"Laura coached me in Natural Horsemanship for about two years. She taught me how to read my horses, and how to best communicate with them. We worked on our ground skills as well as in the saddle. She taught me how to open gates on horseback, and how to approach and retreat from obstacles or new objects with confidence.I now ride with confidence down the trails with my two horses! If you are looking for confidence on the ground and in the saddle, I highly recommend Laura Boyle". Telma Grant PT
"I had a devastating fall a few years ago in a lesson at the canter and I was badly hurt. The body healed, but my confidence was shattered. I met Laura at an art show of all things, and we started chatting about horses. I found out that she even taught older adults like me! Laura helped me through the toughest time in me ever even wanting to get back on a horse. It took a long time, but she was so patient and encouraging. She helped me to restore my confidence, and my dreams. I now own a wonderful horse of my own, and he and I go everywhere together! We have even gone on a hunter pace lately and had a blast! Thankyou Laura for helping me recapture my dreams!" Eva S.
"My daughter was having such problems with her horse Rocky charging his fences in the hunter ring. She dreamed of doing jumper some day, but he was terrifying. Three teachers later, Rocky was out of control. A friend recommended Laura Boyle to us, even though I was skeptical about all this 'horsemanship stuff'. We were at the point where we were going to have to sell the horse. We didn't realize that Rocky had confidence issues about a lot of things. Jenna learned to help him on the ground, and in the saddle. Now they jump fences calmly together, and she is on to jumping cross country next year. Many thanks for the help." Karen M.
What is this all about??
Horseless workshops are 3 hours long, and allow students to explore topics relating to horse behaviour, feeding, student simulations, maybe bandaging and braiding and other popular topics. Workshops can include dvds and other hands on materials for students in our upstairs studio classroom to facilitate the learning experience.
Cost of these workshops is $30.00 per student. Max 4-6 students.
When are these?? Watch our events page on this website, or our High Spirits Farm Facebook page for details.
Our Head Coach...
We have a 100ftx1130ft outdoor riding ring. A 50ft round pen, and all sorts of toys and obstacles. We have a quaint 3 stall barn, with tack room for students. A classroom in the barn loft that overlooks the back pasture and ring doubles as an art studio.
Magie has presence! She is a 6 year old Canadian horse, and Laura's young mount. She is just learning the ropes. Watch out! she the queen of selfies! Quite the personality!! She happily loads herself onto the horse trailer looking for adventures. She has gone to a few obstacle shows and loves to play. Working Equitation will suit her nicely. Working Equitation is a combination of Dressage, and precise Obstacle work which will keep her busy and happy.
Why do I need ground skills? Why can't I just ride?
Everything you and your horse need to know can be taught from the ground first. Then what you have learned together can be easily applied in the saddle. Safety to Confidence, to Competence. As you progress through your lessons, you may find that you 'warm up' on the ground with horse by yourself, and spend most of your lesson time in the saddle.
I don't want to do 'Dressage'. what if I want to Jump? or Trail Ride?
Would you like to ride a horse that seems to be able to 'read your mind'? So light from seat and leg, that it feels like your horse is a feather floating on the water? A horse that trusts you and has confidence in your skills and leadership will do his very best for you. Balance down a steep hill, open a gate, cross water, rock back on his haunches to breeze over the oxer from a tight rollback fence...sounds good? We can help you achieve all of these things...including some fancy 'dressage' moves.
I actually am looking for someone to train my horse for me...do you do that?
No. However, we will teach you and your horse together as a team! In that way, when you go out to play with your horse, you will know exactly what to do, and when to do it. You need to be an active participant.
Can you come to my farm?
Absolutely! As long as you have an appropriate and safe area to work, Laura is willing to travel to you. The first 15kms away from HSF is free! Time/Mileage past that is at a reasonable rate, and the regular lesson rates apply at no extra charge.
Ok, I want to take some lessons with you. What do I need to bring?
You need to bring a helmet that is ASTM approved, boots with a low heel, and comfortable long pants. No dangling earrings please for safety's sake. If you don't have a helmet to start with, you can borrow one and then go and purchase your own. We provide training sticks, strings and all of the toys and tack that you will need to play with your horse here. We find that students often go out later on and buy some of their own equipment. They can personalize it favourite colours, etc..
Be prepared to discuss your goals. We will assess where you and your horse are at right now, and formulate an achievable plan to reach those goals and beyond! We take your partnership with your horse and go to the next level. Lessons are for your safety, confidence, competence, excellence in partnership with horses, and most of all...Fun!!!
