Lesson Program


Southern Oak Equestrian Center offers lessons for everyone, no matter what your experience level. We also have a very knowledgeable staff, who are dedicated to maximizing the potential of every level of rider. You can learn more about them on from our staff page.

We strive to provide a happy and safe environment for everyone involved in our program, from students, parents, and visitors to horses and instructors. We look forward to helping you learn, grow, and become a well-rounded horse person.

From horse behavior to grooming, to proper tacking to riding basics, our lessons focus on safety first and fundamental skill development both on the ground and in the saddle. We believe understanding horse care along with a strong foundation of basic skills will help you become a talented and compassionate horse enthusiast.

Updated  SOEC-Lesson-Program-Handbook-2015

Lesson Details

Introduction to the Horse
Round Pen (A4) – $47.5o
Introduction to the Horse is structured to provide close interaction between trainer and student as the new rider learns how to handle, groom, and tack or untack a horse/pony. Classes include two students, two horses, and one instructor. Each student gets a 30 minute lesson in the saddle and 30 minutes hands-on horse care.  Students in this class gain a proficiency in a variety of areas. Following appropriate safety rules , the student must be able to groom, tack or untack, and handle a horse independently on the ground. Students learn fundamental balance and form at the halt, walk, two-point and vertical positions.  In addition, students learn to post at the trot and halt the horse using their aids.

Maiden Rider (A6) – $47.5o
The maiden rider class builds on the foundation established in Introduction to the Horse. In addition to the posting trot, new concepts are introduced, including posting on the correct diagonal, sitting trot, and two-point and vertical positions at the trot.  Riders learn to drop and pick-up their stirrups at the walk and the trot and ride without stirrups for short distances while maintaining proper form and balance. In addition students learn to use a driving leg to ride their horse and handle their mount confidently on the ground and in the saddle, and demonstrate consistent balance and form at the sitting trot, posting trot, vertical and two-point positions.  Students are introduced to steering and transitions using their aids.  Students at this level are responsible for the entire horse care process, including grooming, tacking, untacking and cooling out their horse.

Walk/Trot Equitation (A5) $47.50
The Beginner Arena Lesson transitions beginner riders from the comfort of the small, enclosed round pen to the larger arenas on the property. Six students, each with their own mount, practice the skills developed in the Maiden Rider with the added challenge of maneuvering around a large arena at a safe distance from other horses. Steering exercises along with proper form and balance are a focus of the Walk/Trot Equitation lesson, teaching students to use their bodies to communicate where they want the horse to go. Students also learn safety rules for riding in a crowded arena, while continuing to develop consistency in body position and confidence as a rider. Riders refine their equitation as well as learn to ride their horse through a variety of obstacles, including over ground poles, and around cones.  Introductory course work using ground poles, equitation patterns, and field riding are introduce at this level.  Students at this level are responsible for the entire horse care process, including grooming, tacking, untacking and cooling out their horse.

To move out of the Walk/Trot Equitation into the Walk/Trot/Canter & Jumping groups, students must demonstrate competency, confidence, and consistency as a rider. A strong consistent leg; soft considerate hands; straight, tall body position, and balance in the heel must be second nature. Posting on the correct diagonal, reversing correctly, maneuvering safely amongst other horses and correct steering must also be mastered.

Group lessons(Walk/Trot/Canter & Jumping) – $42.50
The standard group lesson has a maximum of seven students. Riders progress to more challenging skills, including cantering and jumping. Students in these lessons are placed in groups with similarly skilled riders. Fence heights correspond with skill-level.

Private and Semi-Private Lessons – $52.50
Once enrolled in a group lesson, students may want to add additional lessons. Riding more frequently can help the rider master fundamentals more quickly as leg muscles develop with repetition. Students may choose to add another group lesson weekly or a private or semi-private lesson. In order to enroll in private or semi-private lessons, students using school horses must first be registered in a group lesson. Private and semi-private lessons are scheduled to supplement the lessons learned in the group. If interested in semi-private or private lessons, speak with your trainer for details.

Discount of $5.00/lesson for boarders.

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We are a full service equestrian facility conveniently located in North Raleigh right off of 540.