An Introduction

The Ride Of Your Life (ROYL) Lesson Program provides holistically based education in both ground and mounted skills, with a focus on safety and building lasting knowledge through an empowering understanding of principles and applications. You may bring your own horse or work with one of the wonderful ROYL Lesson Program horses; alternatively, travel may be arranged to your facility or you may benefit from Distance Evaluation & Learning via video.

Horses are sentient, herd-based beings, so time with them is truly a relationship that is built from the ground up. It literally begins and ends on foot/hoof. Therefore, as part of the holistic experience of the program and in the spirit of relationship building, sessions may include ground schooling, work-in-hand, longing, ground driving, and liberty work to help build a more complete relationship and a safer mounted experience.

Then we began to ride.  My soul 

Smoothed itself out, a long-cramped scroll

Freshening and fluttering in the wind. . .

-Robert Browning (1812-1889)

If leasing a lesson horse, it is also the student’s responsibility to prepare (lead from the pen, groom and tack) their horse, as well as put them away (untack, brush off, lead back to pen). Many find this time with the horse an opportunity to give-back to them through caring, tending and appreciating them.

All new students who are working with a leased lesson horse are required to start with a 2-hour Introductory Session to provide a thorough orientation to the facility, the lesson horse, ground etiquette, grooming, tacking and program guidelines. The length of consequent sessions will be customized until the student is approved to prepare and put away the horse independently.

Contact Lynn to schedule your session, meet in person or observe lessons. ROYL Lesson Program options include:

  • Longe Lessons
  • Private Lessons
  • Small Group Lessons
  • The Drill Team Combo
  • Distance Evaluation & Learning

Lynn is a wonderfully charismatic, motivating, and compassionate trainer. She has the ability to creatively teach concepts in a way that apply to any individual’s learning style. Lynn is very cued into energy, whether it be human or equine. A lot of us hop into the saddle with more on our minds than just riding.  On more than one occasion, Lynn has sensed this and customized my lesson to what I needed that day, in that moment. KOD

How We Begin: Longe Lessons

DSC_6161New students leasing a lesson horse begin the mounted portion in a longe lesson—the instructor moving the trained horse in a circle around them on a long line while helping control the movements of the horse. Longe lessons are also available with your trained, pre-approved horse.

Longe lessons are a time honored tradition of the Spanish Riding School of Vienna and many other acclaimed European equestrian schools. Whether you are a beginning, returning or advanced rider, it is an excellent opportunity to develop and/or revisit the independent seat, hands and aids through fine motor skills and awareness.

Being longed is also a time to be able to focus on one’s self internally—assessing relaxation and focus levels, and externally—like body mechanics, rather than multi-tasking with steering and  monitoring the speed of the horse.

On a more subtle yet powerful level, it is also an opportunity to literally be supported and carried as an adult. While Lynn often asks empowering questions and offers feedback, instruction and encouragement, there are some lessons that take place primarily in silence as student’s experience the cathartic harmony and power of Horse.

What’s Next?

Once students meet the criteria to begin working independently off of the longe line, they may take Private Lessons or join a suitable Group Lesson (see below).

After having mastered the basics, many students enjoy the participating in the Drill Team sessions (see below) where we practice riding patterns as a team of several riders.

  • Private or Longe Lesson 1 hour $70
  • Private or Longe Lesson 1/2 hour $45
  • Horse Lease $15; Advanced Lease (pre-approved) $20—due to owner
  • Haul In Fee $15—due to Arrowhead Ranch
  • Travel Fees vary, but $20 local Santa Fe
Communicating effectively with a horse is a conversation that involves both listening an speaking in a clear language; longeing provides a body centered focus to develop healthy relaxation, independent aids, and the ultimate communication with your horse. —Lynn Clifford

 Small Group Lessons

Group Lessons include 2—4 students who are placed according to goals as well as skill and comfort level. The group will rotate through a variety of progressing topics, designed to review and build on one another. While  students will receive individual attention as well, many find the group atmosphere supportive and enjoyable, with the space and opportunity to learn and practice things more independently.

If leasing a horse, plan to arrive at the barn at least 30 minutes before the start time of your lesson to prepare your horse, as well as stay about 30 minutes after the lesson to care for and put away your horse (see above). Please respect this bonding, preparation and transition time as it is very important relationship building time that will effect the enjoyment level of your lesson for both you and your horse. You may also bring your own well-mannered horse.

    • 24 hour cancellation notice required
    • Payment accepted via cash, check or Pay Pal
    • Small Group Lessons, 1 hour $65
    • Horse Lease $15; Advanced Lease (pre-approved) $20—due to owner
    • Haul In Fee $15—due to Arrowhead Ranch
    • Travel Fees vary, but $20 local Santa Fe

Lynn is a brilliant, sensitive and mindful teacher, intuitive and coach. There is so much more to learning to ride than learning to ride. Only when Lynn brings my attention to the particulars of riding in a lesson or clinic can I be fully open to having the whole experience of Horse, ride, seat, connection, ease, grace, presence, etc. in a transcendent way. —PP

Drill Team Combo

The Drill Team Combo is FUN! This is an opportunity to practice your partnering skills with not only your horse, but your 2-legged team members with their horses! We start with an educational portion, then evolve into movements like you see in the video posted here where you and your team mates synchronize tempo, space and figures. It’s great exposure for both the horses and the humans to be with a “herd”, working, learning and playing together.

Open to current, pre-approved students. Come join us!

    • 24 hour cancellation notice required
    • Payment accepted via cash, check or Pay Pal
    • Drill Team Combo, 1 hour $20—$40 sliding scale (you choose what you can pay)
    • Horse Lease $15; Advanced Lease (pre-approved) $20—due to owner
    • Haul In Fee $15—due to Arrowhead Ranch

People always ask me why I continue to take lessons when I “already know how to ride”. Riding with you and the ladies is more than just advancing my skills and comfort on and around horses, but it’s a sense of community.  Within a lesson I can find myself being challenged, being praised, being humbled, and being entertained. —KOD

Distance Evaluation & Learning

Virtual ground or mounted sessions are a great way to stay motivated between clinics and/or access the ROYL program from a distance. Learn from the comfort of your own arena or field with no need to haul your horse!

Static video is fine, so you may simply set the camera on a stable object or fencepost to film with no need to be intimidated by technology or to hire a professional. 

Lynn will carefully watch your video several times and let you know what is going well in addition to offering specific feedback and recommendations via e-mail or a scheduled phone call up to 30 minutes per preference.

  • Payment accepted via cash, check or Pay Pal
  • 10—15 minute video $60
  • 1/2 hour  (can be broken up into 2 or 3 different sessions) $100
  • Series Discount: Take 10% off Series of (3) Videos