We do offer a small private camp experience in the summer for children and adults who are young at heart! Maximum 2-4 students for the moment. You get one on one instruction, 3 hours of riding and playing with horses a day in two 1 1/2 hour blocks, with the rest of the day spent in horse-related educational experiences either in the barn, or the classroom. Camps are run Mon-Fri 9am-4pm. Adult Camps can be run over a weekend in a clinic and fun format. The adult camps are by request and availability. ***Check our events pages for details***
Victor is our Off Track Thoroughbred or OTTB. He won quite a lot of money for his previous owners, and they felt he deserved a second career. We adopted him through Longrun Racehorse Retirement Society in 2005. He was quite the misunderstood lad, and was having a hard time transitioning to 'civilian life'. One big thing is that he has an incredibly huge play drive. Once we realized this, he has become one of our best advanced teachers. He lets you know when you've got it just right...especially at liberty...which is his favourite! He is Laura's levels horse, and he now teaches students how to play and manage his wonderful energy.
Private Lesson is $50.00 for one hour. A four lesson package is $180.00
Semi-private Lesson is $40.00 per person for 1 hour. A four lesson package is $130.00 a person. (max 2 people)
***Special Introductory lesson: Come and see what we are all about! Book a 1 hour introductory lesson for $35.00!***
Allow for a half an hour before your lesson time to get your horse tacked up and ready.
Cancellation Policy: Must be a minimum of 24 hours in advance and can be rescheduled. Otherwise charges apply. We are subject to inclement weather due to being an outdoor facility. We will notify 24 hours in advance and can offer rescheduling of your lesson at your convenience or credit it forward.
Whether your goals are as simple as feeling safe and confident around horses on the ground, or as advanced as competing in Dressage, Working Equitation or Jumper, good horsemanship and strong communication skills between horse and human is the focus of our program. We feel that it is especially important to support the novice horse enthusiast. Hey. We all started here! This is the time to gain the knowledge and skills necessary to build a foundation. On the ground, the student learns how to be safe around horses, reading horse body language and behaviour. Learning how to communicate and partner with a horse on the ground translates to an easier and clearer communication in the saddle. Students learn to become confident and competent in their skills, becoming more creative and playful with their horses. Western or English...Foundation is Everything!!!
Q and A Section....
Becky joined our farm a few years ago and she is becoming worth her weight in gold for us! Another wonderful Canadian mare, she happily takes beginners on their first rides, lets our daughter practice her vaulting moves on her, and she pops onto the trailer to go to shows. For a horse who is only 14.2h, she has enough presence that makes you feel that you are riding a much larger horse! A real sweetie. She also has shown great potential as a therapy horse. She is a good listener. .
Our Horses...We couldn't have a great horsemanship program without our wonderful equine partners and teachers. Each of our horses have their special talents to share...
Laura Boyle has been involved in the equine industry instructing and coaching students from children to adults, beginners to advanced since 1991. In 1994, she received her coaching certificate through the Canadian Therapeutic Riding Association (CanTRA). She regularly participates in clinics, workshops and seminars to update and continue her own education to keep her coaching fresh.
Over the years, Laura has found that her specialty is with the timid riders, and with her quiet attitude and knowledgeable support, she helps her students gain their confidence.
Over Laura's riding career, she has successfully competed in the hunter/jumper ring, in dressage, and she evented up to the Pre-Lim level. She even tried her hand at western trail! But even though she had many years of experience in the show ring, she always felt as if there wasn't something more.
Over the years she studied the teachings of Ray Hunt and Tom Dorrance, John Lyons and Monty Roberts. She was very fortunate to meet Sally Swift who founded the Centered Riding program, and was inspired to study her work. Laura also used some TTouch with her old mare which got a lot of weird looks. In 2005, she was introduced by a friend to Pat Parelli's program which was the icing on the cake. "Pat Parelli's original principles and qualities of a horseman I carry in my mind every day I head out to the paddock. I am becoming the human my horses need me to be. I have an incredible relationship with my horses now. My favourite of all time is playing at Liberty with my horses. Not something I would have ever imagined before!" Laura also looks forward to competing in Working Equitation in the near future.
Bailey is our shy little wall flower. She is a Trakener/Thoroughbred. She has wonderful dressage movement packed into her little 15.1h body. She is very sensitive, but she tries her heart out...especially for our daughter. They are great partners. With time and patience, Bailey has learned to shift between quietly taking beginners out for their first rides, up to teaching more advanced students the sensitive focus, feel, timing and balance they need to reach the higher movements and communication with horses.
Want to experience what it is like to own your very own horse??? Give part leasing a try.
We are open to part leasing on property of our lesson horses to our regular students. The package includes 1 lesson a week and 2 practice rides per week. No jumping in practice rides without instructor present please. Part leasing is a great way to advance your partnership with one of our horses, and a neat way to get a feel for what it might be like to own your own horse too without the costs. Also, part leasing is an economical way to practice between lessons on the horse you are learning with. Cost of Part Leasing is $275.00 a month.
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