PROGRAMS
Todd Hill Farm offers a variety of Programs and Seasonal Camps for riders of all ages and experience levels, from non-riding  to advanced lessons. We are the only equestrian facility of our size in HRM that does not provide boarding, so our barn has a very different feel that most people love. Owning or leasing all of the horse on the property allows us to offer an unparalleled learning experience for our students. Our dedicated team excels at helping horse lovers of all ages gain a solid foundation in horsemanship, riding and horse care. We specialize in the English disciplines of Hunter, Jumper and Dressage.
Please browse the list below to find the program that’s right for you!
HANDS ON HORSES™

Hands on Horses™ (HOH) is a non-riding program that is proprietary to Todd Hill Farm and is trademark-pending.  HOH builds on the principles of the Equine Assisted Learning (EAL) model where horses and humans become partners in problem solving exercises and games.

Participants learn about equine behaviour as they work together in teams. The activities are designed to inspire creativity, communication, teamwork, and strategic thinking. Participants work together with the horses as their partners.  Horses are sentient beings with unique personalities.  By getting to know them better and overcoming personal biases and perceived limitations, participants can have breakthrough moments that can have a positive impact on many areas of their lives and relationships. Participants will discover new ways of looking at situations and will be challenged to think outside of the box and consider other points of view, appreciating everyone’s unique contribution in a team environment.

We are currently offering a 6 week Youth program for ages 7 – 13 as well as a 6 week adult program for ages 18+

THIS IS A NON-RIDING PROGRAM

NO HORSE EXPERIENCE REQUIRED

This program is for participants 16-adult with no experience needed.

Participants should dress for the weather and wear solid footwear.  Helmets are not required.

Program Length: Youth program – 6 weeks, Adult program – 8 weeks
Session Length: 90 Minutes
Week Day: Saturday
Next Program Run Dates:

Youth
7-13
Adult
18+
May 11th – June 22nd (6 weeks) TBD
5:00pm – 6:30pm TBD

Cost:

$285.00 is the cost of this 6 week program.

How to pay:

We accept the following methods of payment:

  • EFT to lessons@toddhillfarm.com (we have automatic deposit, so no password is required)
  • Cheque (in a sealed THF payment envelope placed in the secure lockbox in the barn)
  • Cash (in a sealed THF payment envelope placed in the secure lockbox in the barn)
  • Credit Card (Visa, MC, Amex) * $10 admin fee will be added

    GRASS ROOTS HORSEMANSHIP

    Grass Roots Horsemanship is where all beginning riders between the ages of 8 – 12 should start.  It is designed to provide a solid foundation for children new to the sport of horseback riding.

    We put equal emphasis on horse care, grooming, handling, safety, horsemanship and riding.  All lessons will include some time in the barn learning about stable management and horse care.  The first three sessions will be focused on teaching the students how to safely handle and groom the horse, how to adjust the saddle, girth and bridle, how to lead the horse and understand equine body language. Our “practice horses” (life-sized horse models) will be used to teach students how to mount and dismount, how to maintain a balanced position and how to be confident on the back of a horse.
    This is an 8-week program and each session runs 120 minutes.
    Todd Hill Farm instructors and assistants are experienced and knowledgeable and always put safety first. All participants will receive a certificate of achievement and will participate in a Grass Roots Recital to demonstrate what they have learned on the last day. Parents, family members and friends are encouraged to attend. Once students have completed Grass Roots, and Short Stirrup spots become available, they will be invited to attend a Short Stirrup Prep Camp.  This is a concentrated week-end camp running 3 hours each day. Details will be provided to all Grass Roots enrollments.
    Todd Hill Farm’s Grass Roots program has earned industry-wide approval and recognition as being one of the best organized and well-run beginner programs available.  2022 will be our 7th consecutive year!  Spots fill up fast and we often have waiting lists of up to 30 children.  For this reason, we require a non-refundable deposit of $100 to hold your child’s spot.

    Grass Roots Horsemanship is a prerequisite for all new students between the ages of 8 – 12 who are not yet able to be independent on the back of a horse. Grass Roots Horsemanship will provide a solid foundation for children new to the sport of horseback riding.

    Lesson PLAN
    Week One
    Registration and Horse Handling
    Week Two
    All About Prep
    Week Three
    Balance, Horse parts, and Equipment
    Week Four
    Intro to Riding & Unmounted Games
    Week Five
    Gaining Independence in the Saddle & All About Tack
    Week Six
    Intro to Trot, Eyes, Rein aids, and the Healthy Horse
    Week Seven
    Recital Prep
    Week Eight
    Recital

    This program is for beginner riders between the ages of 8-12. No experience is necessary for this course.

