Most simply, the difference is in the saddle. Western riders learn a seated position and work in slower gaits. Western uses a saddle with a horn - the purpose of which is for a cowboy to tie a rope to when roping. Hunt Seat learns jumping position and posting at more forward gaits. Both styles of riding focus on the form and balance of the rider on the horse. With Hunt Seat, the riders eventually learn how to jump fences.
Comfortable, fitted clothing should be worn. No flapping clothing, scarves or jewelry. Riders should wear long pants, shorts should not be worn. Boots with a 1” heel and ankle support or riding boots should be worn - sneakers are not allowed.
Yes, both terms refer to the same style of the riding.
The minimum age is 11. If riders younger than 11 have had past experience an exception may be made only by the instructor. Riders need to be mature and tall enough to tack horses and fit on the saddle and into stirrups. Any exceptions need to be approved by the instructor before the first lesson. Contact the instructor at (860) 486-3377 for further information.
If you have been riding regularly since last summer there is a good chance you would be comfortable signing up for the same level as last year or the next level up. If you haven't ridden since last summer, it would be wise to repeat the last level you rode in last summer and to start-up lessons slowly. Use the first three week session as a refresher course.
Beginner riders in their very first lesson will learn to tack up; learn how to work around a horse and learn how to clean the horse. After the completion of three weeks of beginner lessons, riders will know how to walk, trot, and canter, depending on the number of lessons and individual development.
Yes, we provide helmets and the tack necessary to ride, but it is recommended you bring your own helmet. Please leave your own saddle and tack at home. Our tack is fitted to each horse and using your own tack must be approved by the instructor.
No, the same rider is to show each week for their own time slot.
Classes are not canceled due to poor weather because UConn can hold lessons in the indoor Horsebarn Hill Arena, but please call Alena's cell (860-377-3779) for questions on weather cancellations.
No refund is given to riders who miss a lesson, but there may be opportunities available when a rider could make up a lesson in their current three-week session. The riding instructor would make this decision.
Riders need to sign up for a full 2 or 3-week session at a time and pay for the entire session in advance. A deposit is needed in advance to reserve a space and payment of the remaining balance is made at the first lesson. We do not offer a "pay as you go" plan.
Actual riding in each lesson will be 45 to 50 minutes.
The Arena is located on Horsebarn Hill Road at the UConn Storrs, campus on the east side of Rte 195. For more detail directions, click here to view campus maps and directions.
They are group lessons, in which there will be 6-8 riders in each lesson.
Email your name, mailing address, and email address to UConnHorseRiding@UConn.edu to be placed on next year's mailing list.
Yes, the riding lessons are structured so that a new rider can sign up as a beginner in the 1st 3-week session and if the rider feels comfortable after 3 weeks they can continue on and register for the advance Beginner Level. Note, if you are determined to ride in more than 1 3-week session you should register for each session in advance. We require a deposit of $75.00 to reserve a slot in each session. Deposits will not be refunded upon cancellation. Lessons fill up quickly.
No, unfortunately we cannot guarantee that you will be able to ride the same horse throughout your session.