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About The Farm:
Riverdale Stables is the premier riding facility in the 5 boroughs of New York, offering lessons year round at all levels. The facility boasts over 80 stalls, indoor and outdoor wash stalls, many turnout paddocks, a large indoor arena, along with four lighted outdoor rings—including a grass hunt course! Riverdale is both a riding academy and a boarding facility. We are located just 15 minutes North of Manhattan, set on 20+ acres inside of scenic Van Cortlandt Park, in the Riverdale Section of the Bronx.
Riverdale Stables maintains between 20-30 lesson horses of varying levels. Our purpose is to expose children and adults to English Riding in a safe and fun environment. For those wishing to pursue riding further, we offer and Interscholastic Riding Team, Drill Team, Show Team, Leasing, Sales and Boarding of private horses.
Our Summer Program rules the Riverdale all summer and runs 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM, Monday through Friday. Gates open at 8:15 AM for drop off.
Students need to be comfortable at the walk and trot in order to qualify for the minimum level of riding. Students not currently riding at Riverdale should schedule an evaluation lesson before enrolling in our summer program.
Riverdale Stables has its own indoor ring, 85 stalls, indoor and outdoor wash stalls for the horses, indoor recreation room for rainy day activities, four lighted outdoor arenas, including a grass hunt course, and more—all connected to the trails within Van Cortlandt Park.
Our summer day is broken up into periods of riding, barn time, and game time, including arts and crafts.
Riders lesson daily in groups broken down according to riding level. Our teachers are career riding instructors from our year round lesson program. They bring their wealth of knowledge and experience to the learning process—along with a sense of fun and humor to make learning to ride a truly positive experience. Lessons consist of both flatwork and jumping when level appropriate; and follow the curriculum set by our Academy Director. Each rider will ride in a program that is designed to bring out the best in each child and let him progress at his own natural pace. Safety and proper progression for each individual rider is our policy. Learning to ride is not a race and we are looking to create solid and balanced riders who understand the basic principals of horsemanship– along with being able to laugh and have fun with the horses and each other!
Riders learn the skills to care for and manage their assigned horses as they join us in the daily barn duties. Grooming, tacking, bathing, basic healthcare, feeding, nutrition and stable management are all topics that will be covered—with a healthy dose of FUN thrown in! Kids love learning all about taking care of their beloved animals and we are firm believers that kids learn best by doing ! Each rider will have the opportunity to get hands-on time in the barn and will learn from equine professionals.
Free Period Riding:
Each rider will lesson on his or her assigned mount in the morning. Afternoons often include riders being given the opportunity to “hack”- which is to ride independently on the flat. While all of our hack periods are closely supervised by staff, we often allow students to ride their horses in an independent setting to experience the fun of having a horse of one’s own—without the commitment! For those riders not ready to hack, they will participate in further horsemanship and horsey games. No student will ever ride alone; but we allow the riders to feel a sense of autonomy in their hack periods as they practice the techniques being taught in their lessons.
Games and Activities:
Each week is packed with games and activities that have been carefully planned by our staff. Popular activities are: Arts and Crafts, Pony Auction, Talent Show, Pony Wedding, Paint the Pony game, Gymkhana Day, Riding Olympics, Water Slide, Campus-Wide Scavenger Hunt, and other games that are designed to make riders feel connected to each other and their barn!.
Summer Program Horse Shows:
Our riders participate in informal horse shows throughout the summer. Each student gets to ride and compete for titles such as “Best Posting” and “Best Cantering”. Riders get to see what it’s like to be a Horse Show Announcer, and a Horse Show Judge. It’s an afternoon full of fun for all!
Students lesson in riding clothes:
Including a Riverdale Polo. Riders also purchase their own “Grooming Kit”, which includes all of the tools necessary for grooming a horse. These are available at the front desk. Every rider must have her own ASTM-SEI certified helmet, and paddock boots. Half chaps are suggested for all, and Safety Vests are required for all jumping riders. Students should bring a bathing suit and towel on days when the water slide will be set up, and a change of clothes for non-riding activities. Full day riders must bring a packed lunch, and half day riders should bring a snack or a packed lunch.
Summer leasing is for our more experienced riders who are ready to be independent with a horse of their own! Riders age 12 and up who possess a “B” Level Barn Badge or above can lease their favorite school horse in the afternoons. Summer leasing occurs in July and August based upon availability and suitability. Riders are matched to horses by ability. Hours are 1:00 PM to 6:00 PM Monday through Friday. Riders will groom and hack their horses, and lesson twice each week. Cost is $750 per week and includes farrier, vet, and all associated costs.
What Sets Riverdale Stables Apart:
Riverdale Stables is a one of a kind place. We are an equestrian oasis tucked away in the corner of Van Cortlandt Park– with open green grazing space, indoor and outdoor arenas, turn out paddocks and a barn with heated tack rooms and updated stalls. We are mass-transit accessible- minutes from the Bus or Subway. Riverdale Stables prides itself on offering programs for the riders of New York City who do not own horses, but want the hands-on opportunities of riding and learning about proper horse care. We have afterschool programs, Therapeutic Riding, Interscholastic Teams combined with and lessons for all levels of riders-from novice to our show team. Riverdale Stables is “Where New York City Learns to Ride!”