Help for Parents

Getting your child started in a new activity can be overwhelming, especially when it is an activity that is new to you as well. Roy-El is here to answer your questions and guide you in every way. Below you will find some helpful information to get you started.

You are encouraged to come and watch others ride at Roy-El. You and your child will learn faster by watching the more experienced riders. There are fellow equestrians training daily that you can watch. Saturday is a particularly busy day, so it is a great day to stop by and watch.

Proper Riding Attire

Proper attire is not simply for tradition and appearance, but also for practicality. Just like football players have their required clothing, so too do horseback riders. The clothing is for safety and comfort.

Long pants or jeans will also work in the beginning, but as the rider progresses, a riding tight, riding jeans, jodhpurs, or breeches will make the rider more comfortable as the seams in jeans can rub and pants can bunch.

Roy-El has helmets riders can use, however for a more comfortable fit, we prefer riders bring their own. A bike helmet will work at the outset, but, like everything else, a helmet for riding horses will become preferable as they are rated to be used for horses, and offer better protection.

You can find all of these items online, from ebay to online tack stores like Stateline Tack or Dover. Most local tack stores sell helmets and riding boots. Desert Wind Saddlery in Santa Fe offers all of the above.

Private vs. Group Lessons

Everyone who rides at Roy-El is required to start with private lessons. Children younger than 10 are not eligible for group lessons under normal circumstances (preparing for shows is different, as children need to learn to maneuver through groups). Private lessons offer one-on-one sessions, which benefit the rider most.

Group lessons can be a lot of fun, but children who have trouble focusing, may opt to stay in private lessons until they are able to pay strict attention to their own horse. Group lessons are a great way to learn from others. Once riders reach a certain level, Roy-El recommends adding group lessons to their repertoire.

Why Show?

Showing gives students goals to work toward. Riders focus better in their lessons and work harder with a horse show in mind. Showing is not just about winning blue ribbons, it is also about working toward a personal best; learning to win (and lose) graciously; learning camaraderie as you cheer for your teammates; learning to come back from a disappointing defeat; learning to climb to greater heights; achieving a close working relationship with your horse; conquering fears of performing in front of an audience; and much, much more. Showing is a vehicle for building self-esteem and self-confidence. Those who show learn that hard work pays off! And kids learn valuable life lessons doing something they love.

There have been studies done about children, boys and girls, who show horses. It has been shown that the graduation rate amongst horse showers is far greater than the average kid’s, the pregnancy rate is almost non-existent, and college graduation rates are staggeringly high! Kids who show horses learn self-reliance and self-motivation. (You can’t party all night if you have to get up at 6:00am to go to a show).

See our Current Events page for information on local shows.

Attire for Local Shows

Western - Jeans, western boots, long sleeve button down shirt, cowboy hat or helmet, belt.

Hunter - Breeches, polo shirt, or long sleeve button down shirt, paddock boots and half chaps or tall boots, helmet.

English/Saddleseat - Jodhpurs, polo or long sleeve button down shirt, paddock boots, helmet.

Driving - Jeans or pants, long sleeve button down or nice shirt, driving apron, hat (if carriage).

Dressage - Breeches (white if possible), polo shirt, long sleeve button down shirt, paddock boots with half chaps, or tall boots, helmet.

At a local show, formal attire is also acceptable.

1302 N. McCurdy Rd., Española, NM 87532

(505) 603-6016