VIRC offers equine based recreational services to all individuals. Eligibility for participation in VIRC’s programs is based solely upon an individual's ability to participate meaningfully and safely, provided that VIRC has an instructor, horse, and program availability which meets the students individual needs.
Due to the inherent nature of equine related activities, there are individuals for whom VIRC ’s programs are deemed inappropriate, and are not accepted as students. This determination is made on the basis of physical, behavioral, and other limitations. There are several possible reasons for discharge or non-admission to our programs.
Client develops a health condition that makes equine activities contraindicated.
Inability to follow directions is interfering with progress and/or creating a safety hazard for the student, instructor, or horse.
Uncontrolled or inappropriate behavior constitutes a safety risk to the student, instructor or horse.
Students head and neck control presents a safety concern.
Two scheduled sessions are missed without prior cancellation
VIRC reserves the right to discontinue the participation of an individual in its programs when it is deemed that discontinuation is in the best interests of VIRC and/or the individual concerned.
ATTENDANCE AND CANCELLATION:
VIRC desires consistent attendance by all participants; consistency is the key to progress! If you are unable to attend a regularly scheduled session, notification must be made by calling your assigned instructor as soon as the absence is anticipated. Up to 2 make-up sessions may be scheduled per package, if prior notification of the absence is made. FAILURE TO NOTIFY VIRC staff of an absence prior to the scheduled start time of your session will result in forfeiture of that session, and that session cannot be rescheduled. If VIRC needs to cancel a session in the case of inclement weather or instructor unavailability, notification will be made at least 2 hours prior to the scheduled session. HOWEVER, we understand that emergency's happen, both to us and to you! We respect the time you have committed to your lesson, we just ask the same in return!
JESSICA'S STUDENTS: Students should arrive 5 minutes before the start of their session (to allow maximum use of the scheduled session time), and be picked up promptly at the scheduled end of the session. Students are not to be left unattended before or after the session; VRC is not responsible for supervising students before or after the session time.
HANNAH'S STUDENTS: The assigned hour session includes the time it takes to groom/tack up for students who need assistance/supervision. Students who do NOT need assistance/supervision to groom, tack up, and unsaddle their horses can arrive up to 30 minutes before their scheduled lesson time to have their horse ready at the start of their session.
Late arrivals will only receive the time remaining in the original scheduled time slot. Full fees will apply even if the rider is late for their session. Clients arriving too late to participate in the session will be considered a ‘no-show’ and full fees apply.
Participants should dress weather appropriate; we require long pants and sturdy boots/shoes (like Bogs boots or hiking/rain boots). Sandals, open toed shoes, or sneakers are not allowed. All participants must wear an ASTM/SEI certified equestrian sport specific helmet.
STARTING FEBRUARY 1ST, 2018 - VRC helmets will be available to RENT for our consistent students! Safety is our priority; helmets are the most important piece of safety equipment a rider uses. However, they don't last forever; the manufacture recommends that a helmet be replaced if it experiences a fall/blow, as well as annually. VIRC follows that manufactures' recommendations, and have replaced our lesson helmets accordingly. To our regular students: we strongly encourage you to purchase your own, properly fitted ASTM/SEI equestrian sport specific helmet. Discuss with Jessica and/or Hannah the size and style best for you. If you'd like to continue to use our helmets, a $5/lesson fee applies; payable at the time of the lesson, or included in a package purchase.
Please do not wear large necklaces, bracelets, or earrings that dangle or excessively loose-fitting shirts or pants. Please be prepared for changing weather conditions, bringing rain gear and/or sunscreen. Clients not dressed appropriately will not be able to ride/be around the horses.
STARTING FEBRUARY 1ST - The first lesson of each month will include 10 minutes at the end of the session to show the student how to clean and care for their saddle and bridle. Clean tack = safe tack!
If family members/siblings are in attendance with parents of the student participating in a session, parents are responsible for supervision of these persons AT ALL TIMES. Noise and lots of activity can distract the student from the session; in the interest of the student, VIRC asks that the presence of additional family members be kept to a minimum. Everyone present at VIRC is required to follow VIRC rules and policies, and the parent/guardian of additional family members of the student agrees to accept full responsibility of said persons. EVERYONE ON FARM PROPERTY, INCLUDING VISITORS AND SPECTATORS, MUST SIGN A RELEASE FORM.
Full payment is required at the beginning of each lesson/package/camp. We accept cash, check, or credit card. Late payments/NSF's will be assessed a $25/fee per incident.
