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PROGRAMS
Todd Hill Farm offers a variety of Riding Lessons and Programs 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 horses 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 Logo for a non riding lessons program
HANDS ON HORSES™

What is Hands on Horses™?

Hands on Horses™ (HOH) is our trademark pending Equine Assisted Learning (EAL) program. At Todd Hill Farm, we believe that horses are the best teachers. In all branches of HOH, participants and their equine partners work through thought provoking challenges, create meaningful relationships, and learn about themselves.

What Makes HOH Special?

Prior to putting together the program, our HOH co-founders, Dawn and Karen, dedicated themselves to the study of Equine Assisted Learning. They noticed a lot of repetition in different EAL training courses, as well as some things which were flat out dangerous! With this in mind, they set out to create an EAL program which was safe, could provide meaningful self insights, and was horse-centric. From this, Hands on Horses was born!

What is Equine Assisted Learning?

Equine assisted learning is a method of discovering and learning new tools which can help you in your day to day life. Our EAL programs pair small groups (2-4 people) with a horse for different challenges and activities. This program promotes self-reflection, non-verbal communication, verbal communication, teamwork, and more. EAL is also extremely fun! EAL is lead by the horses in partner with an HOH facilitator.

What is Equine Assisted Therapy?

Equine Assisted Therapy (EAT) differs from EAL in that it is co-lead by a therapist, and is therefore better equipped to process larger emotions and experiences, such as trauma, anxiety, depression, etc. In EAT, the horses are still the main teachers and the activities still take place, but a licensed therapist is present and the activities are amended to allow for further emotional exploration.

For more information about current EAL and EAT programs, please visit the Dates, Times and Duration’s Tab or Contact Us for more information.

Who is HOH for?

Hands on Horses™ is for anyone who is interested in having fun, and learning more about themselves! We offer both EAL and EAT at Todd Hill Farm, for youth, teens, and adults. If you are unsure if you’d like to try EAL or EAT, we can help you evaluate your goals so you can make that choice.

THESE ARE NON-RIDING PROGRAMS

NO HORSE EXPERIENCE REQUIRED

Hands on Horses™ Facilitator Program

We are now offering a facilitator training program for those interested in starting their own branches of Hands on Horses™. Please see the Dates, Times & Duration’s Tab or contact Dawn Josey for more information.

HANDS ON HORSES: youth 8 – 12, teen 13-17 and adult 18+. No experience is required.
HANDS ON HORSES FACILITATOR: Significant experience required. No certification necessary. Please contact Katelyn for more information.

Participants should dress for the weather and wear solid footwear.  Helmets are required for children 12 and under.

For all Hands on Horses programs, we will be running these often so please Contact Us for more information!

Cost:

HANDS ON HORSES™:
All Equine Assisted Therapy Courses are $585.00 + tax (contact your insurance provider, this course may be covered)
All Equine Assisted Learning Courses are $ 295.00 + tax (Children’s groups are tax exempt)

HANDS ON HORSES™ FACILITATOR PROGRAM: Please contact us for pricing.

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)

"*" indicates required fields

Student Name (Please include sibling information in additional comments section)*
Parent/Guardian (if under 18) Name
MM slash DD slash YYYY
Contact Email*
Address*
If none, please type N/A
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
Beginner Horsemanship

We are now offering three intro to horsemanship programs where all new riders should start.  These programs are designed to provide a solid foundation for anyone 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.

These are all 8-week programs and sessions are 120 minutes.

PROGRAMS

Grass Roots – Ages 6-12

Horse Play – Ages 13-17

Cowboy Up – 18+

More information and registrations forms are below.

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 Recital to demonstrate what they have learned on the last day. Parents, family members and friends are encouraged to attend.

Our beginner program has earned industry-wide approval and recognition as being one of the best organized and well-run beginner programs available.  2023 will be our 8th 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.

Please Note: The Grass Roots Horsemanship program is a prerequisite for all new students 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.

Programs start for those aged 6 and up and no rider experience is necessary.

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.

Grass Roots Program Run Dates: April 6th – May 24th, 2024
Ages: 6-11 years old
Program Length:
 8 Weeks
Session Length: 120 Minutes
Week Day: Saturday or Sunday
Time: 9:00am – 11:00am

Horse Play Program Run Dates: April 6th – May 24th, 2024
Ages: 12-17 years old
Program Length:
8 Weeks
Session Length: 120 Minutes
Week Day: Saturday or Sunday
Time: 12:00pm – 2:00pm

Cowboy Up Program Run Dates: April 6th – May 24th, 2024
Ages: 18+
Program Length:
8 Weeks
Session Length: 120 Minutes
Week Day: Saturday or Sunday
Time: 3:00pm – 5:00pm

Cost:

Grass Roots and Horse Play programs are $500.00 (no tax on children’s programs) for these 8 week programs. A non-refundable deposit of $100 is required to hold your child’s spot.

Cowboy Up is $500.00 plus tax for the 8 week program and requires a deposit of $100.00 to hold your spot.

All participants will receive a certificate of achievement and will participate in a graduation recital 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 lock-box in the barn)
  • Cash (in a sealed THF payment envelope placed in the secure lock-box in the barn)

Thank you for your interest in the Beginner Horsemanship Programs. Please fill out the form below or, if you are looking for registration information or have questions about the programs, please Contact Us.
As a reminder, these programs are only available for children aged 6+

"*" indicates required fields

Student Name (Please include sibling information in additional comments section)*
Parent/Guardian (if under 18) Name
MM slash DD slash YYYY
Contact Email*
Address*
Preferred Lesson Day*
If none, please type N/A
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
THF Foundations

The THF Foundations program  is designed to provide education in all aspects of horsemanship, riding, horse care and stable management. The program is broken into 8 levels from Rookie to Advanced with testing requirements to progress. Lessons are bi-weekly with one session being a semi-private riding lesson and the other being non-riding horsemanship education.

The key differences between our former lesson program and  THF Foundations is the structure and focus on developing well-rounded, educated, confident equestrians. By advancing through this program, our students will be fully prepared to lease or own their own horse!

THF Foundations is not based on the EC Rider Levels that you may be familiar with. It has been developed from our combined years of real-life experience and knowledge and is designed to help our students understand not just the “text book basics” of horsemanship, but to be prepared for the unexpected and apply their learning across multiple practical applications.

This program is unique and fills a widening gap that we have been noticing over the years. The bi-weekly lessons will allow us to offer on-lunge lessons,  provide one-on-one attention from the coach and tailor teaching styles to meet individual needs.

The program will include clinics with outside coaches, mini-horse shows, games and more! We aim to elevate the standard of horsemanship in Nova Scotia!

This program is for riders 7 to adult.

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 – Bi-Weekly
Session Length: 60 Minutes
Week Day: Various
Time: Various

Cost:

$460.00 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)

CLICK HERE to download the THF Foundations riding outcomes information sheet.

CLICK HERE to download the THF Foundations horsemanship outcomes information sheet.

"*" indicates required fields

Student Name (Please include sibling information in additional comments section)*
Parent/Guardian (if under 18) Name
MM slash DD slash YYYY
Contact Email*
Address*
If none, please type N/A
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
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.

PLEASE NOTE: We are pleased to announce upcoming Rider Level Prep Camps for existing students. Please check back for more information.

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)