No, we only offer group lessons as part of our 12-week long sessions. We do not offer trail rides.
Do you offer individual lessons or trail rides?
We limit our group lessons to four students at a time.
How big are your group lessons?
At this time, Spark Equestrian Academy only offers English-style lessons. The two English disciplines we specialize in are hunters/jumpers and dressage.
Do you teach English or Western riding?
A horse can carry about 20% of its own body weight, provided the rider is well balanced and experienced. We limit our beginner riders to 210 lbs to maintain the health of our school horses.
How much weight can a horse carry?
Spark Equestrian Academy differs from other lesson programs in three main ways:
We have clear levels and a written curriculum with specific goals and outcomes that our instructors follow so you know what your student is supposed to be learning, and you can see how they are advancing.
Most programs sell individual lessons, whereas we only sell our lessons as part of a 12-week session. We do this so that students are able to learn horse handling and riding skills in a consistent and productive environment.
Nearly half of our 85-minute “beginner” riding lessons are dedicated to learning horsemanship skills on the ground so that students get a well-rounded education and are able to safely handle and care for horses in addition to riding.
How does Spark Equestrian Academy differ from other riding programs?
For the beginner classes—Introductory, Rookie & Novice—english riding short boots and a properly-fitting ASTM certified riding helmet are required. A properly fitting helmet will be snug enough to stay on the head while the rider is bending over, without being buckled, and stay on. Riding breeches are encouraged, but not required. Many beginner riders feel comfortable riding in full-seat riding breeches due to the increased amount of grip they provide.
Adult classes require the same attire as beginner classes.
For the experienced classes, breeches and a properly-fitting ASTM certified riding helmet are required. For required footwear, riders can either choose to ride in english riding short boots and half-chaps, or they can ride in tall boots appropriate for which sport they specialize in.
What attire is necessary?
Before registering for any level other than Introductory I, students need to complete certain prerequisites. If you are not currently a student at Spark Equestrian Academy and you would like to sign up for a level higher than Introductory I, please sign up for an assessment. (If no assessments are available at your location, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.)
If you are currently a Spark student and you can’t sign up for the level your instructor has recommended you for, please reach out to your instructor about making sure the appropriate prerequisites have been reached and recorded in your skill tree.
Why am I not able to register for classes?
Most of our riders enter our program at the Introductory Riding level, even if they have taken a few lessons before. If you would like to sign up for a more advanced level, please sign up for an assessment (see FAQ titled “How do I sign up for horseback riding lessons, camps or assessments?” if you have questions on how to sign up.) If no assessments are available, please email email@example.com. Assessments are $45 and run about 30 minutes long, including tacking up. Please note that assessments are not lessons.
How do I know what level to sign up for?
If you can not make it to a lesson, you must request an absence in our iClass Pro system by 8AM the morning of your lesson, at the latest. You can do this from your iClassPro Student Portal. (Please note that for our purposes, it does not matter if the absence is marked “excused” or “unexcused”, so there is no need to worry if you see an “unexcused” absence in your student portal.)
Students are allowed ONE make-up lesson, regardless of how many lessons they may have missed during their session.
Make-up lessons will be held during our designated make-up week, which occurs following the last week of the session. (For example, in a regular 12-week session, the make-up week would be week #13.) You can plan on attending your make-up lesson during your regular time and day of the week, unless a different time during the make-up week is agreed upon by you and your riding instructors.
Please note that we are not able to offer additional make-ups/in-session make-ups is due to the amount of horses/number of times per week we can fairly use each horse. Please do not request additional makeup times outside of the designated make-up week.
What if I can not make it to a lesson? How do makeups work?
Summary: Clicking on your location's Student Portal button on our website will take you to our iClass Pro online registration system, where you can follow the prompts to create an account and search for classes.
Detailed Instructions: After entering our iClass Pro registration site, students will need to create an account. Once the account is created, you can either click on “Enroll in a Class” from the iClass Pro homepage, or from the “Booking” tab at the top. iClass Pro will then take you through a series of prompts that will ultimately show you the classes available to you, on the page titled “Classes”. If you are unsure which class to pick, please see the FAQ titled “How do I know what level to sign up for?”
When you click “Add to Cart,” your spot in the class will be reserved for 15 minutes while you enter your payment information or sign up another person in another class. Please note that a current credit card is required to be on file to sign up for and maintain enrollment in classes. Clicking “Complete Transaction” will confirm your enrollment in the class. Your card on file will be charged right away, unless you have attempted to sign up for a class which requires instructor authorization (this can happen if you sign up for the wrong age group). In this case, your card will be charged when the instructor approves your request.
How do I sign up for horseback riding lessons, camps or assessments?
Riders are allowed to cancel with a refund up to one week before their course starts. (Refunds are subject to a $30 credit card processing fee.) Spark Equestrian determines how many lesson horses we need to keep on hand for each course based off our enrollments. We maintain a strict enrollment/attendance policy so we make sure we have the correct number of horses, and can afford to provide excellent care for our lesson horses.
Can I cancel after I register and get a refund?
We rarely, if ever, cancel lessons due to weather. All Spark facilities have indoor riding arenas and our facilities that offer lessons in the winter are heated.
In the off-chance that lessons do need to be cancelled, your instructor will reach out to you directly via the phone number and/or email address you have provided in your student portal.
Will lessons be cancelled due to inclement weather?
Most of our emails to current students are sent via MailChimp and iClass Pro. Oftentimes, these emails get flagged as spam, especially if the email you have in our system is a work/corporate email.
You should be getting automatic enrollment confirmations from our iClass Pro system, as well as notifications from us via MailChimp regarding instructor updates to the student portal/next session recommendations/etc. If you are not getting either of these types of emails, please check your spam folder and make sure to “un-spam” both types of emails.
Why am I not getting any emails from Spark Equestrian Academy?
Students are able to purchase boots, helmets and/or breeches from a local tack shop or online. Employees at the tack shops should be able to help you find appropriate gear, simply explain to them that you or your child is beginning riding and needs an English short boot and helmet. If you are buying online or are not able to be fitted for a properly fitting helmet in the store, please make sure the helmet you get is ASTM certified for horse riding, AND that it has an adjustable dial in the back to ensure correct fit.
Local Tack Shops:
St. Croix Saddlery (East Metro)
5525 141st St N
Hugo, MN 55038
(651) 426 – 0831
Dover Saddlery (West Metro)
306 Clydesdale Trl
Medina, MN 55340