7359 South Lake Shore Drive – Just north of Harbor Springs, Michigan
Andrew Figures, Instructor/Young Horse Rider/Stable Manager. Elizabeth Sanchez, Office Manager:
Karin Reid Offield Owner & Former Top Sport Competitor & Instructor
OUR MISSION for Brek-n-Ridge Farm is to provide a clean, safe, fun and a beautiful environment for riders and their horses. We are devoted to training horses and providing our riders with outside clinicians in this Northern Michigan stable. In between these clinics, we teach riding lessons that are understandable and fun so equestrians may learn new techniques and tactics that are easy for horses to understand. Manager/Instructor/Young Horse Rider Andrew Figures is currently enrolled in the USDF Certified Instructors/Trainers Program.
The USDF Instructor/Trainer Program consists of two parts – educational workshops and Instructor Certification testing – and it is designed to educate amateurs and professionals who wish to further their education in the classical system of dressage. Riders, clinics and special events at Brek-n-Ridge Farm have the opportunity to learn about classical theories of riding, training, teaching and lunging of the horse and lungeing of the rider.
Standards of Proficiency
The testing is meant to be a thorough evaluation and examination of the candidate’s expertise in the skills relevant to your success in the dressage teaching and training profession. USDF is concerned that candidates who are certified are not simply producing riders with winning scores, but rather, riders who can think about their training and feel the results and effect on the horse.
- USDF Certified Instructors/Trainers exemplify the highest standards, protecting the interests of both students and horses as well as the traditions of classical dressage as outlined in the Pyramid of Training. Instructors are responsible for the future of dressage through the riders they influence.
- USDF Certified Instructor/Trainers are committed to the goal of the harmonious development of the physique and ability of the horse, endeavoring to help students make their horses calm, supple, loose, and flexible, but also confident, attentive, and keen, thus achieving perfect harmony with the rider.
- USDF Certified Instructor/Trainers have an in-depth understanding of the classical dressage theory and its application to “real life” scenarios. They know the purpose, the progression, and the connection between the various school movements and can recognize the difficulties and typical mistakes.
- USDF Certified Instructor/Trainers have analytical skills rooted in classical methodology to accurately assess a horse’s strong and weak qualities. They will be able to articulate an appropriate prescription for the horse’s schooling. They demonstrate a solid, balanced and effective seat and tactful aids required to produce the desired effect on a variety of horses.
- USDF Certified Instructor/Trainers have a broad base of teaching experience with a reservoir of practical knowledge to draw upon. They have evaluative skills needed to analyze the training requirements of horses and students. They are able to prescribe a solution appropriate to the student’s level of experience and current ability. They are able to transfer their knowledge, imparting concepts and feelings in order to produce independent riders.
- USDF Certified Instructor/Trainers present lessons that are organized focused and logical, yet creative and flexible in order to achieve success. Their professional demeanor will demonstrate poise, confidence and command of the arena. Their communication skills need to show effective use of grammar, vocabulary, voice, and diction. They establish rapport with horse and rider, demonstrating compassion and encouragement.
During the different seasons we mentor one or two students so they may grow as riders and people. Students can apply to become part of our program. We are a small private stable and space is very limited.
Teaching dressage at Brek-n-Ridge Farm helps the development of the riders to become skilled and calm in all situations, flexible and balanced in using their arm, leg and body aids, using their aids separately and to learn how to be in harmony in communicating with their horses. Trail riders, young riders and beginners flourish under this system of teaching.
Board at Brek-n-Ridge is all inclusive: Includes three times a day hay, twice a day grains , medical and farrier scheduling and handling, blanketing and blanket care and will include all the necessities for the horse, plus a stall with the full turn-out. For the rider we offer tack rooms, safe grooming areas, heated rooms for socializing, refrigerators, and storage. Full board does not require owners to visit their horses every day. For those who have a busy schedule and can afford to have someone else care for their horse full time, this is a super arrangement. $1200 a month and includes a weekly lesson and a lesson program.We are a small private stable and space is limited.
Pasture board at Brek-n-Ridge is limited. We offer a $600 per month pasture board, year round and will provide shelter and care year round. Retired horses are happy at Brek-n0-Ridge Farm.We are a small private stable and space is limited.
Friends coming this way with horses? Overnight stalls are $40.00, day stalls $20.00. Call us for availability. Quarantine requirements may apply, and quarantine conditions are strictly enforced when necessary.
