I don't want myself/my rider to ride in the rain or in the mud. What can I do during the rainy season?

Fortunately for us, horseback riding in our area is year round, not seasonal. If Rider prefers to not ride during the rainy season, they may groom and handwalk on foot instead.

The weather and ground conditions change constantly and hourly, it is too hard to communicate the current riding situation for each class to every rider so they can decide to ride or not.

It's ok to be a fair weather rider at another barn, just make sure it is ok with them to take a break during rainy season (likely from December to May), and hopefully that barn has space available when you do prefer to ride.

Worry not, young riders will only grow bigger and stronger with time!

And adults may benefit from a break from regular scheduling as well!   

17.   Are adults ok to ride with youth? 

Yes!  Please be not self-conscious of the age difference, we're all works of art in the process of learning life:)  Developing skills take time! I hope our skilled youth inspire you to improve and remember to be a kid again at heart with awe and wonder, not make you feel hopeless and discouraged.

18.   Will I be the only man/boy?

You might be! That wouldn't stop a woman/girl if she were the only one, so please join us!:) We'll be nice, inclusive, and it's not weird for us. We need more cowboys and guys riding recreationally in our sport!

Be brave & take the reins!

19.   May I bring visitors (additional children and friends/relatives)?  

 IF parents/adults can SEE and actively be WITH their children and visitors AT ALL TIMES, then yes. SAFETY FIRST.

Our expectations are connection and having/setting clear boundaries are healthy. Please ask if unsure. 

Parents/adults MUST supervise/stay together near the barn and seating areas, not climbing in the trees, nor up the driveway, in to the horse corrals, the yard, nor neighbors' yards beyond our fences. Our neighbors do not want unattended children trespassing in their backyards either. We want to be good neighbors. 

Roaming the property beyond the barn and seating areas is not part of being at our barn.
Guests do not touch/move/break/play with things that are not theirs without permission.

Bring toys or games!  Supervision, interaction, outdoor PLAY:)

Thank you for helping make this a family friendly place for quality connection time of discovery and awe together:)


20.   May I bring my dog?
Friendly, leashed dogs YES!!!  Just pick up after their poop and have them pee on dirt only (not furniture, seating). We do have protective barn cats, rabbit, hens, and wild coyotes, hawks, owls. 

21.  Might Riders get hurt being around horses?
Yes, they might.  We role model, teach, and practice being as safe as possible. Know that being around horses means Riders might get hurt, hopefully only minor and occasionally.  Being pooped/peed/sneezed on, stepped on, bitten, kicked, falling off, etc. might happen too, so be prepared to get dirty (and promise to shower when you get home!).

22.   I'm afraid of falling off... should I quit riding or not ride?
If you are willing to work with and through your fear, yes. If your fear outweighs the joy of riding, then no. Fortunately you don't HAVE to ride! You GET to choose to ride:) Riding is a choice.

Fall off, regroup, then get back on when ready.  

Falling off can be an important part of learning to get back on in horseback riding.

Riders will/do fall off, even with lots of experience and practice.

Instructor Tiffany has have fallen off more times than she can count!

Horses are animals with minds, emotions, and reactions of their own, not machines.

We will simulate riding skills to stay on and scenarios for what ifs too. We train to be as prepared as possible. 

23.   Will daylight savings effect your afternoon lessons?

Classes run year round at the same times.  Nope, we will be in the barn untacking with lights before it gets too dark.  Plus horses see better at night than we do thankfully.

24.   Do you offer boarding?      

Sorry, no, just lesson equines at our barn. Please check Links for local boarding stables:)  

At local tack/feed shops (see Links), talk with employees and check community bulletin boards for Stalls for Rent and/or create your own flier for what you are looking for.

25. Why is horse ownership considered such a RISK with SIZABLE INVESTMENT compared to lessons on lesson horses?

With lessons on lesson horses, there are no initial investment costs to purchase, no monthly maintenance bills (vet, farrier, Equine Sports Massage Therapist, etc.), no paying for a horse to recover from an injury, and no paying to lease a horse while your horse heals on top of your horse's expenses. 

If the lesson horse goes lame, that risk and those expenses are the responsibility of the Owner.   
Lameness may mean the horse needs to be laid up for some time (months or years) to recover, physical therapy, wound care and bandages skillfully changed and reapplied regularly, with increasing hand walking and fitness regimen to come back to riding condition.  

As Riders improve, they may need a more advanced and likely more expensive next horse. Can you afford to keep their beloved first horse PLUS buy and maintain their second horse too? Or do you have to sell or rehome the first horse? Making that choice can be emotionally challenging for the whole family.

26.   What are the costs of leasing and owning a horse in Palos Verdes?

Leasing is a monthly riding agreement between the horse's owner and the lessee, with day/s of the week agreed upon in writing, abiding by the owner's rules for their horse. Some owners are more flexible with scheduling.

Price range varies, from maybe $200/4 days/month to $thousands/month, depending on horse's training, temperament, and age. 

Part Lease: 1 day/week = 4 days/month; 2 days/week = 8 days/month 

Half Lease: 3 days/week = 12 days/month

Full Lease: 6 days/week with one day off/week plus all the other expenses (vet $400 2+x/year, farrier $50-500+/5-8 weeks, etc.)

Remember to budget for continuing training and lessons

     

Owning a horse on The Hill of Palos Verdes will run about $1000/month (board, hay, shavings, feeder/cleaner 2x/day), not including farrier (trim, half or full shoeing), biannual and unexpected vet bills or unforeseen circumstances that do happen! Before buying a horse, a good idea is to have a $24K fund for affording a horse (that covers maybe 2 years of ownership). The initial investment of buying the horse is simple, it's the monthly expenses you need to budget for plus the daily time commitment (2-3 hours, 6-7 hours/day).  

An even better idea is to invest in lessons to gain the skills to keep you safely enjoying years of riding to come!   

If you can do one lesson/week, then try 2 lessons/week for months. Then consider lessons plus leasing for many months. Then if that is sustainable, maybe consider ownership. If you own the horse and it goes lame, that means you won't have a riding horse and you'll need to take the time (may be months of rehabilitation) to help it heal and build back up to riding strength. Plus to continue riding, you'll need to lease another horse, so that is an additional expense for those months, assuming you find a suitable horse and leasing situation.  Make sure you are in it for the long haul (horses can live in to their 30s and need to retire younger!) and not just the short-term for immediate gratification.

A common sad story is someone rushed in to owning a horse (or multiple horses!) without knowing how to ride and what to expect daily timewise/financially,  then the rider and/or horse gets injured/don't have the time/loses interest/can't afford to keep the horse, and they have to rehome the horse.  Let's not do that.

Please be wise and gradually set yourself up for a lifetime of sustainable riding success.

For another perspective click on Get Started Riding - Rolling Hills General Store

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