Troop Riding at Seaton Hackney Stables in Morristown, New Jersey

As we approach the end of January and (hopefully) the end of a brutal, bitter cold spell, all of our eyes at Seaton Hackney Stables are on Spring.

To help get our riders in the mood for springtime, we’ve just uploaded the 2022 Early Spring Troop registration form.

Don’t delay and miss out on a wonderful group activity for your young rider (or even yourself!).

Benefits of troop riding include socialization with other riders, time spent outdoors, and more opportunity to practice horseman skills–a great and economical supplement for private lessons. Riders progress through a series of goals and, upon achieving those goals (outlined below), move onto the next troop level during the next season.

Level 1 Progressive Goals

Can safely handle and control the horse while on the ground and astride; pay attention to the instructor, focus and follow directions and demonstrate the “1,2,3” method of picking up, holding, and adjusting reins. Check and tighten the girth and adjust proper stirrup length from the ground; mount with a mounting block or leg-up; master the correct walking position; and maintain the proper distance in the ring.

As Level 1 progresses: Learn to post the trot; lead a Level 1 horse to the ring without assistance; ask a horse to stop, walk, trot, and turn; learn to adjust stirrups while mounted; hold and use a crop; lengthen and adjust reins at the walk and trot; trot with rhythm and consistency; learn to check and change diagonals; practice the two-point position at the walk & trot.

Level 2 Progressive Goals

Learn to properly groom and tack up; lead horse to ring, adjust stirrups and girth; maintain the trot an entire ring length; correct wrong diagonals; demonstrate improved position at the walk and trot.

As Level 2 progresses: Know how to cool off a horse; change diagonals without prompts; perform half-voltes, half-schools and diagonal changes; perform 20 meter circles; learn ring letters; learn the sitting trot without stirrups; stop, walk, turn and control the horse bareback.

Level 3 Progressive Goals

Can groom, tack, mount & walk the rail without instruction. Smoothly complete transitions and consistently maintain requested gait. Learn and demonstrate a proper half-halt; able to change direction at the posting trot and automatically change diagonals as needed. Able to walk and trot figure-8s and use ring wisely. Show proficiency at the walk and trot with or without stirrups, sitting or posting, with or without saddle; able to ask for the canter and maintain pace for two laps. Can recognize lead and perform a simple lead change.

As Level 3 progresses: Confident trotting over single 18” cross rails in a straight line while maintaining a rhythmic trot. Willing to confidently ride horses levels 1-3. Can demonstrate a proper half-halt. Can ride a smooth posting trot with heels down, legs and hands quiet, body tall, and on the correct diagonal; able to adjust speed at any gait using half-halts; able to post the trot 3 full laps without stirrups and addressing diagonals; able to change from half-seat to full-seat while cantering; become secure at the canter and demonstrate it by cantering on the lunge line without holding on to the reins or to the saddle for approximately one minute. Able to pass other horses in the ring, allowing sufficient spacing, and alerting the other rider with “inside/outside”; canter a single vertical. Able to ask horse to lengthen and collect at the walk & trot, know the difference between working, collected and extended gaits. Begin to understand movement of the horse and start to establish the correct diagonal without looking; able to count strides at the canter while working over small verticals.

Contact the office for more information or download the registration form to secure a spot for your rider.