In addition to our main business of buying and selling horses, we have a very strong lesson program at the farm. Thanks to our constant turnover of horses, we have the opportunity to choose top-notch lesson horses.
We accept riders of all ages, starting at age six. Beginning riders, or those new to the farm, begin in private lessons. Once they are at an appropriate level, and if there is a group at a convenient time, riders may join group lessons. Three to six riders comprise a group lesson.
During the warmer weather, we can also use any of our three outdoor rings, which allows us to accomodate more than one group lesson at a time.
In 2009, our lesson program expanded to include more western lessons as well as a more intense focus for hunt seat riders looking to compete in a fun and affordable manner. Between our many events held at the farm as well as options for riders looking to travel, Heritage Farm riders have no limits on their opportunities to ride!
- ½ hour private: $45
- ½ hour semi-private: $40 per person
- 1 hour group: $35 per lesson, when paid ahead for the month. We expect all riders to PAY AHEAD for their group lesson at the beginning of each month. Should riders continue to pay individually for the group lesson, lessons are $40 each. Riders are expected to give us as much notice as possible when canceling a lesson. Make up lessons are always available. Make ups must be done within the month, or the payment will be lost. We will not necessarily grant make-ups for last minute cancellations. If we cancel or postpone lessons for any reason (weather, sickness) we credit the missed lesson towards the next month.
10% Family Discount: Off the total pre-paid monthly lesson bill for families with more than one rider.
10% Frequent Rider: Off the total pre-paid monthly bill for those riders that participate in more than one lesson a week. The best way to ride well is to ride often. We would like to encourage as many riders as possible to increase their lesson attendance by offering this discount. Please, it must be a consistent time each week, not as a “drop in”.
Each of our instructors has a slightly different background, which broadens the scope of our lessons. However, the one common factor is that each has ridden innumerable horses of every size, shape, discipline and experience throughout their life. They can use these experiences in their teaching as they help riders ride the best way possible to meet their goals. As any seasoned horse person will advise, the best way to ride well is to ride often.
Diane Raucher Miller
Diane has grown up on the farm and oversees the lesson schedule as well much of the office work. She is equally comfortable in English or Western tack. As a young rider she showed hunt seat through high school then got the western bug as team penning hit New England. Diane is a thorough and safety-conscience instructor that can easily adapt from teaching young children up to adults. Her basic philosophy is that the basics can’t be rushed. She ensures that each rider develops a solid leg, good seat and soft hands which will allow them to ride any discipline well as they progress. In addition to her many skills at the barn, Diane is also a MA Elementary School Teacher with several years’ experience as a substitute teacher behind her.
As mommy to Riley, born Dec ’06 and Erin, born Feb ’09, she stays very busy but hopes to get back into riding shape as her kids grow up around the farm.
David has, of course, ridden since a small child. His junior years saw many accomplishments as a hunt seat rider and polo player. During the 90’s, his interest shifted to western sports, as he tried his hand at everything from cutting to team penning. Recognizing the value of a truly versatile ranch horse, such as the ones we buy and sell here at Heritage Farm, David helped introduce the New England Stock Show Series to the area. As a personal goal, he and his Quarter Horse Fanny (Colonel’s Little Gal) competed in the 2008 Equine Affaire’s Versatile Horse and Rider Contest, proudly earning 3rd place.
Although an excellent instructor, David has shied away from giving lessons for many years. With the growth of the cattle and western sports, David has gotten back into the swing of coaching riders, these days mainly in western tack. Many novice riders have benefitted from David’s advice during numerous cattle clinics or stock show events.
Beginning in 2008 Heritage Farm became the host stable for the Mt Holyoke College Western Team, which has further cemented David back into the “Instructor” line of work. The MHC riders come from a varied background; some have ridden extensively but only hunt seat or dressage, others are relieved to find their western interests are now being met here in the east.
Anne (Carey) Porter
An Easthampton native and certified “Heritage Farm Barn Kid” Anne is all but a member of the Raucher family. She has ridden with us since age 10 and has spent time learning from each of the Raucher family, in addition to many clinics throughout the years.
These days, Anne’s western interests and goals had driven her to compete regularly in the Stock Show Series with her horse Gus Gus before she sold him to start a family. Anne and her husband Josh welcomed their son Sean Joshua Porter to the world on March 8, 2013. She is the coach for our Western IEA team, teaching riders in middle and upper school prepare for the experience of showing on an unknown horse. When not at the barn Anne is teaching 2nd grade at a public school in Springfield.
Originally from Williamstown MA, Alli grew up riding and training with Lisa DeMayo of Bonnie Lea Farm, where she learned a solid foundation in hunt seat riding by riding a wide variety of horses and competing at every level of horse shows in hunter, equitation and jumpers divisions. Her college years at Centenary College furthered her education in horsemanship, riding, showing and teaching, especially by riding with many different instructors and clinicians and through her experience on the IHSA team. Alli graduated in 2004 with a BS in Equine Studies with a concentration in teaching and training.
Alli’s been an instructor at Heritage Farm since 2005. She brings to her lessons a sense of structure, a value of the basics of equitation and the importance of hard work, fitness and effort when working with horses of every breed, age and level of training. Alli is the coach for both our hunt seat IEA team as well as the Springfield College IHSA team.
During the school year Alli is a 1 on 1 aide at Hatfield Elementary School.
We are pleased to have Jay Quinlan as a resource for our western lessons. A life-long horseman, Jay grew up with 4H and spent many years Reining competitively on the NERHA circuit. Jay uses his innate understanding of horses to help people train themselves and their horses to be soft, obediant and well broke to all aids. He has a wonderful laid back manner that immediately puts riders and horses at ease while never losing sight of the highest standard of control that we expect from our horses. Jay has worked side by side with David in forming the New England Stock Horse Series and has also been working with the Mt Holyoke Western riders to prepare them for their shows.
Summer Program13 Click here to print out the flier for Summer 2013.
Each summer young riders have the opportunity to build on their weekly lessons by taking part in our summer riding program. The Summer Program is an excellent time for young riders to learn more about the work involved in caring for horses and their equipment, but we also manage to fit quite a bit of fun, arts & crafts and laughter into the day!