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What to expect at my first lesson?

What to Bring

You should bring your medical insurance card, a pair of paddock boots, a pair of stretch pants, and cash or check. Please try to arrive 20 to 30 minutes early to give enough time for signing the forms and tacking the horse. Sometimes you will not need to tack, just ask your instructor. Not sure what to wear? Click here!

Signing the forms

At your first lesson you will be asked to sign a liability release form for Avalon Management. This form says that you understand that horses are dangerous and that there are risks, and that even though we do everything in our power to keep you safe, accidents do happen. It is important that every person that comes on the property sign this form. For minors, all parents and guardians need to sign.

Getting Ready

Once all the forms are signed, you will be introduced to one of the lesson horses. We will walk you through how to lead the horse, how to groom, including brushing and cleaning out the hooves, and then how to saddle. You will then be loaned an ASTM/SEI approved riding helmet to help protect your head. All Avalon students are required to wear an approved helmet when riding, whether it is one of our helmets or one you purchase for yourself.

The Riding Lesson

For beginning lessons you will be taking a 30 minute private lesson with Jessica. This 30 minutes includes mounting, warming up the horse, riding, cooling down the horse, and then dismounting. For the first couple of lessons we work on steering and position. Once your position is stable and you can sit on the horse without causing damage to him, you will be taught how to trot. Once you can canter all the way around the arena you can graduate to the 1 hour group lessons taught by Jody. 


Remember that riding is a sport, it takes practice and muscle memory. The more often you ride the faster you will learn. Once a week is okay, but for more serious riders, twice a week is much better. For competitive and experienced students who want to show, we recommend three times a week with your own horse.

**Pampa Students**

As we only have one instructor at our location, you will receive all instruction from Katie Phillips.

In your first few lessons, you will learn to steer, walk, and halt. Once you have mastered those skills, you will continue on to learn to ride the trot. From there we will learn the basics of dressage, and eventually to canter and jump.


All students are encouraged to take at least one riding lesson per week to help retain the information learned, and to help build muscle memory. 

We now offer a one hour group horsemanship lesson in addition to our 30 minute riding lessons. This is a great way to build confidence on the ground with horses. You will work in a group with your instructor and learn with your peers. 


Putting Everything Away

After the riding lesson you will be shown how to untack the horse. This means taking off the equipment, cleaning it, grooming the horse, and putting the horse away. It is important to clean up after yourself including sweeping your area so that is nice for the next person. 

When everything is put away, check with your instructor when your next lesson is so that your spot doesn't accidentally get filled by another student.

Where to go

The Hillsboro Avalon Management is located at in Hillsboro off of Highway 26. Drive down the driveway lined with trees and rocks. Take the first left on the driveway at the blue house. Drive on the left side of the garage to the back parking lot.


The Pampa Avalon Management is located just 2 miles West of downtown Pampa on highway 152. Please call Katie at 806-661-8155 for address and directions to the barn. 

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