Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What Can I Expect?
- Beginner or advanced, young or old, girl or boy, you will get that feel-good high of a genuine, heartfelt stable relationship with your horse or pony 🙂
- Get close: touch, sense, observe your horse. Behave like a horse! Feel the giant animal’s breath and look deep into its large, expressive eyes.
- Be confident and safe knowing what to and why. Inhale that distinct horsey-scent and savor the aroma of the barn.
- Allow all elements of horses to inspire you to feelings of joy, peace, stability, relaxation or sheer excitement!
- Your goal is a team effort with big grins, exhilaration and fitness for you and equine.
- Click here for Photo Gallery or Meet The Horses.
Who Is My Instructor?
- Jan Brubacher is the owner of North Road Farm, Head Instructor, 4-H & Camp Leader and active competitor.
- Graduate of UNH and has post-degree certificates in Management from Harvard University and Web Programming from NHCTC.
- Decades of experience riding, training, showing, photographing and managing horses.
- You will not be taught by a teenager or adult with poor communication skills.
- Jan returns phone calls, emails and texts. She is licensed and fully insured.
- Click here for Contact Jan.
What Will I Learn?
- You will start with halter & lead, groom & handle, ground drive, bareback, gymnastics, yoga and equitation techniques.
- Learn safety, horse thinking & behavior, how to speak & act with horse-talk with your body & brain so the horse knows you’re the one in charge!
- English, western, bareback, dressage, jumping, trail are all offered.
- Advanced riders will walk, trot, canter, hand-gallop, jump, dressage, cross-country, trails, beach and show.
- Are you a recreational rider for fun & fitness, adventurous and aerobic for trails or beach, or skill driven for competitive showing?
- You will ride without reins & stirrups to develop correct muscle in critical areas.
- You will develop balance, flexibility and tone. You will stop clutching the reins or pinching your horse’s ribs with panic.
- Results are happy & willing student- equine team.
- Click here for Riding Ring Album.
Guided Trail Rides are a hack away. Well maintained, wide and straight, you will love the soft dirt, tree-lined old railroad now converted to recreational use. Wide and straight, they make for great bridle paths. Jan will take you along the local country roads or deep into the 1000+ acre conservation preserve. Observe hay fields, cows grazing in pasture, old cemetery, streams, ponds, beavers, fish, deer, turtles, foliage. br>
Horses and riders always enjoy the rails-to-trails conservancy in Rockingham County NH. An eight minute hack down North Road gives us quick access to one of the state’s longest rail-trails: the 26.5-mile Rockingham Recreational Trail (a.k.a. Portsmouth Branch). The rustic trail is rich in railroad structures left over from a time when the extensive Boston & Maine Railroad network flourished with the growth of New England mill towns. The Rockingham Recreational Trail follows the Portsmouth Branch. Hurt by the mid-20th-century decline in local manufacturing, the railroad faltered, and in 1988, the New Hampshire Department of Transportation purchased the Portsmouth Branch for conversion into a rail-trail. We ride mainly in the Fremont, Epping, Raymond sections. br>
Motor cycles and ATV are banned on our rail-trail bridle paths. We walk and can ride two abreast, enjoying the scenery, wild life, bonding, grounding and companionship. It is flat, good footing with minimal rocks, fairly straight with minimal sharp turns, includes bridges, tunnel, ditch, water, fallen timber obstacles. . For more advanced riders, we cover the trails at a walk, trot/jog, canter/lope, hand-gallop. There are many road and foot trails off-shoots to add variety to our rides. br>
Some riding experience required for safety. Click here for Trail Rides Album.
Summer Horse Camp
- Begins mid June through mid August.
- Attend full day 8 am – 3 pm. Ride twice
- Attend half-days 8 am – noon. Ride once.
- Design your own flexible schedule based on your summer plans.
- Bring your own horse or pony. $30 per stall night.
- Click here Summer Camp
- Click here Summer Camp Album
How Does Leasing Work?
- Increase your ride time and horse commitment while keeping cost in check. Lease a favorite horse and you reserve the time to groom, handle, play and ride that horse as often as you like.
- For leasing information, talk to Jan for details.
