Riding school INFORMATION


Getting Started

  • Lessons may be scheduled with Hidden Hills by calling or texting 423-488-3993 or emailing info@hiddenhillsfarm.com,  or by calling/emailing a Hidden Hills contract instructor directly (find their information here). 

  • If you are new to horseback riding, you will start with at least one private lesson to introduce you to horses.  Once a new rider is competent with handling their horse on the ground and basic riding at the walk, we encourage riders to join group lessons.

  • If you have previous riding experience, your first lesson at Hidden Hills will be a private Evaluation Lesson.  It will consist of a barn orientation, tacking/untacking procedures, and a brief riding evaluation to help us determine which class level would be the best for you.  Evals are $40 and may be booked with any Hidden Hills instructor.  From here, your instructor will recommend a riding group or set up private lessons with you. 

    • Private or Group? We encourage riders to join our group lessons for several reasons:  1.  It’s more fun riding with a group!  2.  Learning happens during direct instructor interaction and by watching other riders; and 3.  It is more cost effective.   Private lessons are great for students wishing for one-on-one instruction to improve their skills faster.  All of our lessons, private or group, include tacking/untacking the horse, about 30-45 minutes of mounted and/or unmounted horsemanship instruction in the arena or on the trail, and some barn chores.

  • Riding Levels: 
    • Pony Pals (for ages 3-6):  15-30 minute lessons taught by our Junior Instructors, help young riders learn balance and rhythm
    • Level 1:  Walk and beginning trot, focusing on building a strong foundation and developing rhythm
    • Level 2:  Trot and beginning canter
    • Level 3:  Walk/trot/canter, jump and lateral work
    • Other riding options:  Some seasons we offer other riding opportunities, such as Drill Team, Vaulting, or a Trail Riding Group.  Check to see what's available! 

Lesson Fees

  • The cost varies per session, depending on the number of lessons per session.  In general, when paid in full per session:

    • Private Lessons (ages 7 and up):  $40/60 min. lesson; $25/30 min. lesson

    • Semi-Private Lessons (ages 8 and up):  $35/60 min. lessons

    • Group Lessons (3-5 students, age 8 and up):  $35/90 min. lesson

    • Pony pals:  Ages 2-4, $10 for 15 minutes; ages 4-6, $20 for 30 minutes

    • Lessons paid for individually:  add $5/lesson.

    • Practice Rides or Levels 2 and 3 are occasionally available for $20/ride and must be scheduled in advance and prepaid. 

  • Lesson payment is due at the beginning of each session.  Payment can be split into two installments, half at the beginning of the session and the balance at the halfway point of the session. 

  • Cash or check is the preferred method of payment, though we can take credit card payments with an added 3% service charge.  

Cancellation/Missed Lesson Policy

  • Cancellations must be made at least 4 hours prior to your lesson time or your lesson will be forfeited.  Missed lessons may be made up at no extra charge by attending another scheduled same level group lesson if space is available (student’s regular horse may not be available), or during the make up/optional lesson week between sessions.  Make up lessons must be scheduled in advance, and may not be made up after the new session begins. 

  • Classes cancelled by Hidden Hills due to instructor unavailability or inclement weather will either be rescheduled or will be credited to the student’s next session.  No refunds will be given.

  • Cancellations may be made by calling or texting your instructor (preferably) or Tara at 423-488-3993.

Procedures for Inclement Weather

  • We are thankful to have a covered arena so that lessons can generally carry on despite the weather.  Plan for your lessons unless your instructor calls you to reschedule.

  • If you choose to cancel or reschedule due to inclement weather, please contact your instructor at least 4 hours prior to your lesson.  Cancellations due to extreme weather conditions may be waived from the 4-hr Cancellation Policy.

  • If it is below 40⋄F, it is usually too uncomfortable to ride, though some riders are die-hards!  Please contact your instructor to confirm a cancellation.

Lesson Procedures

  • Hidden Hills teaches total horsemanship from the ground up. Toward that end, we teach our students how to prepare their horses for their lessons and how to clean up afterward. 

  • Do not handle horses without first checking in with your instructor.  Do not mount your horse until your instructor is ready.

  • After your lesson, you will untack your horse, unless another student is waiting to use your horse in the next lesson.

  • Parents are welcome to drop their children off or stay, but instructors do prefer that parents give instructors the courtesy of teaching uninhibited.

  • We encourage our students to participate in the schooling shows and other events hosted at Hidden Hills and off site.   These are great ways to “show off” learned skills and discover strengths and weaknesses in student riding.  Ask your instructor about upcoming events and how to prepare for it.  All events will incur extra fees. 

  • Level 3 students ages 10 and up may help with Pony Pal, Level 1, and Level 2 lessons as approved by their instructor for reduced rate practice rides.

What to Wear

  • Approved riding boots, jeans or breeches, and helmets are absolutely mandatory for all lessons at Hidden Hills, including Evals. 

  • Hidden Hills provides helmets for beginning students.   After that, I’m sure you’ll be ready to wear your own sweat!  Your own helmet must be SEI/ATSM Approved - look for the certification sticker inside the helmet.

  • For your safety, no tennis shoes, hiking boots, or “equestrian style” fashion boots once your rider starts trotting, though we recommend proper riding shoes from the beginning.  No sandals or open-toed shoes are appropriate ever, and lessons may be forfeited if proper riding shoes are not worn.


--Pay for each session in full or in halves
--There is one scheduled make up per session
--No refunds or carry over into the next session
--We can take cash, check or credit card (add 3%).  Please make checks out to Hidden Hills.  
--If no make up is needed, students may participate in the make up/optional lessons dates for $35grp/$40pvt

January 8-February 24:  Session 1     

  • 7 weeks: In full $245 grp, $280 pvt
  • Full or half payment due week of January 8
  • Second half payment due week of February 5

March 5-April 28:  Session 2

  • 8 weeks: In full $280 grp, $320 pvt
  • Full or half pmt due week of March 5
  • Second half pmt due week of April 2

May 7-June 2:  Short Session (no make up week)

  • 4 weeks:  In full $140 grp, $160 pvt
  • Full payment due week of May 7

June 4-July 28:  Summer Session

  • 8 weeks:  In full $280 grp, $320 pvt
  • Full or half pmt due week of June 4
  • Second half pmtt de week of July 2

August 13-October 6:  Session 3

  • 8 weeks:  In full $280 grp, $320 pvt
  • Full or half pmt due week of August 13
  • Second half pmt due week of Sept 10

October 15-December 15:  Session 4

  • 8 weeks:  In full $280 grp, $320 pvt
  • Full or half pmt due week of Oct 15
  • Second half pmt due week of Nov 12

The Beginnings of a Horse Girl

When the horse's hoof still weighs more than you do . . .

When the horse's hoof still weighs more than you do . . .

And they're too tall to groom . . .

And they're too tall to groom . . .

And, if no one's around to help you ride a horse, there's always a bucket!

And, if no one's around to help you ride a horse, there's always a bucket!