    Children participating in this program will be required to wear appropriate and safe attire, including a safety helmet specifically designed for riding (ie bike helmet would not be acceptable), boots with a small heel (rubber boots are fine), comfortable pants or breeches and gloves in cold weather. Todd Hill Farm does have helmets available to borrow.

    Program Run Dates: September – October (2022) & April – June (2023)
    Program Length: 8 Weeks
    Session Length: 120 Minutes
    Week Day: Tuesday or Sunday (Please be sure to indicate which day at time of registration) First day is Tuesday, September 6th or Sunday, September 11th
    Time: 4:30-7:30

    Cost:

    $475.00 is the cost of the 8 week program. A non-refundable deposit is required to hold the spot.

    All participants will receive a certificate of achievement and will participate in a Grass Roots Horse Show to show off what they have learned.

    How to pay:

    We accept the following methods of payment:

    • EFT to lessons@toddhillfarm.com (we have automatic deposit, so no password is required)
    • Cheque (in a sealed THF payment envelope placed in the secure lockbox in the barn)
    • Cash (in a sealed THF payment envelope placed in the secure lockbox in the barn)
    • Credit Card (Visa, MC, Amex) * $10 admin fee will be added

    Thank you for your interest in the Grass Roots Program. Please fill out the form below  or, if you are looking for registration information or have questions about the Grass Roots program, please Contact Us.

      SHORT STIRRUP PROGRAM
      SHORT STIRRUP Prep Camp

      Our Short Stirrup program is perfect for young riders who are new to the sport but have acquired some independence on horseback.  Students must be able to groom and tack up on their own, as well as adjust their tack, mount, steer, walk, trot and halt safely.  If they are not quite at this level, we recommend our SHORT STIRRUP PREP CAMP.

      Short Stirrup Prep Camp is an intensive but fun 6 hour camp held over a week-end (3 hours on Saturday and 3 hours on Sunday).  It is designed to give recent Grass Roots graduates the final touches they need to be secure and confident in riding and controlling their horse.  

      The camps will be offered over several week-ends to be able to accommodate as many students as possible, while still maintaining the low numbers necessary for the best learning experience.  This camp is also recommended for students who were not able to participate in Grass Roots because they were older than 12 (we are offering this camp to children up to the age of 15).

      During Short Stirrup Prep Camp, students will be riding a variety of horses, practicing proper position (equitation), balance and stability, learning to effectively steer and control the horse, learning about the riding aids (how the rider communicates with the horse).  Obstacle courses and games will be used to challenge the riders and keep the experience fun.  Students can attend more than one camp if needed.

      This program is for riders between the ages of 8-15. The Grass Roots Horsemanship program must be completed before enrolling in the Short Stirrup Camp. Previous graduates of Grass Roots will be contacted for enrolment.

      Children participating in this program will be required to wear appropriate and safe attire, including a safety helmet specifically designed for riding (ie bike helmet would not be acceptable), boots with a small heel (rubber boots are fine), comfortable pants or breeches and gloves in cold weather.

      Program Run Dates: November – December & June – July (Short Stirrup is currently wait listed)
      Program Length: 2 days
      Session Length: 240 Minutes
      Week Day: Saturday & Sunday
      Time: 9:00am-1:00pm

      Cost:

      $200.00 is the cost of this camp. A non-refundable deposit is required to hold the spot.

      All participants will receive a certificate of achievement.

      How to pay:

      We accept the following methods of payment:

      • EFT to lessons@toddhillfarm.com (we have automatic deposit, so no password is required)
      • Cheque (in a sealed THF payment envelope placed in the secure lockbox in the barn)
      • Cash (in a sealed THF payment envelope placed in the secure lockbox in the barn)
      • Credit Card (Visa, MC, Amex) * $10 admin fee will be added
      SHORT STIRRUP LESSONS

      The Short Stirrup Lesson Program follows a similar structure as all regular Todd Hill Farm Lessons.  There is no “start date” or “end date”.  Once enrolled in Short Stirrup, students are required to give 30 days notice to end or suspend lessons. Short Stirrup is what we call the beginning rider level and is approximately equivalent to Equestrian Canada’s Learn to Ride Level 1. 

      To be accepted to the Short Stirrup program, students must be able to tack up their horse with assistance and walk, trot, steer and halt independently (without a leader).  Short Stirrup lessons are 1 hour in length.  Students are asked to arrive 30 minutes before lesson start time to bring the horse in, groom and tack up. 

      The first 15 minutes of the lesson will be spent going over basic reminders, practicing tack adjustment and mounting and doing some mounted exercises.  The remaining 45 minutes will be spent on helping students progress in their riding skills, including their equitation, control of the horse and riding over and through obstacles.  Once students are learning to canter, they can progress to the next level – called Level 2.

