Manhattan Riding Club and General Horse Riding FAQ's
We have jumped right into summer, literally! With 2-3 rides selling out per week and lots of new riders we realize there are some frequently asked questions and we are going to attempt to answer a few of them here. As always if you can't find the answers to your questions PLEASE send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or DM us on Instagram or Facebook.
1. Do I need to have my own horse to ride with Manhattan Riding Club?
Nope! One of the main reasons our founder created this club was so non-horse owning equestrians could participate in activities you would typically think you need a horse for, like hunting and hunter paces! All of our ride costs include a horse for you, which is paired according to your riding experience and comfort level.
2. Do I have to be a jumper to go on the rides?
Not always, our Bedford Hacks for example are a great open space ride for non-jumpers and jumpers alike. Due to the openness of the trails all the jumps have really easy go-around's right alongside the jump and we can simply split into two groups as we approach. For hunter paces all jumps are also avoidable, however not always so easy, sometimes it requires taking another route from the group which could take a couple minutes before you rejoin, however trails are marked so it's fairly easy to do. If you want to participate in a hunter pace and are concerned about jumping we recommend reaching out to us so we can suggest the right pace and help answer any other questions.
3. What is a hunter pace?
Hunter paces are cross country rides with optional jumps that follow a specific marked course. You are put into teams of 3-4 riders and released into the course 5 or so minutes apart so that to stay separate from other groups. There is an ideal time determined before hand, by the host of the event, as to how long it should take to complete the course, this time is not given to riders, as the challenge is for you to complete the course in a time frame that you feel is not too fast or too slow.
It's a bit of friendly competition, every team has a number and is timed and after everyone completes the course, the times are released. Teams closest to the ideal time set by the event host are often awarded ribbons or some prize. Hunter paces are usually hosted by foxhunting clubs, stables and trail associations who want to open their trails to the public and also raise some money. Typically a hunter pace will also include a nice buffet style lunch under a tent for everyone as they finish the ride.
Aside from the fee we charge for your horse, the pace itself also has a fee which ranges from $50-$100, we include this in our price and handle all the payments and registrations together to make this an easy and seamless process for you. These are really fantastic and fun rides with anywhere from 50-100+ riders and horses attending and who doesn't love to see a field full of trailers, horses and other equestrians for a bit of fun?!
4. Riding equipment, what's needed?
For the horse:
All of our rides will come with a horse and full tack, sometimes they are tacked for you and sometimes you will be required to tack them yourself, however the tack will still be provided. If you have your own saddle or other horse equipment and want to bring it, please let us know in advance. You are welcome to bring your own riding crop however it will be completely up to the horse owner as to if you are able to use it on their horse.
For the rider:
A proper riding uniform includes breeches, boots and a helmet. If you do not have a helmet please make sure to let us know in advance and we will see if there is one available for you, however we do recommend if you plan to ride regularly to purchase one of your own. Breeches are proper riding pants however if you have legging or something similar that you prefer to wear that is fine for most rides. To purchase new gear we have a partnership with Manhattan Saddlery and you can receive a discount there by mentioning Manhattan Riding Club.
Other items we recommend are gloves, safety vests, half chaps (if you wear paddock boots), a water bottle, sunscreen and layers if it's cold.
Sometimes for hunter paces we will try to coordinate outfits so we look like an official team and also foxhunting requires a specific uniform which you can learn more about on our blog post here.
5. Recommendations for Transportation to and from rides:
We try to create riding experiences that are accessible by train and will provide those details to you when available. Additionally, we will try to connect riders in advance for any carpooling opportunities that may be available. Many of our riders use Zipcar and GetAround as well as rental companies. Although we will do our best to help, ultimately it is each riders responsibility to arrange their transportation.
6. Are the rides COVID safe?
We do require that when not mounted you wear a mask and respect social distancing guidelines. Most of what we do is outdoors and once on the horse you are able to remove your mask if you wish.