The costs to teach instructors in our Instructors Program: Safety in the Stable, Arena and on Horseback vary on a per person basis. Working student positions to qualify for acceptance into this program may be available seasonally.
Horse Equipment Laundry Service: Keeping all your equipment clean and dry, safe from mildew and breakage. Save your Washer and Dryer!
Tack Cleaning Services. Keeping all your leather equipment mildew clear and safe from rot and grime.
Call us at 231-242-0012 to make an appointment with Office Manager, Elizabeth Sanchez to discuss specifics, email us for pricing. Lessontime@yahoo.com
Join our Brek-n-Ridge Riding Club (BRC) to wear our brand and share the joys and process of riding, when no detail is too small, and no goals are too large. We will have fun, learn a lot and teach our horses to become better riding partners, better trained, and you as a rider, a safer equestrian.
The Goal of boarding at B-n-R is to spend each week together, riding to develop thinking skills and become riders able to ride off property, in the fields, and to enjoy ourselves with our horses as we learn horsemanship and dressage. Our lessons will include trail rides, drill team practice, trailering skills, horse and equipment stable care, preparations for off property rides and more. Lesson packages are available, call for details.
Stable owner and top sport instructor Karin Reid Offield says, “From all my years of experiences, I have found a system of training that allows us, the riders, teachers and trainers to experience the value of “time” – the most important asset we can offer a horse in this amazing journey. We can teach you to follow this system with horse training and as you and your horse begin to see results, we hope you will return to Brek-n-Ridge many times to work with us to advance your training and riding techniques.
Owning a Horse Grooming is a very important part of equine care and maintenance. All equestrians should be familiar with the different grooming equipment used on horses including the curry comb, mane comb, soft bristle brush, firm bristle brush, hoof pick, and sweat scraper. Bathing your horses is a skill, and regular sheath cleaning is beneficial for your horse. Horsemanship includes being able to operate body clippers to trim excess hairs to judge the severity of an injury, deciding whether a vet should be called or if the injury can be handled by the farm staff. Owners should also be able to ask questions of farm staff to detect small changes in each horse’s behavior or eating habits that could indicate the start of a problem. These are all techniques a horseman learns during horse ownership.
SUMMER AND WINTER LESSON ALL AROUND RIDING PROGRAMS INCLUDE:
WEEK ONE – Accuracy – Over time horse professionals have determined methods of riding and handling horses for the safety and fun for all. We want riders to ask your horse the right questions. How should you be teaching your horse what to do? For you, and for your horse, learn to decide how your state of mind and your accuracy can make a difference in the riding relationship with your horse. For example, the willingness to negotiate obstacles. You’ll encounter obstacles on the trail, whether you ride in the city or the country, on groomed trails or open pasture. In the city, it could be traffic cones, high curbs, and trash bags; in the country, your horse might need to step over fallen logs, cross creeks, navigate steep hills, or pick a path around or between boulders. Your horse might be willing to navigate obstacles, but to do so, he needs the skill to move backward as well as forward. A narrow trail might dead end without room to safely turn around. Your mount must be able to back up slowly, serenely, and in a relatively straight line.
WEEK TWO – Balance – Asking your horse to stay in balance and observe why this will help the horse and the rider stay safe. Learn how and when to create balance to make a difference in your riding relationship with your horse. For example, standing quietly. A good trail horse stands calmly anytime he isn’t asked to move out, including for mounting and dismounting, being tied, adjusting tack, and waiting for other horses. We want a horse that will stand regardless, even if there’s something scary up ahead, behind you or even in the distance through the arena doors.
WEEK THREE – Correctness –Learn how correctness, and conformity of tried and true methods in the handling of all horse decisions will make a difference in your riding relationship when you are by yourself or when riding in a group. Learn how to avoid problems. Solid basic training. Your horse needs to be well-trained and able to walk, trot, canter, and stop on command, as well as respond to leg cues. Unless these basics have been mastered, he isn’t considered safe to ride. For example, the ability to side pass is useful for more than opening gates without dismounting. Like backing, you can use side passing to move your horse off a narrow trail to let other riders or hikers pass, maneuver him out of tight quarters, or park him in a line for a group photo.
WEEK FOUR – The Development of becoming a Good Horseback Rider. We teach horses independent action. A good horse has the ability to operate as an individual at all times. He listens to his rider rather than the other horses in the group. Not only will he be willing to leave a group and head out on his own, but he’ll also allow other horses to leave him without a fuss. This trait could take years to teach, and every horse you will ride will have had different trainers and riders in his past that may or may not have paid attention to this training goal of independent action.
