Copper Moon Farm

Copper Moon Farm

3 employees
7 years in business

About this pro

People and horses can collaborate in a beautiful, special way, moving together through riding. Enabling and supporting that is a joy like nothing else!

I teach intense and complete equestrian lessons. We do ground work with both horse and person as well as work on horseback, to build a good collaborative relationship in which you communicate and move together with your mount. I teach mostly private lessons, and some semi-private. Copper Moon's facility, including an indoor arena and direct trail access, opened in 2015. All our horses are five-gaited Icelandics. Independently intelligent and interested in their work, they are my respected colleagues. My background is in Centered Riding, and I also teach the harmonious martial art of aikido. When I'm not a riding instructor, I am a brain scientist. I like to think I bring a unique perspective to teaching riding, and I love this work the most!

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Andover, MA 01810
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What is your typical process for working with a new student?

The first lesson is always super long -- plan for three hours!  (Same flat rate price.)  We do unmounted work especially to understand how the bit feels to the horse.  Often I will give a brief riding demo, especially to students unfamiliar with the gaits (including the tolt).  Then you ride!  I have two schoolmaster horses, suitable for all levels of rider from first time in the saddle on up.

What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?

I have a doctorate in brain science (University of Washington) that helps me understand how people and horses think and move their bodies.  I have a black belt in Kokikai Aikido that helps me understand harmony in movement.  And I'm a Centered Riding certified instructor as well as licensed to teach riding in Massachusetts (most states do not even require a license!)

Do you have a standard pricing system for your lessons? If so, please share the details here.

Most lessons are about two hours long, and my standard fee is a flat $100 and we avoid watching the clock.  I'd rather end when someone has learned something or is tired than because the bell has rung.  

Shorter lessons, usually for smaller kids without as much strength and attention, are about an hour and $50.

How did you get started teaching?

I had to take a six-week break from a brain-science job to recover from tendinitis.  My own riding instructor at the time asked me to come help with summer camp, which I did and I had such a great time!  After that she asked me to stay on as an apprentice, and after the state standard six-month apprenticeship, I had my instructor's license.

Then I got my Icelandic horse Stjarni, and was the first person in my area to offer lessons on five-gaited horses :)

What types of students have you worked with?

My students have been age 5 to age 72, total beginners who were planning a riding vacation, returning riders, people who had seen horses in a movie who enjoyed the sight.  I enjoy enthusiastic students and all horse lovers!!

Describe a recent event you are fond of.

It's always the best day when a new student is ready to ride on the trails!  The pond in our part of the forest is getting its dam rebuilt, and right now the trails are extra wide and there's room to ride two side-by-side :)

What advice would you give a student looking to hire a teacher in your area of expertise?

Find someone who helps you understand both what to do and why.  Horses are people too, and they are doing their best to understand you!

What questions should students think through before talking to teachers about their needs?

What do you want to get out of riding?  Do you have goals in mind, or do you just want to enjoy the process?  Do you have any special concerns or fears?  We can tackle just about any situation!

Lessons offered