General Questions:

 Who owns Reins of Rhythm?

Reins of Rhythm is a non-profit organization that was founded by Patience Groomes.  It is a public organization, not specifically owned by an individual.

 Who owns all the horses on the farm?

Reins of Rhythm has 8 lesson horses, all of which are leased from their owners to the program specifically for use in the program. The other beautiful horses you see around the farm belong to the farm owners, Dr. Trent and Dr. Amy.

 Who owns the property?

Reins of Rhythm leases use of the barn, arena, and office space as well as pastures for our program horses from the property owners, Dr. Amy and Dr. Trent.

Lesson Information:

 How do I schedule lessons?

Please email us at info@reinsofrhythm.org  for information on lesson availability as well as the registration process. You can also contact us through our Facebook page.

How do I pay for lessons?

If paying weekly, then full payment is due the day of your riding lesson. If you are enrolled in the advanced payment savings plan, then payment for 8 weeks is due on or before the first lesson. Payment is accepted in the form of cash or check or by PayPal. We are currently in the process of setting up online invoices through our website. More information about this will be provided to you upon enrollment in our program.

 What is the cancellation policy for lessons?

All lessons need to be cancelled 24 hours in advance or you will be responsible for the full price of your riding lesson.

Do you offer make-up lessons if I cancel a lesson?

Considerable time goes into planning lessons with instructors and reserving horses for riders, therefore it is the responsibility of the rider to come to lessons and be on time. If you cannot make it to a lesson, please give advance notice. If we can fit in a make up lesson we will but make ups are not guaranteed.

What happens if my child is sick, or unable to make  and I need to cancel their lesson within 24 hours of the lesson time?

If you are unable to attend a scheduled lesson, please make every effort to notify Reins of Rhythm 24 hours in advance by contacting Beth Merlo.  Sufficient notice is needed so that we can communicate with staff and volunteers.  If a last-minute cancellation is made due to illness or emergency we cannot guarantee a make-up lesson will be available, and therefor you will be charged for the missed lesson.

 What happens if my instructor needs to cancel a lesson?

If an instructor needs to cancel a lesson, a make-up lesson will be re-scheduled or the lesson will not be charged for and will still be available as a paid lesson.

What happens to lessons in inclement weather?

Every effort will be made to hold scheduled lessons. In the event of inclement weather, lessons will continue as planned and students will be instructed in the indoor classroom if the indoor arena is too cold.  Lessons will only be canceled in extreme weather cases when Reins of Rhythm deems that it is not safe to hold a lesson on the farm.

What happens if we take a break from lessons?

Due to the fact that Reins of Rhythm relies on lesson payments to pay for the costs of running the program, we cannot hold a spot. If we are given a minimum of 30 days notice, and the exact dates of when the break will be, we will do our best to find someone from the wait list willing to take a temporary spot but we cannot guarantee that will be possible. A rider taking a break will be put back on the wait list.

What are the benefits of riding and working with horses?

While riding a horse, students are given the opportunity to feel freedom and power through movement. As the horse walks, the movement is transferred to the rider, providing a combination of sensory, motor, and neurological stimulation. This translates to stronger muscles, better balance and coordination, and improved gait. Just as important as the physical benefits, greater self-confidence and self-esteem can be achieved through the freedom of movement. Working with horses also teaches respect, responsibility, patience, and perseverance.

How often do participants have lessons? Most students ride once a week, in groups of two or three, for either 30 or 60 minutes. Lessons are conducted year round as we have an insulated indoor arena.

 What forms are required for my child to ride?

Due to insurance, all riders must have a complete set of forms; these can be found under our “Forms” tab on this website. A physical form completed by a physician must also be submitted, stating there are no contraindications for this participant.

 My child does not have a disability. Do I need to fill out all of the rider forms for them to be able to sign up and ride?

Yes. All riders need to have a completed set of paperwork to be able to ride. This includes the Doctor’s Form as of 2017, filled out and signed by the participant’s doctor.

Why will my able bodied child need a physical and signed doctor’s form to participate as of 2017?

Reins of Rhythm is working towards being an accredited center through the Council for Education and Certification in Therapeutic Horsemanship (CECTH). We are implementing changes slowly each year to work towards this goal and the requirements we will need.

Riding Equipment:

 Do we need to buy our child their own helmet?

We have helmets that the participants may borrow during their lesson. We do recommend purchasing a riding ASTM/SEI certified helmet if your child is interested in riding long term.

Can our child bring their bike helmet?

Bike helmets are not approved for horseback riding.  Equestrian ASTM/SEI certified riding helmets are required to ride at Reins of Rhythm.

 What riding gear is necessary?

Riding boots are not necessary, but we do recommend boots with at least a half inch heel and some ankle support. We use only safety stirrups, so sneakers are ok, but if your rider continues riding, purchasing boots with a heel is recommended.

Is there anything else our child needs to wear for their riding lesson?

Please come in jeans, leggings, or riding pants. Please come dressed appropriately for the weather. Please remember that although we have an insulated, indoor arena that it is not heated or air conditioned so dress accordingly for cold or warm temperatures.

 What should my child not wear around the horses?

We recommend not wearing shorts to prevent chafing on legs during riding.  Do not wear loose or baggy clothing for safety reasons. Additionally, do not wear dangly jewelry, hair barrettes, hard head bands, or other hair accessories that could prevent proper helmet fit.

Interacting with the horses:

Can we feed the horses treats?

Some of our horses have diet restrictions, or may not be careful/gentle about taking treats. Please do not feed treats without specific permission from the instructor.

Volunteer Questions:

 Do volunteers get to ride the horses?

Generally our volunteers do not ride the lesson horses. When schooling and training is necessary, only volunteers who are experienced are approved to ride the horses as needed to maintain and improve their training.  In order to be approved for schooling the horses we do require volunteers to pass a riding and horse handling evaluation. The lesson horses work hard and while some schooling is needed to maintain or continue their training, especially in the case of our young lesson horses, this is something that needs to be done by skilled trainers and in a consistent manner with our program needs.

How old do volunteers need to be?

Volunteers must be at least 14 years to be trained as a volunteer with the horses and lessons.  Participants in the program younger than 14 are welcome to volunteer in other areas as we find jobs appropriate for them and under immediate supervision.

Do volunteers need prior horse experience?

There are many jobs needing to be done that do not require any horse experience. Volunteers will be evaluated on areas that they are skilled in and asked to help out in the areas where their help will be most useful to accomplishing the program’s mission.


Reins of Rhythm is a non profit program and is volunteer run; why is so much funding necessary to keep the program running? How is the payment for services from Reins of Rhythm used?

Horses are very expensive to maintain, as is running the program in general. Our cost breakdown is provided below:

  • Facility Lease
  • Maintenance Costs (horses are destructive)
  • Horse Feed (The lesson horses use 100-200 pounds of grain each week depending on the time of year)
  • Supplements (Supplements are between $30-$60 per horse a month, these include senior supplements, joint supplements, hoof supplements, probiotic supplements, etc. depending on each individual horse’s health needs)
  • Veterinary Care
  • Farrier Care (horses need their hooves trimmed/ re-shod every 6 weeks)
  • Riding Equipment
  • Horse blankets, halters, lead ropes, protective boots, etc.
  • Program Insurance
  • Contracted Services
  • Event Expenses


Riding & Horsemanship