EXPLANATION OF FEES:
Where does your lesson fee go? Straight to the horses' mouth, mostly! On average, it costs $7,200/year to house and feed a horse. Vet fee's can range between $1,200-$2,000/year/horse. Farrier costs average $1,500/year/horse. VRC purchases well-made, safe equipment to use for our students; saddles cost $800-$1,200 each. Helmets cost $50-$120 each depending on brand/size. Your lesson fee also covers the bridles, grooming equipment, saddle pads, saddle soap, shampoo, to keep your equipment in safe top shape. It all adds up fast! For the hour or so that you are in a lesson, VIRC staff spends (on average) 2 hours working so that you have an awesome time. VIRC works behind the scenes cleaning tack, exercising the horses so that they are safe and appropriate for beginning riders, maintaining the arena footing, planning your lesson, setting up exercises in the arena etc. all in the interest of you have a safe, fun, educational experience at our farm. We are committed to offering you the best equestrian experience possible!
Speaking of fees, Did you know that VIRC offers a WORK TRADE program? For students 13 years and up, we offer a work-trade to help defray the costs of lessons. Earn a free lesson for every 4 hours of work done at VIRC (including poop scooping, cleaning/filling water troughs/etc)! Talk with Hannah for more info.
VIRC also has a SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM for our DDA/DSHS clients! To help defray the increased cost of their equine-centered learning, VIRC has set up a Scholarship Fund. While not tax-deductible, any donation to our VIRC Scholarship Fund will go directly to DDA/DSHS families in need; allowing their child to have a safe, fun horse experience. Talk to Hannah if you'd like more info, or for how to contribute to this incredibly rewarding program!
PRACTICE RIDES :
Feel ready to ride a little on your own? Want to practice what you've learnt more independently, but still under supervision and with your instructor close by? Ask about PRACTICE RIDES; where you are working on your own to catch, groom, tack up, and ride your horse. Your instructor will be present, and will jump in as needed, but the goal of Practice Sessions is for you to work on your own to develop independence and a confirmed skill set. Practice rides MUST be scheduled in advance with your instructor. At $40/ride, they are a perfect way to get more time in the saddle between regularly scheduled lessons. Talk to Jessica/Hannah directly for more info/scheduling!
Want to have all of the benefits of owning a horse with less risk and responsibility? Then half leasing is for you! The gentle intro to actual ownership, 1/2 leasing a horse gives you exclusive access to that animal for practice rides, trail rides, and lessons on pre-assigned days. Leasers develop a greater sense of responsibility and connection to the horses, and are able to enjoy a deeper, more consistent relationship and increased progress. Guinness, Witty, Tucker, and Mia are all available for 1/2 leasing. Speak with Hannah directly!
FAMILY SUMMER DISCOUNTS:
VIRC wants to share the love of horses with EVERYONE in your house! When your summer visitors come, we offer discounts for family of regular VIRC students for Pony Parties, Craft Camps and Lesson/Trail ride packages. Contact Hannah directly to schedule early and save on your summer fun!
VIRC 's horses produce the best fertilizer for your garden! Its organic, and free of chemicals. We feed non-GMO'd food, and the manure has no shavings/straw mixed in. Its produced daily, so we have an endless supply of awesome garden gold. Contact Hannah to arrange a FREE manure delivery!
PLEASE inform your instructor if your child has recently (within the last 48 hours) been exposed to LICE. If you know that your child has an active case of lice, YOU MUST INFORM YOUR INSTRUCTOR, and we will reschedule your lesson. Please inform your instructor if anyone in your child's classroom or household has lice, and we will reschedule your lesson.
VIRC FALL CANCELLATION/SCHEDULE POLICY
— EFFECTIVE 9/1/18 —
We here at VIRC strive to give all our students the best possible horse experience. We work hard to provide a quality experience by carefully scheduling appointments for all our customers. When a lesson is scheduled, that time is set aside for you, and when it is missed, it cannot be used by anyone else. We understand that life happens; ferry boats run late, kids get sick at school, and cars break down. Please, call us as soon as possible to avoid losing your pre-paid lesson time, or being charged a cancellation fee.
Effective 9/1/18, VIRC's cancellation/missed lesson policy will be as follows:
Lessons cancelled less than 24 hours in advance will be considered a no-show, and the full value of the lesson will be charged to the client.
Pre-Paid Packages of lessons: once scheduled, will be subjected to a $25 change fee for EACH schedule change.
If your instructor deems it too rainy/windy to ride outside, the lesson scheduled will be cover unmounted horse topics such as management, nutrition, first aid, tack, etc.