What is "Connective Riding"?
Everyone at DH starts bareback...no saddle means we can "hear" the energy and language of the horse. We learn how to become a partner with a prey animal earning its trust. Our unique riding and classroom approach sets a foundation of knowledge suitable to transfer to any discipline. Our whole horse approach is perfect for first time riders and experienced riders seeking a deeper connection. Our philosophies are full of possibility and by stepping outside classical certification approaches, we're able produce an equine experience that goes against the grain, making us unique and holistic. We offer an alternative.
DH progressions are at the pace of the rider, they are not pre-fab, concrete or method. We believe that the natural approach removes comparisson, critisism and competition. Our commitment to you and your child is simple...their worth is not measuruable on a predesigned level scale. Here, their safety and well being is paramount and our top priority. DH encourages the ebb and flow, of a relaxed teaching atmosphere that is safe, judgement free and outside of the confines of traditional riding approaches. What the rider puts in...they get out. By removing "pass or fail" levels, the rider is encouraged to find their voice; their inner power. The results are a greater sense of self, empowerment and awareness.
The Littles...aged 3 to 6
Taught one on one, each rider is paired with a Side Kick, or two and they act as personal coach, teacher, safety supervisor and best friend. With safety in mind they never leave the side of the rider from start to finish and they customize the lesson to their age, ability and style of learning. During each class, Littles will assist with grooming, tacking leading their horse to the starting point. Littles will be on lead line until elements of posture, seat and hand/rein position is consistent for the whole lesson.
The Juniors...aged 7 to 10
Taught one on one each rider is paired with a Side Kick. For the Juniors, the Side Kick is not only a personal coach, teacher, safety supervisor and friend, they are also their cheerleeder, encouraging them to try elements on their own. Our Juniors are encouraged to use their voices to say what they need as they work through the progressions here at DH. Sidekicks often change, offering more diversity to the lesson. Designed to work towards independant riding classes, Juniors are given more space to try things on their own with help always close by. Juniors will groom, tack and lead their horses with support and work to progress to getting off lead line, and working towards earning their saddle.
The Tweens...ages 11 to 13
Taught in a group setting supported with Side Kicks close by until they are ready to try to take the reins on their own. The Tweens are encouraged to use their voices to say what they need as they work through the progressions here at DH. Sidekicks often change, offering more diversity to the lesson. Designed to work towards independant riding classes, Tweens are given more space to try things on their own with help always close by. Twen will groom, tack and lead their horses with minimal support. Riding is either with a side kick within arms reach or on horseback.
With the saddle and faster gaits being the goal, the Tween and their team work to ensure that they are able to ride in a safe and responsible manner at all times. At 12 Tweens are invited to help at camps, lessons and other special events. DH believes that when we teach we learn and vice versa and it is a magical thing to watch a rider grow in confidence, self love and awareness.
Learning becomes independant according to comfort. If the Teen is new to riding a Side Kick is at hand to teach until the Teen is ready for more space. Often faster to progress, the Teens participate in tougher elements and are featured in the DH musical ride. Encouraged to "Lead a Little" we offer our teen class the chance to lead the Littles for the year end as well. Becoming a role model for another is a priceless gift that shows us how far we've come. Teens ride independantly in a group setting where trainers can help hone their skills, advancing at their pace. Most Teens are progressed to the saddle quickly, grasping the progressive concepts at a more rapid pace. Side Kicks and staff are at hand to step in at the first sign of struggle or frustration.