Call Us: (902) 847-1278 Aylesford Nova Scotia

Frequently Asked Questions & Things to Consider

There are many things to consider when choosing a riding program. Here are some of our most frequently asked questions and other things to consider.

 If you do not see an answer to your question below, please feel free to contact us!

Rohan Wood's FAQs

RWS provides certified riding helmets for all riders. However you can bring your own provided that it is ASTM or SEI approved and has been manufactured within the last 5 years. Helmets must not have been in a previous riding accident and we highly recommend that you DO NOT buy used helmets for this reason.

If you have been riding with us for more than a year, we strongly encourage you to purchase your own helmet. All riders at RWS are required to wear a helmet when mounted.

* helmet
* closed toe shoe with a heel (1/2 inch)
* sneakers (for Rookie Rider program)
* stretchy pants (jeans or pants with a raised inseam will rub)
* gloves are optional

Things to avoid

* loose fitted clothing
* long dangly jewlery
* scarves
* plastic ponchos

RWS provides all the necessary tack including the saddle and bridle for the  horse or pony you will be riding. However, many of our students like to purchase their own grooming brushes or saddle pads which are perfectly fine to use on your school horse.

Riding lesson formats vary based on programming. Initial lessons typically focus upon your coach assessing your riding level and helping to determine your program goals. All of our initial lessons focus on safe handling techniques and best practices when working around horses.

When you schedule your first lesson, our Program Coordinator will provide you with your lesson time, your coach’s name and what to expect the first day depending on enrolled program.

Unfortunately we are not able to offer birthday parties due to the fact that we cannot get insurance coverage for these events at this time. However we can offer a group riding lesson to a private group.

Please contact us if you wish to speak to someone about booking a group lesson.

No. We cannot get insurance for trail rides and do not have access to trail systems as this time.

Owning a horse is a big investment and a decision that should not be made lightly. If you are interested in purchasing a horse or pony, we highly recommend joining Pony Club for a year as well as leasing a horse first, before committing to purchasing. Our knowledgeable coaches and instructors are more than happy to help you find a suitable horse should you decide to buy a horse. They are willing to go with you to assess a horse for suitability and evaluate the horse’s previous training.

Parents and friends are more than welcome to watch riding lessons. However we ask that they watch from the designated areas and limit their “coming & going” from the ring once the lesson has started.

Yes. RWS is a fully inclusive facility and has a barrier free (wheelchair accessible) public washroom located next to the FSTRA office which is  just up the ramp through the white door. This bathroom is available 24/7 to anyone on site.

Riding lessons are for everyone regardless of your age or experience level. Our certified instructors and coaches have the training necessary to tailor lesson plans to meet your needs, learning styles and abilities. 

Of course! Everyone has their own riding goals and progresses at their own rate. Riding lessons give you the knowledge and skills needed to be a safe and effective rider no matter what your goal may be. There are lots of non-competitive opportunities through our Rider Level program and Pony Club that may interest non-competitive riders.

Riders must be a minimum of 3 years of age. However please refer to Our Programs page to see age restrictions on various programs.

If you are unsure, please contact us.

Dependent on Instructor and horse availability, RWS does offer the occasional “one-of” lesson. Please contact us to see availability.

Yes. Please contact us as we can customize gift certificates depending on our different programs and your preferred price point. 

Depending on the horse and availability, RWS offers half-leasing options on certain school horses. This usually comes at a cost of $150-$200 a month depending on the horse. Please talk to your coach or instructor if this is something you might be interested in. In order to lease, you need to be 12+ years of age and currently enrolled in an RWS program.

Unfortunately dogs are not allowed at the farm, even if your dog stays on a leash.  The only dogs that are allowed on the premise are registered service animals or dogs that belong to the farm & staff.

Things to Consider

Why choose a certified coach

The National Coaching Certification Program (NCCP) is a government initiated program designed to give the public safe, qualified instructors at every level of sport. 

With thousands of Canadian children and adults directly involved in riding lessons yearly, the stables, instructors and coaches that service these riders have a duty to provide safe, qualified and professional service.

What does it mean to be a certified coach or instructor

Certification as an instructor or coach demonstrates that the individual is professional and accountable, adhering to established standard of ethics and the Equestrian Canada Code of Conduct. You also have the reassurance that they are skilled in First Aid and safety procedures. 

A certified instructor or coach also demonstrates equestrian knowledge and technical competency, as well as commitment to not only complete the rigorous testing process but to continue to maintain skills through ongoing training and education.

What are the different levels of certification

Instructor: This program is focused on those who wish to take on the instruction of children, youth and adults learning to ride, establishing foundational riding skills with an eye on safety

Competition Coach: This program is focused on those who are interested in coaching riders in the competitive environment. More advanced skills in the development of a competitive training program, performance analysis and mental preparation for competition are required in order to be certified at this level.

Competition Coach Specialist: This program is a further progression of the Competition Coach program, focused don riders competing at provincial and national levels. Beyond the Competition Coach level, this level requires a working knowledge of Equestrian Canada competition rules for the level and discipline they are teaching. 

High Performance Coach: This program is administered by Equestrian Canada. These coaches specialize in developing athletes through refining basic sport skills, developing more advanced skills and tactics and preparing for performance in the national and international ring.

Tips on Choosing a Riding Facility

The area where the horses are being handled before and after lessons should be clear of hoses, buckets and other tripping hazards.
Riders should be supervised by a qualified person while handling the horses, including grooming, tacking up, mounting and dismounting.

All riding lessons should take place in an enclosed area with doors or gates closed during riding. It is recommended that group lessons not exceed 6 riders at any given time to ensure the safety of the group.

Find out if instructors or coaches have experience teaching and/or if they are certified and active by searching the database available on the Nova Scotia Equestrian Federation website: 

It is normal to find a range of breeds and sizes of horses and ponies used within a lesson school program. The primary talents of a good beginner school horse are, a good & quiet temperament and a forgiving personality. All lesson horses at RWS go through rigorous training and desensitization procedures before becoming lesson horses. With this being said, horses are still animals and therefore there is always an inherent risk when riding despite our best efforts to ensure safety. 

There is a broad range of teaching styles among coaches and instructors. A good coach or instructor will recognize the needs of their students and make adjustments to help them learn and be successful. You should discuss your expectations with your prospective coach and watch a lesson to see if their teaching style will be a good fit for you. 

Here are RWS we believe in the inherent worth and dignity of all our riders and strive to treat all individuals with respect and kindness. Therefore, our lessons portray patience, empathy and many opportunities to be successful in a positive, safe, learning environment. Should you have any concerns about how you or your child was treated, we appreciate all feedback in order to continue to meet the needs of our greater community and families.

What's the best path for you at RWS