      Lessons are invoiced monthly at a flat rate that includes tax:

      Regular Lessons (One lesson per week): $225

      Twice-as-Nice (two lessons per week): $400

      Thrice-as-Nice (three lessons per week): $600

      This program is for riders between the ages of 8-15. Independent Rider Status is required.

      Children participating in this program will be required to wear appropriate and safe attire, including a safety helmet specifically designed for riding (ie bike helmet would not be acceptable), boots with a small heel (rubber boots are fine), comfortable pants or breeches and gloves in cold weather.

      Program Run Dates: Year-round
      Program Length: Ongoing
      Session Length: 60 Minutes
      Week Day: Various
      Time: Various

      Cost:

      $250.00/month is the cost of this ongoing lesson. Taxes included.

      How to pay:

      We accept the following methods of payment:

      • EFT to lessons@toddhillfarm.com (we have automatic deposit, so no password is required)
      • Cheque (in a sealed THF payment envelope placed in the secure lockbox in the barn)
      • Cash (in a sealed THF payment envelope placed in the secure lockbox in the barn)
      • Credit Card (Visa, MC, Amex) * $10 admin fee will be added

      Thank you for your interest in the Short Stirrup Program. Please fill out the form below for Short Stirrup Lessons. If you are looking for registration information for the Short Stirrup Camp, please Contact Us.

        ENGLISH RIDING LESSONS

        The Todd Hill Farm English Riding Program follows Equestrian Canada’s Learn to Ride model from Level 2 through Level 8.  Level 2 is the next step above Short Stirrup and so on.  Students are not required to have Equestrian Canada certification; their placement in a lesson will be based on their actual riding experience and ability.  Each lesson is assigned a Level and we make our best effort to have students in each group riding at the same level.  This allows the lesson structure to flow smoothly and ensures that all students are progressing at a similar pace and are sufficiently challenged. 

        We also like to keep age groups together whenever possible and have separate adult-only lessons. If all students in a lesson are advancing to the next level, their ride time may stay the same and the instructor will assign that lesson a new Level (IE – a Level 2 lesson may become a Level 3 lesson).  If one student progresses faster than another, they will be invited to move up to a higher level lesson group.

        Students coming to Todd Hill Farm from another facility are required to have an Assessment lesson. This is a one hour private session that will include stable management, grooming, tacking up and riding.  If a student is riding at a higher level than their stable management level, they will be placed into a lower level group until they develop the skills in stable management to move up. Assessment lessons are $75, tax included.  

        Regular lessons are 1 hour in length and can usually include 3 – 5 riders.  Students are asked to arrive 30 minutes before lesson start time to bring the horse in, groom and tack up. We do not offer private lessons. Lessons run all year long and 30 days notice is required  to end or suspend lessons.  All new students are provided with a program guide book that includes our lesson program policies, farm rules and dress code.

        Lessons are invoiced monthly at a flat rate that includes tax:

        Regular Lessons (One lesson per week): $225

        Twice-as-Nice (two lessons per week): $400

        Thrice-as-Nice (three lessons per week): $600

        This program is for riders 8-adult. Independent Riding Status is required. Please contact us for details.

        Students are required to wear appropriate and safe attire, including a safety helmet specifically designed for riding (ie bike helmet would not be acceptable), boots with a small heel (rubber boots are fine), comfortable pants or breeches and gloves in cold weather.

        Program Run Dates: Year-round
        Program Length: Ongoing
        Session Length: 60 Minutes
        Week Day: Various
        Time: Various

        Cost:

        $250.00 per month is the cost of this ongoing program. Taxes Included.

        How to pay:

        We accept the following methods of payment:

        • EFT to lessons@toddhillfarm.com (we have automatic deposit, so no password is required)
        • Cheque (in a sealed THF payment envelope placed in the secure lockbox in the barn)
        • Cash (in a sealed THF payment envelope placed in the secure lockbox in the barn)
        • Credit Card (Visa, MC, Amex) * $10 admin fee will be added

          E.C. RIDER LEVEL CERTIFICATION

          Todd Hill Farm is pleased to offer the Equestrian Canada Learn to Ride Certification, also known as “Rider Levels.” Equestrian Canada has a well organized skills progression program where participants can demonstrate the skills and knowledge they have acquired and be tested to a standardized level. 

          These levels run from  P’tit Trot though 8 and are progressive.  A good comparison would be to swimming levels or piano levels, which most people are familiar with.  Todd Hill Farm supports Sport Nova Scotia and the NS Equestrian Federation as well as the national governing body of Equestrian Canada.  Rider Level testing is done by an outside, unbiased tester.  There are 3 components to the test:  a written test, a stable management test and a riding test.

          Students should test at the skill they are currently ride at or even one below, as the testing process can be stressful. The instructor will be required to sign off on the level being tested at or challenged. If a student has never been tested before, they can “challenge” a Level.  They would be required to do the written test up to and including the Level they are challenging, but would just be test on Stable Management and Riding at the higher level. Todd Hill Farm encourages all students to participate in the Rider Level Lecture Series which will occur over a 6 week period prior to test day.

