Stepping Stones Riding Program offers students the full range of activities associated with maintaining and riding horses.
Community Riding Lessons
Community Riding Lessons include a basic course in horse behavior as well as how riders are to behave around horses. They are taught how to retrieve the horse from the pasture; saddle and tack the horse for riding; mount and dismount the horse; ride including how to sit properly and control the horse; unsaddle and untack the horse, and how to groom the horse after the ride.
Students are assisted by walkers who walk alongside the horse/rider to offer assistance to those who feel the need. In addition to the primary pursuit of horse care and riding, students engage in a variety of crafting activites and games that are stimulating and fun. The riding lessons encompass general horse care, grooming, tacking, and maintenance, in addition to riding. A good basic foundation is necessary in all disciplines of riding, and can be achieved in any type of saddle. The lessons may be offered in English, western, dressage, or saddle seat. Participants are encouraged to try all different styles and all our horses. Trained volunteers assist with the care of the horses and with the lessons. Lessons are offered to both children and adults of all riding abilities. Children must be at least 5 years of age.
Lessons generally run an hour and a half. As riders become more proficient, the grooming and tacking portion goes faster, and the riding portion becomes more challenging. The lessons are conducted in both the arena and on the trail. The small groups generally consist of 3 to 6 riders. Lessons are offered six days a week. Most clients choose to purchase a package of ten lessons to reserve their spot in a group each week. Riders may choose to ride in a western or English saddle. The beginning skills required to ride successfully are the same regardless of the saddle. As riders progress, they are encouraged to ride both English and western, bareback, and on a variety of horses. Students are required to wear closed toe shoes, and are encouraged to wear long pants (for riding) and sunscreen or a hat.
We offer riding lessons to members of the community, including home-schooled students. We are an approved vendor for the charter schools, Inspire and Golden Valley.
NOTE: Due to the current restrictions necessitated by the Covid-19 pandemic we will provide instruction on a limited, by appointment only, basis. To make an appointment, please contact Meaghan Shaffer at (805) 657-8380.
Stepping Stones Riding Program fully complies with Ventura County Covid-19 business guidelines. Our Protocols and Procedures may be viewed here.
Individuals wishing to participate in our program are required to complete the SSRP waiver of risk and release of liability form available in .pdf format by clicking the button below.
Please see below for payment options. Fees for weekly camps are non-refundable.
Please Note: Students will not be charged for a missed lesson if notice is given at least 24 hours prior to that lesson. However, if the student is simply a "no show" then we will charge the lesson for that day. This is because if a scheduled student doesn't show up, we have missed the opportunity to let someone else ride and we've wasted the time of volunteers who come to assist. In addition, students who arrive 15 or more minutes late for a lesson will not be allowed to ride since accommodating them would interrupt the already-in-process lessons.
- Single Lesson (1 1/2 hours) - $35
- Non-refundable 1 lesson/week Monthly package $130
- Non-refundable 2 lessons/week Monthly package $240
Summer and Winter Camps
All camps are presently full.
Camp activities are Five(5) day immersive experiences for the students aged 9 to 15 years old. The primary goal of the camps is to provide the students with a full range of activities associated with horses and their care - and doing so in a fun and entertaining way. Riding instruction and activities are specifically geared to the skill level of the student as well as to the weather conditions at the time. Students will ride every day when weather permits and when not riding in the ring or on a trail they may be doing crafts, swimming, caring for horses or visiting a local ranch, or horsemanship activity. As with general lessons, Students are required to wear closed toe shoes, and are encouraged to wear long pants (for riding) and sunscreen or a hat. They are required to bring their own lunches for both camps.
Hours of the camps are: 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday with the exception of the July 8 - 12 "Littles" camp (ages 5-8) which will run from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm. There will be eight campers in each session so space is limited. Campers are required to have on file a YMCA Waiver Form, a Camp Registration Form, and a Liability Form prior to the beginning of thecamp.
Summer Camp includes swimming at the Y along with riding twice daily. Other activities such as currying, saddling and other means of caring for the horses are integral to the program to afford the student a full appreciation of the horse and its needs.
Sessions begin to fill as Summer approaches, so sign up as soon as you can. Meaghan and her volunteers are really looking forward to another fun summer with our campers. To sign up contact Meaghan directly at firstname.lastname@example.org to request your reservation. Once you have been approved, you may lock in your reservation by check to Stepping Stones Riding Program or by PayPal below. The balance of the payment is due the first day of camp. As soon as the registration form is finalized we will put it here for you to download, complete and return prior to attendance. And, if you are a first time camp participant be sure to complete and return the Assumption of Liability and YMCA Waiver Forms above as well as the specific Camp Registration form below.
Winter Camp activities mostly involve field trips that are horse related due to weather unpredictability.
Community Hippology Lessons
Meaghan conducts lessons in hippology, the study of horse anatomy and biology. Most lessons are online and there are some seminars at SSRP. In addition, Hippology students can visit a variety of equestrian venues to learn specific techniques unique to that genre.
Participation in horseshows, parades, etc.
Students can compete at the Arabian Horse Association Youth Nationals in hippology testing to win ribbons. In 2014, our girls won first place in the 10 to 13 group and the 13 to 18 group. Their team, The Nerd Herd, also won the team blue ribbon.
Community Service Activities.
We welcome individuals of all ages to work with us and our horses in order to obtain valid community service credits. In addition individuals who are required to perform community service may do so at Stepping Stones. There are many things they can do that will benefit both the horses and the individuals. Students under the age of 16 are required to be accompanied by an adult.