When Can I Ride?
- Lessons are typically private one-on-one to ensure you will get plenty of attention and feedback.
- Lessons are held daytime, evenings, after school or work in the outdoor ring equipped with great footing, night lights and good drainage suitable for most weather.
- When you’re ready, lessons are held in open fields and trails according to skill.
What Age can I start?
- Children can start riding around 5 years depending on their focus, desire, strength and coordination.
- Often adults who have ridden as children wish to retain their riding skills
- North Road Farm will help you to continue your recreation and relationship with the horse or pony.
- You will learn simple balance and stretching exercises done at home to make you progress faster at your next lesson.
- Any aerobic sport such as walking, soccer, yoga, track, basketball, karate, bicycle, etc. is encouraged.
- You can also borrow books & CD to review on your own time.
What Should I Wear?
- A study boot or shoe with a heel to protect those toes of your should you have the misfortune of being stepped on by a 1000 pound beast!
- A riding or bicycle helmet is required.
- Long jeans or riding pants and outer clothing depending on weather.
- No shorts, sandals, flip flops, sneakers, etc.
Two Hour Introductory
- Two Hour Introductory is required for all new students, parents or adults who are just beginning riding and have no experience.
- Extra time to break down the steps into enjoyable, digestive pieces riding so you’ll achieve greater independence, confidence and retention.
- No rushing or short-cuts! Your lesson is adjusted based on your age and hands-on opportunity to learn new things.
- Dialog about goals, desires, fears, concerns, etc. are highly encouraged.
What Style of Riding Can I Choose?
- Hunt seat for jumping
- Ground driving to drive the cart
- In-hand, from the ground Natural Horsemanship style
How Does Horse Apprentice Work?
- Saturdays 8-10 am.
- Learn how to feed and care for the horses and ponies
- Learn how to operate a safe and professional riding stable
- Gain independence and confidence
- Work solo on with a team of friends
- Children 8 and under must be accompanied by an adult until safe independence is shown
Tell Me More About The Beach Ride?
- Guided 4 hour ride open to horses & riders at low tide from October 1 through April 31.
- Ride Hampton Beach, Hampton NH or Crane Beach, Ipswich MA
- We transport the horses to the beach with the truck & trailer
- Start at North Road Farm to be outfitted with your gear and mount.
- Go your own way after the ride to see more of the beach, ocean coast line to Portsmouth NH or Kittery ME
- Click here for photo gallery.
Horse Shows and Fox Hunts
- March – November
- Choose shows or fox hunt based on your skills and Jan’s recommendations
- No foxes are killed on the fox hunt. Fox Hunt is for advanced riders only.
- 4-H shows and events, pace rides, dressage, jumping, eventing, and Fox Hunts.
- Coaching is $50 per event.
- Horse or pony rental is $100 for the event. Equipment, feed and transportation is included.
- Separate entry fees may apply.
- See Jan for rate.
- Click here for Horse Shows and Events photo gallery.
- Earn a free riding lesson when you tell your family & friends about North Road Farm. When she or he takes a lesson, you get a lesson at no charge.
Family Farm Event
- Family events come alive in the farm – stable setting.
- Rent the farm! $225 for 3 hours includes at minimum one handler and one pony for instruction, grooming and lesson ride.
- Helmets, boots, adult supervision and riding release required for all participants.
Peppermint Ponies 4-H Club
- Open to guests, friends & families. Open to ages 5-18 years, girls & boys.
- Enroll online must be 5 year or older as of January 1.
- For more information about 4-H click here and you will go to the UNH Cooperative Extension 4-H page.
- Don’t be shy, we love to have parents of 4-H members assisting with projects.
- Click here to volunteer.
- 6-7:30 pm Wednesday meetings typically at North Road Farm or at the UNH Cooperative Extension Office, Brentwood during the winter to early spring.
- Click here to join email club list.
- Hands-on horse activities, 4-H shows, Stratham & Deerfield fairs, NHSPCA field trips, group and social skills, team building, personal development, leadership.
- Peppermint Ponies 4-H Club $25 annual dues. Free online 4-H Horse study book. Financial Aid available to members.