Riding into Winter

Riding Level 4 Overview

Now that I’ve covered all the Level 4 Horsemanship material for the Red Spur rank, I’ll be moving on to  Riding Level 4.  To give you an overview, here’s your checklist:

Moment of suspension. The outside fore will hit the ground next.

  1. Turn Out. Horse & Rider. AD shirt, boots, breeches, helmet, gloves.
  2. Mount – Dismount. Adjust stirrups, mounted.
  3. Position & Balance. Walk, trot, canter.  Trot, no stirrups.
  4. All paces, feel of rhythm.  Independent work.
  5. Effectiveness and use of Aids. Transitions.  Halt. Salute.
  6. Turns, circles. Trot, canter.  Knowledge of canter leads.  Leg yield at trot.*
  7. Ability forward movement. Free walk.  Walk, trot on loose rein.
  8. Single hand reining. Control & confidence at all paces. Turns, halts.*
  9. Vaulting. Drop reins & regain at all paces.*
  10. Mounted Games. Spear 3 rings or cut 3 blocks in one pass with sword or crop.*
  11. Gymnastics. Use of half seat. Poles & small fences. Position & planning.  18” max.
  12. Jump a small x-rail with single hand-reining.*
  13. Stadium Course 3-4 fences. Verticals, spreads, combinations.  2’ maximum.
  14. Team Riding. Hand-off on lists or in circles, walk & trot.*
  15. Simple pairs pattern, walk & trot, with circles & turns in line and parallel.*

X-C waterOver the next few months of the blog, I’ll decipher this rather shorthand list and explain exactly what your examiners are looking for at this level.  However, the most important thing to concentrate on while you move from Level 3 to Level 4, is simply getting more time in the saddle.  To make this transition within a year or so you should be aiming to ride at least twice a week, preferably once in a lesson and a second time on your own as practice ride.

Fortunately, we have a number of different ways for you to increase your saddle time this winter!


Riding Opportunities this Winter … and Beyond

In addition to the upcoming classes listed below, we have two specials available till the end of the month that will help you get more time in the saddle.

Lease for two, get one free

Frabby pawLeasing is a great way to get regular riding time.  However, we recognize that in the winter months it’s sometimes hard to leave the sofa for the barn.  So we’re offering an incentive:  pay in advance for two months and get one free.

Leases are $135/month for one lease day per week, or $215/month for two days per week.  You will need Riding & Horsemanship Level 1 or an assessment to be eligible to lease.  Contact jennifer(at)academieduello.com to find out the availability of our school horses.

This offer is only good for the months of November through January, and lease times are limited so be sure to contact Jen in the next week or so to take advantage of the deal.

Mounted Combat Program Membership

Tracey rings

Those of you on our mailing list should have received an email with information on our new Mounted Combat Program Membership.  This yearly membership fee will offer a number of benefits, including two free practice rides per month (a $70 value), discounts on courses within the program and on private riding lessons, and free mounted combat practice sessions.  If you’re serious about improving your riding or mounted combat this membership will be extremely valuable to you.

BrittWe are offering two free months to members who sign up for 2017 before the end of October.  If you’d like more details please email jennifer(at)academieduello.com.  The offer will be available by the end of the week, and gone by the end of the month, so act fast!

Upcoming Classes

Beginner Riding & Horsemanship

If you’ve never been on a horse, or if it’s been a long time, here’s the place to start.  When you arrive at the barn at 10am you’ll begin with a horsemanship lesson, familiarizing yourself with the horses and their tack, as well as how to groom, handle and tack them up.  Then you will have a riding lesson, working through the requirements of Riding Level 1 — the prerequisite to most of the fun stuff we do on horseback!

Sundays 10am – noon
6 November – 11 December 2016
cost: $300 + gst for 6 classes
instructor: Stephanie Laversin

Riding & Horsemanship Level 2

A quiet, upright seat will help your horse balance through turns

This course is intended for riders who have taken classes through the program and are comfortable tacking up their own horses.  Riders should arrive at 9:30am to tack up and warm up their horses before starting their riding lessons at 10am, followed by Horsemanship Level 2 or 3 lessons at 11am

Sundays 10am – noon
6 November – 11 December 2016
cost: $300 + gst for 6 classes
instructor: Stephanie Laversin

Horsemanship Level 3-4stall

If you have your Level 2 Horsemanship and wish to delve deeper into horse care including topics such as trailering, vet & first aid, bandaging, foot & shoeing and conditioning this class is for you.

Sundays 10:30am – 11:30am
6 November – 11 December 2016
cost: $130 + gst for 6 classes
instructor: Kate Landels

Riding Level 3+sitting trot stirrupless

This class is intended for independent riders who have achieved Level 2 or higher.  Riders are expected to be tacked up and warmed up prior to class.  Your own helmets, boots, and half chaps are recommended, as are safety vests for the occasional cross-country class, weather permitting.

Sundays noon – 1pm
6 November – 11 December 2016
cost: $200 + gst for 6 classes
instructor: Stephanie Laversin

Intro to Mounted Combat

Duello_Mounted-Combat_Chena_2981Experience your dreams of being a knight as you take the first step in Academie Duello’s mounted combat program.  This unique workshop brings together swordplay, riding, and horsemanship into an exciting session geared toward beginners.

Beginning riders are provided one on one attention during the riding portion.  Those with previous experience will have the opportunity to ride independently and practise more advanced drills.  This course is an ideal way to introduce yourself to both equestrian and swordplay skills and get started on a deep and exciting track of learning.  Upon completion of the workshop, you will qualify to join us for further in-depth classes in Riding, Horsemanship, and Swordplay.

Sunday 13 November, 1-4pm
cost: $149 + gst
instructors: Devon Boorman & Jennifer Landels

You can sign up for these classes online, at the front desk, or by phone: 604 568 9907.




Jennifer Landels Jennifer Landels heads up Academie Duello's Cavaliere Program. She has been swordfighting since 2008, and riding since before she could walk. She started the program as an excuse to combine those passions.
Read more from Jennifer Landels.