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Get on our mailing list for riding lesson scheduling updates throughout the winter!

We have created an easy form for current (or future) riding lesson students at Enchanted Hollow Stables to fill out so that we can gather the preferred contact information for all of our riding lesson students!

This contact information will be used to contact lesson students and their families in case of scheduling changes, additional riding opportunities at the barn, and more.

Sam and Frankie try to make the best of snowy conditions!

Mainly, we will be using the emails gathered through this contact form in order to send out notices regarding cancelled or postponed riding lessons. As many of you know, we do not conduct riding lessons or camps when temperatures are below 20 degrees or when there are severe weather advisories. If you are not aware of our full Winter Riding Policy, please click here to view it.

Your contact information will be used for important updates or notices at the barn related to your child’s riding lessons, horse camps, riding classes, or additional riding opportunities!

Going forward, email will be our main venue for communication regarding cancellations or postponements of riding lessons – NOT text. You can still text us, but please plan on checking your email for updates on riding lesson scheduling.

Our riders really need to bundle up in the winter time! For tips on dressing properly for your winter riding lessons, click here.

All riders, regardless of regularly scheduled days, will be on the same mailing list. This means that while you may be scheduled for a Thursday lesson you may occasionally receive notices related to Tuesday lessons, and vice versa.

By filling out this form and providing your preferred email address, you agree that it is now your personal responsibility to check your email on the day of your riding lesson to confirm that no notices of cancellations or postponements have been made.

If Enchanted Hollow Stables sends out notices of cancellations and postponements and you miss the email and still show up for your lesson anyway, we are NOT obligated to provide services.

Generally, we try to provide at least 24 hour notice for all cancellations. Due to dynamic and unpredictable weather conditions in Minnesota, lessons may occasionally be cancelled with shorter notice. Please have your email notifications on or regularly check your email to be sure of any scheduling changes.

The horses handle the cold better than we do. In fact, they usually prefer it over the extreme heat!

The “Enchanted Hollow Stables Barn Family” Facebook Group is another great resource to stay connected!

We also post information and updates related to barn activities in our “Enchanted Hollow Stables Barn Family” Facebook group. Please still count on checking your email for all official scheduling notifications, but if you are not a member of our private Facebook group then I highly encourage you to request to join it! We will also post notices there as well as more fun and personal updates from around the barn, and it’s a great way to get connected with other families that ride at Enchanted Hollow Stables.

Click here to go to our “Enchanted Hollow Stables barn Family” Facebook group and request to join if you aren’t already a member!

Contact Information Form

Finally, the form you’ve been waiting for!

Please fill out this brief questionnaire and informational form with your preferred contact information. We also ask a couple of very brief questions about you (or your rider’s) riding preferences – such as favorite discipline, favorite lesson horse, and more. This is a good opportunity for us to check in with our riders and see how everyone is feeling about their goals and aspirations!

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What to Wear for Your Winter Riding Lessons

When you don’t have a heated facility to ride in, it can be very tough to figure out how to dress appropriately for the cold weather! Here are some tips and products that we have found to be very useful over many years of riding in Minnesota’s frigid winters.

Dress in layers!

The best tip we can give is to dress in several layers. Dressing in layers provides better insulation so that you stay warmer, and on the off chance that you do end up feeling overdressed and too warm, it’s very easy to take off a layer so that you can stay comfortable! It is much easier to take off layers than it is to add them once you are already at the barn and riding.

A base layer of a long sleeve shirt and leggings made of fleece or a good wicking fabric is a great start. For example, Under Armour ColdGear Baselayer is a great line of products specifically designed to serve as a base layer in cold weather.

A second layer could be a sweatshirt and sweatpants, or anything made of fleece, wool, or cotton material.

A top layer would be a good waterproof/windproof jacket and snow pants or bib overalls. Yes — you can ride in snow pants!

Wear snow pants or bib overalls.

As mentioned above, you CAN comfortably ride in snow pants or bib overalls. It’s almost necessary for Minnesota’s most frigid temperatures!

When worn over some functional base layers, a good pair of bib overalls or snow pants make for an excellent top layer. If you end up being much warmer than expected, it’s easy to take them off, too!

Carhartt Youth bib overalls are a great option to help your children stay warm while they are at the barn. They also have adult sizes for our adult riders, too!

Get a fleece polar helmet cover.

Sienna Sansevere wearing her polar fleece helmet cover.

All of our lesson students (and any riders that are under the age of 18) at Enchanted Hollow Stables are required to wear ASTM/SEI certified equestrian riding helmet.

Generally, it is hard to wear a hat or headband underneath your helmet — unless it is very thin and low profile, which often means it is not very warm!

Polar fleece helmet covers are designed to fit over your riding helmet and are a great option to keep your head warm for winter riding. The velcro closure used in most designs gives a snug fit around the neck.

Bring two pairs of gloves and mittens to the barn – gloves for when you are riding and mittens for when you are not!

