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 competively priced at $300.00 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.
2016 Part Boarding Special
Are you looking for more riding time but not necessarily horse ownership? This may be the perfect plan for you. At only $80 per month for 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. Additional rides are $15 each.
Horseback Riding LessonsWe 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.
All lessons are given by Gretchen Austin - Level 2 English/Level 1 western, with the Certified Horsemanship Association. She is passionate about helping riders improve their skills so they have a better relationship with any horse, and greater success with any horse.
Gretchen Austin has a diploma in Equine Studies from the University of Guelph and has studied riding for decades. Her riding style has developed under the tutelage of various coaches such as Wylder Rodriguez from Guatemala City and Craig Stevens in Seattle, Washington.
As time permits, she continues to advance her skills and knowledge by attending classes, lessons or clinics.
A variety of horses to ride
One of the best ways to advance your riding skills is to ride as many different horses as you can, and ride as often as you can. Each horse has its 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 exercises we use to teach the rider to have an excellent seat are those that were developed by the French in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries 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. Other keys to riding well are having good hands, having an understanding and a feel of how the horse moves, and having a sense of timing the aids.
One cornerstone for effective communication with the horse is a separation of the aids. This makes it much easier for the rider 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 just a few lessons, but please realize that riding is a sport which requires a lot of practice over a long period of time; advancement of skills takes years. The method Gretchen teaches is the fastest way she knows of to achieve safe and effective riding skills.
What equipment do you need?
These lessons are much like Pilates on horseback, training your balance, improving your posture, and strengthening your core. Comfortable clothing that has some stretch is best. 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). We have helmets available for a nominal fee. If you bring your own helmet, please ensure it is an ASTM or equivalent certified horse riding helmet; please do not bring a bicycle helmet as these are not made for riding horses. Boots with a heel of approximately 1/2 inch are required; we have some sizes available. Footwear is best with a smooth sole, and the heel must not exceed 1 1/2 inches. Please bring appropriate warm clothes in winter weather (yes you can wear ski pants for riding).
Train the Trainer
Do you want to gain skills to have more influence on the horse? Do you want to learn how horses think and what to do to change their behaviour? Do you 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. $20 per session.
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 carry horses from 12 hands high up to 18 hands high.
We charge by the kilometer at competive rates. To answer a popular question, we don't lend out the trailer, but Gretchen could possibly be convinced to taxi your kid(s) and horse(s) to a horse show and babysit them for the day, for a fee; advance notice needed.
Wool and Fleece
There is nothing like wool, and there is nothing like alpaca fleece! As natural fibres, they breathe and provide temperature control like nothing else, remaining comfortable in heat or cold, wet or dry. Wool usually has a much greater amount of stretch than alpaca fleece, but alpaca is usually a finer diameter fibre, which makes it softer, and also much warmer. Blended together, they produce fabric that is soft, stretchy and comfortable. We have a variety of breeds of sheep from Icelandic and Shetland to Dorper and Southdown Babydoll, which allows us to choose wool types that have the best form for function, bringing the ultimate high performance fabric.
COMING SOON! Our exclusive line of alpaca fleece horse wear, including hand woven saddle pads, and traditional felted numnhas for English saddles.