Horseback Riding Lessons


Lantern Lane Farm provides horseback riding lessons for all ages and abilities, from beginners, to recreational riders, to those who want to fine tune their skills for serious showing.  The philosophy of the farm is to teach people to learn to ride in the safest possible manner, to know how what they do helps or hinders the horse, and to have fun in the process. We specialize in the development of horseback riding skills at all levels..

Debbie Training by Lunging














Our certified riding instructors will help you develop your horseback riding skills, knowledge, ability, and confidence in many different areas:

•    Dressage

•    Balance Seat

•    Jumping

•    Cross Country Riding - English or Western

•    Western Riding

We have riding lesson programs for adults, teens, and children.  If parents wish to take lessons with their children, we can create a semi-private or group lesson just for the family, otherwise, children and adults are taught in separate classes. At the end of your ride, you can enjoy the picnic facilities available at the farm.


Horseback riding is a great form of exercise which has both cardiovascular and muscle conditioning benefits. An hour’s activity can burn similar calories to that of a 30-minute jog or cycle ride. All the health benefits associated with engaging in regular cardiovascular exercise are gained. Horseback riding is recognized as having excellent therapeutic qualities. Simply being out and enjoying the great outdoors will boost your general well being and act as a great stress buster. Learn to control and care for an animal much larger than you can have a profound effect on your confidence and strength. Consider riding for health to be a new activity for you and your family.

Call or e-mail Lantern Lane Farm

Cell: 540-270-0117 Business: 703-887-2027

e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Please scroll below for more information on the type of riding you would like to do.  Then call or email us for more information or sign up for a trial lesson.  The pricing for the lessons is at the bottom of the page and on the Rate Sheet.


Purpose:  New Riders must learn how to mount the horse, go forward, stop, turn left and right, as well as balance their bodies in the trot.  This becomes the foundation of the lessons for beginners or those needing some help in these skills.  These riders will start on a lunge line, where the instructor uses a long line attached to the horse to help in the initial control and give the new rider more security.  Each lesson will have some portion of time off of the lunge line learning how to steer the horse as well.

Approach:  Age old arena exercises are used to teach beginner riders how to maneuver the horse through out the arena. These exercises are handed down from the European cavalries as a way of teaching men how to ride in big groups.  They work just as well today to teach people how to safely develop riding skills and negotiate other riders and horses in the arena.

When riders have conquered the basic skills of Balance seat riding, they can move into other disciplines of riding such as dressage, jumping, cross country riding (riding out in our beautiful Virginia countryside), fox hunting, and western sports as well.  Students may choose to ride for their own pleasure or may want to learn the competition skills for certain disciplines.


Purpose:  Dressage lessons teach the rider how to balance and supple the horse to make the horse more rideable and the ride more enjoyable. 

Approach:  Dressage lessons are matched, first, to the rider’s ability, and as the rider improves, to the varying abilities of the horses.  Riders learn to meet expectations of the horse and rider’s performance as set forth in a series of progressively more challenging dressage tests.  Dressage tests specify what the horse and rider are expected to be able to do, from an introductory level, through training level, first level, 2nd level and onward.

Available Activities:  Riders may use their dressage skills as the foundation to learn jumping skills, as part of the sport known as eventing or, to improve their own horses.  They may also want to challenge themselves and see what other experts in the field of Dressage think about their riding skills by participating in area Dressage Shows.  Competition is a fun weekend activity that gives riders goals and helps riders to achieve them. Dressage students may participate in Eventing Shows and Combined Tests which combines jumping and dressage skills.

We support showing as an option and not a requirement.  Riders who do show, generally at schooling shows with little pressure, often find new ways to view their skills.  This can propel their capabilities forward.  We are prepared to take more skilled dressage riders to the rated shows available in the area.


Riders wishing to learn to jump will start riding over poles and cavaletti as soon as they are able to keep their balance in two point position and go back to rising trot without losing their balance or the rhythm of the trot; and as soon as they can balance themselves in the canter. A course of riding trot and canter poles will be followed by learning to ride over cross rails and then to small verticals. Once the student has learned to ride the individual fences, the instructor will put them together and teach them how to ride the jumping course. Jumping courses will increase in difficulty as the students skills improve.  Students wishing to show A circuit hunters will be referred to an appropriate show instructor.


Riders with secure seats and solid aids may benefit from working the horse cross-country.  Horses get stronger behind and through their back when they work out on hills, and the Virginia countryside has many of them.  The rider works with the instructor who directs them in a set of dressage movements that suit their skills and the terrain.  Riders have fun and get more comfortable with their horses.


Riders wanting to ride western will learn balanced seat western riding in the beginning. When the student can handle the horse at the walk, jog, and lope, the instructor will take them out and teach them how to trail ride.

More advanced skills can also be learned.  Riders wishing to learn cutting, reining and team penning will need to further their turning skills with their seat and legs.  It is our hope to be able to offer team penning in the near future.


Purpose:  All of our horses go through a program where we employ natural horsemanship techniques.  Essentially these techniques teach the horse to move away from pressure while the rider is on the ground and in ways the rider will eventually ask the horse to perform while being ridden.  This ensures that the horse is ready for the movements and also promotes respect, obedience, and trust.

Approach:  Students can learn natural horsemanship techniques as part of a regular lesson or as separate lessons. The ground exercises are used to help the horse feel part of a “human/horse herd” where the rider is the leader.  Having a leader in the herd is so important to horses that they will even adopt a human one.  Not without challenging the leader, however.  These exercises will establish that the human leader is to be trusted and followed.

Results:  Students can use their natural horsemanship skills to help new horses that come in the barn be more trusting and better mannered.  The training skills that are learned through these exercises will enable riders to evaluate every horse they intend to ride, and determine whether it is a potentially safe horse or possibly a dangerous one.  That determination could prevent a rider from getting hurt should they decide not to ride that particular horse.  We are happy to work with riders who wish to learn this approach.