Horseback Riding Programs

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Beginners and Balance Seat

Your Horseback Riding adventure starts with obtaining basic knowledge of natural horsemanship and harmony created between the horse and the rider. New riders must learn how to mount the horse, go forward, stop, turn left and right, as well as balance their bodies in the trot and canter. This becomes the foundation of the lessons for beginners or those needing some help in these skills. Riders will start on a lunge line attached to the horse in the LLF protected arena. This safety measure helps in the initial control and gives the new rider more security. Moving forward, each lesson will have time off of the lunge line learning how to steer the horse. When riders commands the basic skills of Balance Seat riding, they move into other disciplines of riding such as dressage, jumping, cross country riding (riding out in our beautiful Virginia countryside), trail rides, and western sports.

Beginning Horseback Riding Lesson
Northern Virginia Horseback Dressage Lessons


Dressage lessons teach the rider how to balance and supple the horse to make the horse more rideable and the ride more enjoyable. We train the rider to ask the horse to perform established movements (suppleness, responsiveness, collection, and rhythm) in a pre-determined pattern. Most noteworthy, LLF training progresses in the obedience of the horse and its harmony with the rider. Dressage lessons are matched, first, to the rider’s ability. As the rider improves, more advanced dressage skills are learned. Next, the rider learns to meet expectations of the horse and rider’s performance as set forth in a series of progressively more challenging dressage tests. Finally, Dressage tests specify what the horse and rider are expected to accomplish from an introductory level, through the first and second training levels and onward.

Western Riding and Western Dressage

Western Riding involves steering with your saddle position, hips, and light reining on a horse’s neck (neck reining). English style involves more close contact between the reins and a horse’s mouth. During a Western Riding class you will learn and execute techniques needed for your specific interest. Basic skills are taught to prepare a rider to participate in trail or cross county western riding patterns. Emphasis will be taught on balanced seat. When the student can handle the horse at the walk, jog, and lope, the instructor will take you on a trail ride for instruction on safely handling unexpected events. Riders wishing to learn cutting, reining and team penning will need to further their turning skills with their seat and legs.

The United States Equestrian Federation recognized the Western Dressage Association of America (WDAA) as the sole affiliate representing the discipline of Western Dressage. Now, we have the natural journey west where English meets Western and Classical Dressage meets the spirit of the horse. The WDAA discipline formed the guidelines taught at Lantern Lane Farm. Debbie’s education in Classical Dressage transition her to the ideal partnership of light hands, subtle cues, and an appreciation for the ultimate benefit creating a true connection between horse and rider.

Western Riding and Western Dressage in Farfax Va


Riders wishing to learn Hunt–Seat will start riding over poles and cavaletti as soon as they are able to keep their balance in two point position. Then go back to rising trot without losing their balance or the rhythm of the trot. Next, the rider will be able to balance themselves in the canter. A course of riding trot and canter poles will be followed by learning to ride over cross rails and then to small verticals. Once the student has learned to ride the individual fences, the instructor will put them together and teach them how to ride the jumping course. Hunt-Seat riding challenges a horse and rider to complete a course of 8 or more jumps in a ring. Jumping courses will increase in difficulty as the students skills improve. Students wishing to show A circuit hunters will be referred to an appropriate show instructor.

Western Pleasure

We teach Western Pleasure horse riding in accordance with both the American Quarter Horse Association and the American Paint Horse Association. In addition, we included in our instructions guidance from the National Snaffle Bit Association. This organization also promotes Western pleasure and hunter under saddle horses. At LLF, we start with the three gaits forward motions by executing the walk, trot, and lope in the correct leads. You will train in safety using our round pen, rail or inside portion of the arena. Once a horse can perform all three of these gaits correctly, then the rider can start to go in depth and train specifically for the event that the horse will perform. The goal of your training will be to maintain control of the horse on a loose rein, with low head carriage, and directing the horse with nearly invisible aids and minimal interference.

Horseback Trail Ride at Manassas Battlefield Park
Northern Virginia Natural Horsemanship Ground Work Training

Natural Horsemanship

We teach natural horsemanship principals in all of our programs. Our objective is to give riders the skills to build trust and understanding with their equine partners. We give detailed instruction on how to use the exercises and tools offered by the Natural Horsemanship Training programs.  Debbie studied the Cowboy gurus, Clinton Anderson, Dennis Reis, Pat Parelli and Julie Goodnight (Cowgirl) and is ready to apply the best of their practices..  All of our  horses are trained and schooled in natural horsemanship techniques.  Essentially these techniques teach the horse to move away from pressure while the rider is on the ground and in ways the rider will eventually ask the horse to perform while being ridden.

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