The first parts of your body that will get cold when you’re out in the barn are your hands and your feet. Combining the right gloves and mittens with hand and toe warmers (we will get to those in a moment) usually does the trick!

Mary Sansevere affectionately calls this style of mitten “choppers.” They are her favorite for winter barn work!

The issue is that when it is cold enough, even the best quality gloves are often not quite enough to keep your hands warm for long rides or chores around the barn. Mittens work best for keeping your hands the warmest but are difficult to wear when riding because you need to have individual dexterity with your fingers to perform precise rein cues and keep your horse under control.

The solution: gloves for riding and mittens for general wear around the barn!

There is a huge variety of gloves that are specifically designed for riding, and any quality winter mitten should do the trick when you’re not riding.

Use hand and toe warmers!

We encourage those that ride and work their horses all winter to always have extra hand and toe warmers on hand for the frigid days at the barn.

They can be ordered from Amazon, or found at most stores in the wintertime.

Get a good pair of winter boots and wool (or wool blend) socks!

It is so important to get a good pair of winter boots and combine them with a pair of wool (or wool blend) socks, too. Be sure to not get boots that are too tight — you need a little extra room in your winter boots for thicker socks and some air in between for your feet to stay as warm as possible!

There are great options available for warm winter boots that can also be worn while riding. To be suitable for riding, they must have a pronounced heel and be low profile enough to fit into a standard stirrup.

Our favorite winter boots for adults are the Noble Outfitters Perfect Fit Cold High Boots, but really any waterproof winter boot should work great when combined with a suitable wool sock.

Okay, so you have an idea of what you want to get to prepare for winter riding… But where should you go?

Any specific items named in this article were linked, but you can easily find most of these products through an online search or at Dover Saddlery, Tractor Supply, or Fleet Farm.

Another great option for anyone local to the Twin Cities western suburbs near Enchanted Hollow Stables in Buffalo, Minnesota is Windward Farm Equestrian Consignment Tack & Apparel Store. They are also located just a few minutes away from our facility in Buffalo and are a local family-owned tack and apparel store that keep many of the items mentioned in this article (as well as countless that aren’t) in stock.

Most importantly – be smart!

The most important thing to keep in mind when riding in the winter is to be smart, listen to your body, and keep your horse’s welfare in mind, too. Stop to warm up when you can’t feel your fingers and toes. Don’t push your horse into a strenuous and sweaty workout that they will struggle to recover from in the cold. And of course, remember to dress appropriately!

At Enchanted Hollow Stables, we have a Winter Riding Policy for our riding lesson clients. Click here for more information!

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Winter Riding Policy for Enchanted Hollow Stables

Here at Enchanted Hollow Stables, we are blessed with a 44-stall barn, indoor arena, indoor round pen in a separate shed, an outdoor arena, an outdoor round pen, fields, and trails. We are thankful for what we have and for the program that we are able to operate from our facility.

That being said, we don’t have a heated or insulated riding space. Being located in Minnesota, this can lead to some very cold rides in the wintertime! As a result, for the safety of both the horses and the riders, we do have some restrictions regarding winter weather riding.

Lessons are canceled when temperatures are predicted to be below 20 degrees at the scheduled lesson time 24 hours prior to the lesson. If temperatures are above 20 degrees but there is a severe wind chill, heavy snow, or extremely inclement weather lessons may be canceled. Lessons may also be cancelled if there is any severe weather advisory.

When it’s too cold, our students (especially the majority of which that are children) do not focus well or have fun, and often they want to stop riding early because they are freezing. They’re also at risk of frostbite as well as poor road conditions while traveling to the barn. This means they don’t get their money’s worth AND they are in physical danger.

Here’s our policy for winter riding at Enchanted Hollow Stables:

If lessons are canceled, you will be notified as soon as possible. We do have the right to cancel lessons at any time, but try to give everyone at least 24-hours notice.

REMEMBER: Whether riding lessons or classes are canceled or not, our family is still out in the barn working either way. It’s miserable sometimes, but animals still need to be cared for and horses still need to be trained! We never cancel for our benefit — we are trying to keep our riders and our horses as safe and comfortable as possible.

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ARCHIVED: Seeking Chore Help in Exchange for Lessons

This is an old post from early 2018. We are no longer offering an exchange program like this – however, we are considering a robust volunteer program that through developed relationships can lead to riding and working with horses as well, so please do not hesitate to reach out if this is something that may interest you. — Samantha Sansevere, Aug. 2019

We are seeking a couple young, able bodied people interested in exchanging hours doing chores at the farm for lesson time. Chores will be credited at a rate of $10/hour which can be applied toward lessons, camps, and certificates.

This is an excellent opportunity for anyone interested in horseback riding while also providing an education on the care that goes into owning horses and work that goes into operating a boarding facility in addition to being a great workout, all while being extremely cost efficient!

Below are our requirements.