          WHAT YOU’LL LEARN
          Rider Level One
          Must be able to:
          • Demonstrate good position & knowledge of aids
          • Adjust tack
          • Mount and dismount properly
          • Know safe horse handling practices
          • Post the trot even if they don’t know diagonals
          • Know how to change diagonal when asked
          • Slow down, stop, turn
          • Demonstrate independent seat
          • Know parts of horse & equipment
          • Clean tack and put bridle away properly (figure-8)
          • Lead correctly and take off / put on halter
          Rider Level TWO
          Must be able to:
          • All of the previous level plus;
          • Know face markings
          • List food eaten by horse and why
          • Know how often farrier should visit
          • Know reasons for and methods of cleaning tack
          • Know how whip/crop should be held
          • Know posting diagonals – even if they get it wrong sometimes
          • Effective and efficient transitions between halt/walk/trot
          • Canter safely even if they don’t understand leads
          • Accuracy in riding patterns
          • Riding 20m circle
          • Demonstrate 2-point position
          • Demonstrate independence of seat, leg and hand
          Rider Level THREE
          Must be able to:
          • All of the previous level plus;
          • Disassemble & assemble snaffle bridle
          • Recognized & describe basic horse ailments
          • Put on and remove blanket with leg straps
          • Tying up hay net
          • Safety knot
          • Knowledge of equipment
          • Steady & sympathetic contact with horses mouth
          • Proper ring reverse
          • Describe and demonstrate a half-halt
          • Accuracy in transitions
          • Rising & sitting trot without stirrups
          • Canter independently and know leads
          • Change rein on short diagonal
          • Consistent knowledge of diagonals
          • Jump a cross-rail with straight approach & departure at the canter
          • Canter a course of cross-rails while maintaining control
          • Demonstrate solid base of support over fences
          Rider Level FOUR
          Must be able to:
          • All of the previous level plus
          • Identify 6 different snaffle bits
          • Explain bits and their uses
          • Know how to clip ears and bridle path & pull mane
          • Know how to measure a horse
          • Explain and demonstrate proper warm-up
          • Demonstrate bend
          • Jump a course of 2 feet
          • Use aids independently
          • Drop & regain stirrups at canter
          • Canter an accurate 15m circle
          • Simple changes
          • Demonstrate short, medium & long releases
          • Count and control strides
          Rider Level FIVE
          Must be able to:
          • All of the previous level plus
          • Know how to take temperature, pulse & respiration
          • Know how the body uses water
          • Know some skin conditions & possible treatments
          • Demonstrate standing wrap and polo wrap
          • Know how to maintain rhythm and relaxation
          • Know how to make a horse track up
          • Know 5 different rein aids and how to use them
          • Jump a height of 2’3”
          • Turn on the forehand
          • Non-progressive transitions
          • Use of body language
          • Jump gymnastic without stirrups
          • Lunge a horse at all 3 gaits with control
          Rider Level SIX
          Must be able to:
          • All of the previous level plus
          • Demonstrate neat braiding
          • Discuss various lamenesses, how to diagnose and treat
          • Demonstrate first aid bandage
          • Explain how to load and transport horses safely
          • Ride forward from leg to hand
          • Maintain rhythm, regularity & evenness of pace
          • Jump a course of 2’6”
          • Demonstrate stride control
          • Consistent bend and pace
          • Correct position with and without stirrups at all paces
          • Simple change through walk
          • Correct shape and changes of bend
          • Smooth and accurate transitions
          • Turn on the haunches
          SPRING TESTING SCHEDULE
          LECTURES
          Written Tests
          Stable Management & Riding Tests:
          February 14 – March 21, 2022 March 21 – March 27, 2022 P’Tit Trot – Level 2: Sunday March 27
          Monday: 6:00pm – 7:30pm Various Times Available Level 3: Saturday April 2, 2022
          Levels 4+: Sunday April 3, 2022

          The Rider Level Certifications are available to any current rider that wants to challenge it with Independant Rider Plus Status.

          For current THF students only.

          Program Run Dates: February – April
          Program Length: 2 Months
          Session Length: 90 Minutes
          Week Day: Various
          Time: Various

          Cost:

          To be announced. Please contact us with any questions.

          How to pay:

          We accept the following methods of payment:

          • EFT to lessons@toddhillfarm.com (we have automatic deposit, so no password is required)
          • Cheque (in a sealed THF payment envelope placed in the secure lockbox in the barn)
          • Cash (in a sealed THF payment envelope placed in the secure lockbox in the barn)
          • Credit Card (Visa, MC, Amex) * $10 admin fee will be added