Stepping Stone Ranch
At Stepping Stone Ranch you will receive only quality individualized instruction tailored to meet your specific needs and interests. Vera Gannaway teaches private Dressage lessons to both children and adults. She strives to provide her students with the tools to obtain a balanced seat, soft hands and a thorough understanding of the horse and the aids we use to communicate with them. By learning these "basics," the rider is able to feel comfortable on any horse in any situation, and then move on to more advanced riding in any discipline.
For beginning riders of any age, Vera starts with a two hour ground lesson that teaches the student how to safely handle the horse, a little about horse anatomy, how to groom the horse including how to safely pick up and clean out the hoofs without getting stepped on or kicked, and about the horses flight response. This usually takes about an hour. After that, Vera will saddle and bridle the horse and the student will ride for an hour. The next lesson is also a two hour lesson. The student will come 10-15 minutes early and get all the tack and on the hour Vera and the student will get the horse from the field. Then the student will quickly groom and then Vera will teach them about saddling and bridling. They will learn learn how the bridle fits and how the bit feels to the horse so they know what the horse is feeling when they pull on the reins. Then they will again ride for an hour. Each lesson after that is just one hour.
Lessons are generally private one-on-one lessons performed in one of the enclosed arenas. All beginning students are kept on a lunge line (a tether between the horse and the instructor) until the student is capable of safely controlling the horse on their own. Not only does this ensure the safest possible lesson for the rider, it also ensures that the rider learns true balance without learning to balance on the reins.
Lessons may be taken on one of Stepping Stone Ranch's lesson horses, or you may trailer in your horse with proof of current vaccinations and a negative Coggins. Whether you are a beginner looking to become comfortable with horses, a rider with some experience who wants to learn better control for pleasure riding or showing, or you are an experienced rider interested in the show ring, Stepping Stone Ranch will work with you to increase your riding skills. We encourage you to come and watch a few lessons, get to know the horses and talk with the other students. You will find a fun and open atmosphere at Stepping Stone Ranch.