Our free lease program involves a full lease to the Stables for the duration of the school year, approximately August to May. During that time, the Stables takes responsibility for all expenses associated with care of the horse.
Schoolies at the Stables have several jobs. They are used as lesson horses in our lesson program, ridden by Co-op members in the arena and on trails, and are used during Team practices each week. Our Schoolies are most often ridden in English disciplines, but many Western-trained horses have transitioned easily to work under an English saddle in our program. To ensure that the horses are not overworked, each Schoolie may be used no more than two hours or two rides in one day and Monday is designated as “Schoolie Day Off.”
The Ideal Schoolie
We do ask a lot of our Schoolies, so it takes a very special horse to be a great Schoolie. The ideal Schoolie is older than 8 years old and has developed some maturity in responding to its surrounding. It is beginner safe on the ground and in the saddle. It stands quietly for tacking up, ties safely, picks up its feet easily, can be bathed, and can be blanketed. Under saddle, it responds readily to cues for steering and changes of speed, does not speed up as a rider loses balance, ignores the unnecessary cues of beginners, spooks infrequently, and is steady on trails.
"Beginner safe" is our first priority in choosing Schoolies because the majority of our lesson students are new and inexperienced riders. However, the ideal Schoolie also knows how to jump and offers a challenge, in skill level not behavioral problems, for advanced lessons and Team practice.
The ideal Schoolie also has no health problems. It has conformation that does not predispose it to lameness and has no history of chronic lameness. It does not have hoof or joint problems that require expensive treatment or management. It is an easy keeper that maintains weight through the winter.
Schoolies at the Stables have the same care options as Boarder horses, but responsibility for their health and well-being is assigned to The Horse Care Manager.
Please review the care options listed for boarders.
There are several policies that pertain only to the School Horses.
- Schoolies may not be ridden when the real feel temperature is below 15 degrees.
- Schoolies may not be ridden on trails alone.
- No Co-op member is permitted to train Schoolies without the express permission of the Horse Care Manager. This includes training of new skills or correction of serious problem behavior. All riders may reinforce skills that the horse already has. Should a behavioral problem arise, the Horse Care Manager is responsible for devising a plan to address the problem.
- Schoolies may not be jumped outside of a lesson.