We at Junction Farm aim to make horseback riding available for people interested in learning to ride. While we do not provide horses for public trail rides, we do offer riding lessons where kids from 4 years old and up can come and enjoy these wonderful animals.
Our approach to teaching riding is balance based: we want the rider to be in balance on the horse before they are given full control over the horse. Achieving stability on the horse's back gives the rider safety on the horse, and also gives the horse confidence in the rider, which then causes the horse to be more calm. Learning this method takes a bit more effort at the beginning, but the results are long-lasting and transformational.
2016 Part Boarding Special
Are you looking for more riding time but not necessarily horse ownership? This may be the perfect plan for you. One lesson per month and one ride per week, this option is great for people who have a desire to get better with horses and get more experience riding.
Train the Trainer
Have riding experience or have your own horse and want to learn how to train horses? Join Gretchen as she works with various horses in different levels of training, primarily using work in hand and longeing techniques. Training topics such as equine body language, learning theory, clicker training, and the difference between "school movements" and "circus tricks" will be covered, plus how to get the horse to do some movements and tricks.
Our 60x120 indoor riding arena is the perfect place to ride in safety and privacy. When you are finally ready to see the world, the multitude of nearby trails and rural roads will beckon you to ride upon them. If you enjoy competing we are a few minutes drive (or horseback ride) to the Porquis Junction Show ring.
Your horse will be cared for by Gretchen Austin, the owner and operator of Austin Equine Services. Her expertise and formal training in such topics as horse nutrition and hoof care will provide you comfort that your good friend and confident is receiving the top of the line care.
Our boarding prices are competitively priced at $350.00 indoor and $250.00 outdoor board. If you are interested in a lower rate, please come by for a discussion. I have been known to barter and trade like any good farmer should.
Horseback Riding Lessons
All lessons are conducted under the supervision of Gretchen Austin - a Level 2 English Coach with the Certified Horsemanship Association.
Gretchen Austin has a diploma in Equine Studies from the University of Guelph and has studied riding for decades. Her riding style was developed under the tutorage of various coaches from as far away away as Guatemala City and Seattle Washington.
As time permits, she continues to advance her skills and knowledge by attending classes with the Institute of Equine Podiatry in Florida.
A variety of horses to ride
One of the best ways to advance your riding skills is ride as many different horses as you can. Each horse has it's own unique personality, sensitivity to aids, athleticism and quirks. We are pleased to offer a variety of mounts to challenge and advance your skills.
What you will learn
The foundation of rider training is acquiring a balanced seat which allows the rider to follow the movements of the horse. The other key is having good hands, but it is not possible to have good hands at all gaits without being able to follow the movement of the horse. The exercises we use to teach the rider to have an excellent seat are those that were developed by the French to teach their royalty how to ride; they are very safe and very effective. We start all riders with the seat exercises until they have begun to master the sitting trot, which usually takes about four lessons. This saves the lesson horses from being bumped inadvertently by riders learning to balance, and it keeps them light and responsive and well-trained. This in turn makes it easier to learn more advanced work on them.
The cornerstone for effective communication with the horse is a separation of the aids. This makes it much easier to learn, and easier for the horse to understand, and the result is that control of the horse becomes pleasurable for both the rider and the horse. This method is effective without being cruel, allows the horses to be brilliant, and keeps the riders loving riding for the long term! We welcome riders wanting their first taste of riding who are only interested in one or two lessons, but we offer special pricing for students investing in six or more lessons.
What do you need?
We welcome first time or single-session riders as these are not your typical riding lessons. They are more like Pilates on horseback, training your balance, improving your posture, and strengthening your core. We require that all riders wear a helmet (if you are under the age of 16 it is the law in Ontario that you do so, but for safety we require all riders to wear a helmet). If you are not sure you will pursue riding over the long term, we have helmets available for a nominal fee. Boots with a heel of approximately 1/2 inch are required, and these you must supply (since footwear is not available multi-sized!). Footwear is best with a smooth sole, and the heel must not exceed 2 inches. Little Bit Western on Pine Street South in Timmins has horse riding footwear and a variety of helmets, or for the budget-conscious a pair of men's dress shoes from a second hand store will often do the trick. For those with time constraints not able to get appropriate footwear, not to worry- our lessons are primarily done without stirrups anyway. Comfortable pants that are not likely to rip when mounting up are essential, and otherwise dress for the weather.
We are extremely proud of our innovative walkthrough style horse trailer. Even the most trailer-shy horse will be lulled into comfort after being walked through the trailer a couple of times. This trailer is designed to fit an 18 hands horse and we can comfortable trailer most breeds of horses.
We charge by the kilometer at competive rates. To answer a popular question, Sorry we don't lend out the trailer :(