WEEK FIVE- The Development of Training your horse to be Safe and easy to Ride. We try to teach horses to be startle-free. Regardless of where you ride, on a trail or in the arenas, you’ll encounter objects that might blow by your horse, brush against him, catch his tail, or make loud noises. In addition, you might drop your gloves or sunglasses or break a saddle strap. A good horse takes these distractions in stride, without becoming agitated. For example, thinking riders spend a long-time getting horses used to traffic. It’s not enough for your horse to be calm, you have to expose him to the kinds of scary activity he might regularly encounter, or encounter by surprise.
WEEK SIX- The Development of Training a Good horse. Ideally, we want our horses to be scanning the trail and terrain and watching out for both of you. A horseman says. “I’ve seen horses walk up to an obstacle and wait for the riders to guide them around it. I want my horse to pay attention to where he’s going and choose the best path for us.” To be able to be tuned into your horse, to trust your horse and have your horse trust you are the life goals of owning and keeping a horse. Each day, for a rider, represents the opportunity a rider and his horse can have together to achieve these goals – to work toward better results and a deeper understanding of the reasons Horsemanship is important.
WEEK SEVEN- The Development of the Social Horseman. Let’s not forget good group manners. Your riding pleasure will be diminished if your horse’s poor manners force you to ride a distance from the rest of the group. Crowding, biting, kicking, or racing is unacceptable, no matter in what part of the group you are riding. If your horse kicks on occasion, attach a red ribbon to his tail. Then make sure everyone in the riding party understands the meaning of the ribbon. Novice trail riders might think a ribbon on the tail is simply a decoration, like braids in the mane. A good horse should be sociable and so should the rider on that horses back.
Here are some further examples of the work we do each week, in a clinic, a series of lessons, or during our summer and winter programs. Bring us your horsemanship interests for yourself of your riding children and Brek-n-Ridge will design a clinic just for you.
— Safely leading and handling your horse. Basic Groundwork in the stable and grooming stalls. Mounting & dismounting in all conditions. Trail safety and trail riding around Brek-n-Ridge.
–Riding in the arena. Your position – let’s fix it! Riding with others and what rider has the right-a-way, and what rider going what direction are you responsible for avoiding? Four basic steering techniques and how to follow the figures.
–Which technique to use and when. How to stay on the rail when your horse wants to cut corners and an easy lesson about what to do in the corners of an arena. What are the letters in the dressage arena and how are they important to your riding every day inside and outside of the arena? Geometry and how to ride a round circle. Trail Rides.
— Riding outside in various weather conditions and how to put your horses at ease. Who can lead, and who follows? Understanding herd bound horses. Reading the footing under your horses’ feet in field and forest riding.
–Who is in charge of your horses’ calmness? What can you do when he becomes unmanageable? Opening and closing gates on horseback, some tips. Mounting outside on your horses. Tying your horses up to trees, in cases of emergency or for picnics.
–What to look for in the woods before planning to dismount. Why dismount out on a trail, and when do you never dismount?
–Trailering your horses. Part of a five-week Program. Trail Rides.
— Geometry in the fields. Transitions from a walk to halt. Halt to trot. Trot to canter. All downward transitions from a faster gait. How to plan for a change of gait? Is there a way to help your horse know what you are planning to do? The importance of balance during transitions.
–What difference does your horse’s body shape have to do with upward transitions from the walk to the trot and the trot to the halt? Anatomy 101 and riding a differently shaped horse. How to ride a new horse? Trailering and equipping your Rig and trucks for safe hauling. Trail Rides.
— Does your horse have a good walk or an average walk? What difference does it make? Your horses’ anatomy and your walk. When you hand walk your horse before mounting, learn how to watch his hoof prints in the sand.
— Can you tell if your horse is sore or limping? When you mount, how do you take up the reins? Will your horse gladly accept a tight rein? If not, why not and how to make this an easier task.
— What is a connection and how to keep talking to your horse with a loose rein or a tight rein? When to be firm? The rider’s core, how does this matter to a horse? What about your position? Loading your horses and safety rules to follow. Trail Rides.
— How to teach your horse to go fast and slow with your seat, legs, your hands, your spurs, and your whip.
— How does the rider stay in balance for each gait of the horse? Riding up and down hills and helping your horse stay in balance. Why do men like to gallop up hills? How to ride your horse safely down a steep hill? Health and wellness for your horse and why it will affect your daily ride.
