“The funny thing about horseback riding lessons is that they are lessons for life as well; look where you are going, because you go where you look.”
“Horses are your mirror, if you are tired they will respond to that level of energy. If you are high strung, they will feed off of you. Be calm and assertive and you will speak through body language and be in charge.” – Lisa DeMayo
At Bonnie Lea Farm, safety comes first; the safety of the rider and the horse. We encourage riders to own their helmets, although helmets are on hand at the farm. All riders must wear helmets and proper footwear.
Lessons are offered Monday through Friday during the day and early evenings and on some weekends, depending on the show schedules. Group lessons are usually 3 to 5 riders. A private lesson may be suggested for first time students. Lessons must be scheduled in advance.
1 Hour Group Lesson – $55
1/2 Hour Private Lesson – $75
1 Hour Semi-Private Lesson – $75
1 Hour Private Lesson – $125
20 Minutes Pony Ride – $50 appropriate for riders age 4-7
Bonnie Lea Farm lessons are divided into levels of ability. Although many students get attached to a particular horse, it is very important for riders to become versatile and more skilled by riding different horses. Learning proper care of the horse and equipment is just as important as learning to ride.
Trying to identify your level?
- Beginner – learning balance, steering, leg yield, and learning to walk and trot
- Advanced Beginner – continue to improve walk and trot (with correct diagonal), learning to canter and possibly jump cross-rails (PHA Short and Long Stirrup)
- Intermediate – continue to improve flat work (including yielding & bending) and begin jumping a course AND learn to polish skills (PHA Pre-Children’s Equitation)
- Advanced Intermediate – (PHA Children’s Equitation) Can already jump a course (building to 2’6) AND continue to improve flat work (including bending, riding “round”)
- Advanced – (PHA Modified Junior Equitation and Junior Riders) Advanced flat work, training techniques, Jump solid 3′ course.
ABOUT OUR INSTRUCTOR
Lisa DeMayo is the primary instructor and owner at Bonnie Lea Farm. She has been licensed to teach riding in Massachusetts for over 30 years (since she was 16 years old.) Lisa is a United States Hunter Jumper Association (USHJA) Certified Trainer. She is a graduate of Boston College with a major in education. She recognizes and values that a true equestrian learns as much about herself as she does about equitation and horsemanship in the the pursuit of excellence.
Lisa actively continues to master her own riding technique and training through regularly participating in clinics, showing and reading. Some of the instructors and clinicians with whom she has ridden include George Morris, Frank Madden, Tom Curtin, Greg Best, Daniel Stewart and Dan Kelly. Lisa continues to take lessons and loves working on her own special project horses. She enjoys providing training for customers’ horses and holding clinics at the farm to help owners grow with their horses. She is currently the coach for the Williams College Equestrian Team.
Lisa is a member of the Western New England Professional Horseman’s Association, the USEF, USHJA, Williamstown Chamber of Commerce and Farm Bureau. She served on the Williamstown Agriculture Commission and is a MA certified animal control officer.
Other qualified instructors may teach or assist students during the summer.