  • Must be under 18.
  • Must be physically able to perform tasks such as cleaning stalls and dumping heavy wheelbarrows.
  • Must have a good attitude and a good work ethic.

Helpers are expected to commit to at least one 4 hour shift on an assigned day each week and will be able to participate in one group lesson at a specified day/time that will be determined after helpers are assigned. Helpers that can commit to more than one shift will work with Sam individually to schedule more lessons, ride time, etc. that will compensate them fairly for their time.

Would be helping clean stalls, sweep aisles, organize the barns, perform maintenance around the farm, feed animals, etc. This could open the door to further opportunities at the barn in the future such as assisting with training horses, competing, and more.

Applicants that are accepted for these positions (we are seeking 2-4 individuals) would commit to at least one day per week for a minimum of a 4 hour shift, and would participate in a small weekly group lesson at a specified day and time that will be determined after the positions are filled (most likely a weekday evening). Anyone that can commit to more than 4 hours per week will work with Sam individually to figure out a schedule that can account for additional lessons or riding time.

Please fill out the form below and we will contact accepted applicants by Sunday, March 4th!

 


    I am able to commit to at least 4 hours of chores on an assigned day each week.

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    2017 MEA Horse Camp

    REGISTER BY CLICKING HERE

    Enchanted Hollow Stables is offering a mini horse & pony camp over the MEA break (October 19th and 20th, 2017). It is open to beginners to intermediate riders of all ages. Participants will be broken into age, size and ability groups and will have the option of working with either a miniature horse, pony or a full-size horse depending on what is appropriate and safest for them depending on their age, size and experience level so that they get the most out of their camp experience. 

    Each camper will be paired up, taught, guided by and mentored throughout the day by several experienced riders or trainers here at our barn. Most have been riding, driving & working with ponies and horses their whole lives and have won multiple national championships in both driving & riding.

    Each small group will work on age-appropriate farm chores, riding skills, games, equine nutrition and care. Not only will each camper get the opportunity to ride, learn, and have fun, but they will also be able to simply enjoy spending a fun day on a farm that is home to many horses, ponies, goats, chickens, ducks, a bunny, and a potbelly pig!

     

    EQUINE EDUCATION: will cover equine feed and nutrition, how much hay and other types of food horses eat and need.

    FARM CHORES: They will learn about about cleaning horse stalls top to bottom, re-filling water buckets, re-filling hay nets and preparing grain and supplements for each horse and pony for the next feeding.

    ARTS AND CRAFTS: They will have the opportunity to do a fun crafting activity related to horses. This usually means decorating horse shoes (that they will be able to take home and keep as a memento), painting a pony, and more!

    GROOMING: They will learn to properly use each grooming tool and groom a horse top to bottom.

    MASSAGE & TOUCH THERAPY: They will learn the basics of how to stretch and massage horses and create a bond and friendship with them during this process.

    RIDING EDUCATION:

    • They will learn how to tack up those horse or pony. Learn about getting on and off your horse safely.
    • Asking your horse or pony to stop, go, turn and back up.
    • Learning an “emergency stop” and the situations that may require it.
    • Working on the gait transitions. Walk, trot, canter (if ready) and whoa.
    • Going over/through obstacles, or depending on ability and experience, working over small jumps.
    • Fun obstacles will also be set up to ride over and through in order to challenge their hand and eye coordination and bond more with their horse or pony.
    • We will also play some team games on horse back.

    If everybody is doing well on there horse or pony the instructors may take them on a short trail ride through our beautiful trails and woods at the end of the day, weather permitting.

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    The ENCHANTED HOLLOW STABLES MEA HORSE CAMP is being offered  Thursday, October 19th & Friday October 20th, 2017. From 9:00AM – 3:00PM.

    If notified in advance we can be flexible about an earlier or later drop of and pick up of children in order to accommodate parents work schedules, but an additional fee may be incurred.

    You can sign up for 1 or both days of MEA PONY CAMP.

    One Day: $90          Two Days: $165

    REGISTER BY CLICKING HERE

    For safety and for being able to work one-on-one as much as possible with each camper, SPACE IS LIMITED. Please message, call or text 612-386-0279 to see what days we still have spots and instructors available and to confirm your child’s spot. You can pay via check, cash or PayPal. A barn liability waiver must also be signed prior to participation and it can be emailed to you in advance if you provide an email to us in order for you to read and sign it it in advance.

    WHAT TO BRING:

    • Sturdy boot or shoe with a heel to ride in
    • Rain boots or muck boots
    • Old jeans or riding pants that you don’t mind getting dirty!
    • Extra layers (sweatshirt, jacket, extra socks, light-weight gloves, etc.)
    • Riding or biking helmet (we have some on hand, but this is very limited and we cannot gaurantee that we will have one for your child. They MUST wear a helmet in order to ride.)
    • Lunch
    • Water Bottle
    • Snack
    • A good attitude!