— Choosing what you want to practice with your horse, how long should you practice for and what happens when you cannot accomplish what you are working on. Off property ride – trailering, staging the ride and coming home safely.
— Riding “western dressage” tests. How to follow the weeks of previous lessons and follow the directions of a dressage test and feel that you and your horse accomplished a job to be proud of.
— Riding in front of an audience. Why is it important to learn this technique? What are “scores” and what should they mean to your own evaluation of how you are progressing with your horse. Judging yourself. Changing yourself by fixing bad habits. What have you learned this year?
AT BREK-N-RIDGE FARM we can share with you how to further your understanding of your horse, their minds and the willingness of both you and your horse needed for those “perfect rides” This series of learning lessons are for you whether you are a serious rider of any age with aspirations of a gold medal, a blue ribbon or as a rider that wants to know how to get through the woods more easily, more safely and to have more fun with your horse! We can make a difference in your riding relationship when you are by yourself or when riding in a group. Learn how to avoid problems. Solid basic training. Your horse needs to be well-trained and able to walk, trot, canter, and stop on command, as well as respond to leg cues. Unless these basics have been mastered, he isn’t considered safe to ride. For example, the ability to side pass is useful for more than opening gates without dismounting. Like backing, you can use side passing to move your horse off a narrow trail to let other riders or hikers pass, maneuver him out of tight quarters, or park him in a line for a group photo.
Instructors Andrew Figures riding Fergus and Karin Reid Offield riding Merlin,
Assisted by Elizabeth Sanchez, riding Annie
HORSE TRAINING AND CLINICS
ADDRESS 7359 South Lake Shore Drive – a few minutes from Harbor Springs, Michigan
Contact us for an appointment to discuss specifics
REHAB – BY RESERVATION
If stalls are available, we may be able to offer full rehabilitation services for acute injury care, post-surgical care, and the following rehab programs…please ask your vet to call Brek-n-Ridge to discuss. We have been doing this work since the 1990s in Michigan and Arizona
Respond Cold Laser Treatments
Low-Level Laser Therapy (LLLT) with Respond™ Cold Laser
The Respond 2400 XL is a class IIIB cold laser. They are called cold lasers or soft lasers because they do not emit heat and therefore do not cause tissue damage. This device is FDA approved as a “non-significant risk” device.
At this time, scientific studies indicate that cold lasers are more effective at penetrating the skin than LEDs (Light Emitting Diodes) and are therefore more effective. Laser light is able to penetrate through tissue layers and help to stimulate cellular energy and metabolic processes which promote healing and tissue regeneration (including increased collagen and epithelial production). Cold Laser light can also stimulate the release of natural pain-killing endorphins within the body which facilitate long-lasting pain relief.
To read more about the benefits and effects of LLLT demonstrated by thousands of double-blind studies done in both clinical and laboratory settings, please see the Laser FAQ site that Respond has put together.
Cold Lasers are often used for: Tendon and ligament strains, tears, lesions, bowed tendons, wounds, sore muscles and bruises, and sore backs. Cold Lasers are a non-invasive way to stimulate acupressure points in navicular, bruised feet, and laminitis cases.
Local veterinarians are supportive of using a cold laser in addition to regular treatment protocols for soft tissue injuries and wounds. The Respond cold laser is also a great tool for massage therapy in helping to treat trigger points. We work closely with our vets.
Other Rehab Offerings
- Hand walking, under saddle controlled exercise and legging up
- Bandaging (standing/support wraps, simple/complex wound bandaging)
- Cold/hot hosing, packs
- Hoof Soaking, bandage changes, severe wound care
• Riding on perfect footing in the indoor arena. Maintained daily.
• Intramuscular injection
• Medicated bath
• Body clip
Daily logs and regular owner/trainer/agent/veterinarian updates and interface
This unit delivers a dry cold with active compression which can be helpful as part of a treatment program for many conditions involving inflammation and soft tissue injuries. These include acute tendon injuries, suspensory desmitis, laminitis, and splints. Additionally, horses may benefit from this therapy to minimize swelling post-operatively in certain procedures. Treatment sessions are customized to your horse’s needs.
- To increase the performance of sport horses
- To increase the suppleness of the horse
- To vitalize the organism
- Muscle tension
- Rheumatic arthritis
- Slow healing bone & degenerative joint injuries
- Inflammation & Swelling
- Inhibited blood circulation/metabolic disorders
We love horses and we will do our best to care for your animals, every day.