Riding Club Membership
Little Burgundy Farm operates as a cost-share structure through a membership program. Members pay a monthly fee that covers the farm's operating costs (horse care, feeding, labor, facilities upkeep, etc), and in return, members get the use of a horse, tack, riding area, and the barn facilities, allowing them to take horse care and riding lessons with freelance riding instructors (that are approved to teach here). Members are guaranteed at least one scheduled facility use per week, but are also able to take extra lessons in any open time slot.
2019 Riding Club Membership Rates (effective 1 March 2019): $225/month
Riding club members get to use a horse, tack, and a riding area for one recurring block of time per week (up to one hour). Each member will have this weekly scheduled block, and…
Members can also ride in any time slot that is showing as “open” on the calendar. If the farm has horse and facility capacity that isn’t being used, we are happy to open it to current members. This policy allows members to ride more than once per week and/or schedule makeup lessons. It also helps increase the income (and happiness) of the instructors that teach here. (Note: Although there is no additional membership charge for riding in open slots, riders must still pay the instructor for their time).
How do I become a LBF Member?
First: Fill out an online application by clicking here. Once we receive your application, we will contact you to schedule an introductory / evaluation lesson. You will be contacted to schedule your introductory lesson within a few days of filling out the application. You will not be charged by Little Burgundy Farm for the use of the horse an facility but you will have to pay your riding instructor their normal fee (they usually accept only cash or check). Please note: While we do our best to get you scheduled as quickly as possible, it may take a week or longer before we can schedule your intro lesson. Please have patience during this process as we do not have a full time staff with normal office hours.
Second: If you choose to join after the introductory / evaluation lesson, you will be given a recurring day and time for your weekly riding session and you'll receive an invoice for your first month's membership dues (prorated if not starting in the first week of the month). In addition to your regularly scheduled time slot each week, you are also able to ride in any open/available time slot showing on our calendar (and there are always multiple open times each week).
General Rules and Restrictions
— Beginner riders are not allowed to catch, groom, and tack on their own until approved by an instructor to do so.
— More experienced members are allowed (and encouraged) to arrive early to catch, groom, and tack before the lesson begins.
Note: We recommend that all beginner riders start with 1-hour use membership until they are able to catch, groom, and tack on their own. 30-minute use membership is available to new members, but the instructor will need to spend nearly half of that time helping you catch, groom, and tack, so there won’t be much time riding.
— Except for horse owners riding their own horses, all riding at Little Burgundy Farm is done under instruction. Members will work with one of LBF's approved instructors who have all obtained advanced horsemanship skills through various riding disciplines (USEF, USHJA, USEA, USDF) and will create a personalized and structured tutorial just for you, based on your experience and goals.
Note: Instructor are not LBF employees and membership dues do not include riding instruction fees. LBF members/riders are responsible for paying the instructor directly before the lesson. Instructor rates vary from $30-$40 for a 30-minute lesson, and usually double that cost for a 60-minute lesson. To learn more about the instructors and their individual rates, please visit the Lessons and Instructors page.
— Membership dues are billed monthly and are due on the first of each month. We require 30 days advance notice to cancel.
— Membership is not predicated on riding or the amount of mounted time. Because membership is structured as a cost-share system, LBF cannot refund any portion of the membership fees for a member's inability to ride because of bad weather or circumstances beyond the Farm's control.
— Riding is weather permitting, but lessons are not. Ground lessons are typically provided when weather is unsafe for riding. Ground lessons cover horsemanship lesson such as horse care and well-being, tack, and related subjects.
— Riders are responsible for coordinating directly with their instructor for options during adverse weather and informing them when cancelling a lesson. Most instructors require 24-hours notice to avoid charging for the lesson. (This is primarily because the instructors rely on a steady income from the lessons they provide, and there is a chance that we can fill a cancelled slot if we have at least 24 hours advance notice of the cancellation.)
— Every attempt is made to provide a safe environment for enjoying our horses and riding. However, all members must remember that horses can be unpredictable and dangerous, and riding or being around horses can result in serious injury or even death.
— All members must be under the supervision of an instructor while on the farm unless pre-approved and scheduled in advance for independent riding.
— Due to liability and insurance reasons, only individuals that have signed a liability release are permitted past the parking lot, inside the fence area. Additionally, only the member and/or a parent/guardian helping the member are allowed to: (a) enter a paddock where horses are kept; (b) enter a riding area, or; (c) interact with a horse (petting, feeding, etc.). No other persons, regardless of relationship, are allowed on the property (past the parking lot) unless a liability release is on file and approved by an instructor or LBF management.
— Being in good physical condition is important when riding horses. Additionally, because of the type of horses we use, all riders must weigh less than 180lbs. These requirements are to ensure everyone has a safe and positive experience during the session and horses are kept from injury.
— Riders are responsible for providing their own apparel, including an ASTM/SEI-approved helmet, gloves, boots, and riding breeches/jodhpurs. LBF has some helmets available for general use, but it is recommend that all riders purchase their own helmets for proper fit and safety.
— Riders may use their own saddle if approved by an instructor or LBF management.
— Members may request a particular horse, but LBF will choose the horse for the rider based on the rider's skill level and the animal's scheduled workload.