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From Our Editors
Fronted by head trainer and grand prix rider Erika Heintschel Githens, River Hollow Farm's experienced trainers teach riders age five years and older to groom and guide horses in the traditional English style. Each 45- to 60-minute lesson begins as riders learn the basics of tacking their four-legged transporters, dressing them in bridles, saddles, and halters, and using basic grooming techniques such as brushing their coats and flossing their teeth. Once dressed, students then learn to control their domesticated mustangs and ponies while settled in a shallow English?style saddle??a shallow, un-horned style that allows equestrians more movement when jumping hurdles. Because the style demands more contact between horse and rider, English riding promotes a deeper student-steed bond as they sync their bodily movements and giggle about their communal crush on Lyle Lovett. Jockeys-in-training are advised to don long pants and riding boots or hard-soled shoes with at least a 1-inch heel.