Riding Academy

Grand Farms Riding Academy

Our Riding Academy is designed to introduce beginner riders to horses and equestrian sports. The program will allow them to experience horses and the work that goes into them, without the expense of buying a horse and committing full time.

All students learn about horsemanship, riding and tack care. They are expected to participate fully in their lessons including the grooming, tacking, untacking their horse. At Grand Farms horse care is very important as well as the fundamentals of riding. Once a student is independent, we can discuss options that include half leasing, camps, more riding lessons, opportunities, and eventually showing.

Different Programs we offer:

Pony Pals program: Our Pony Pals program is geared towards kids under 6 as an introduction to the wonderful world of horsemanship. Kids get one on One attention with one of our instructors to build a foundation for life long enjoyment of the horses.

GFRA School Horse Program: Our School Horse Program is built on a level system to develop horseman, not just riders, for a life of involvement and enjoyment of Horses. Lessons are billed on a monthly cycle and we offer camps all summer.

GFRA JR Competition Team: Our Competition Team is the feeder program between the School Horse Program and Team Chaos, with an emphasis on horsemanship and as well as Riding skills. Members of our competition team have achieved a level of proficiency that makes them independent and either lease or own their own horse. The GFRA JR competition team participates in half a dozen competitions a year and members have the opportunity to shadow members of Team Chaos and learn about the elite levels of competition while riding at a local level with a high standard for education.

Our Program:

Our lesson program is built on a level system that teaches horsemanship and riding, and we take pride in helping develop horsemen not just riders.  All of our riders are matched with horses that fit their skill levels and riders are given the opportunity to level up twice a year in our level evaluations, showing us what they have learned.  All of our billing and scheduling is done on a monthly tuition basis, with 4 lessons per month from Sept-June to align with the school calendar and camps in July and August.

Contact & Location

Contact Paula at gfrasched@gmail.com or fill out the form at the bottom of this page for more information or to schedule an evaluation lesson.

Grand Farms Riding Academy
12604 189th Ave
Gig Harbor WA 98329
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Trainer, Jessica Hamilton

Jessica is an event trainer and instructor with 15 years of teaching and training experience, ranging from beginners through training level students. She has competed through preliminary herself and worked for several 4* trainers in the area including 4 years with Anna Collier, and training with John Camlin. She has also received many years of instruction from Grand Prix dressage rider, Jessica Rattner. She has a unique background in coaching multiple sports, sports psychology, personal training, and continuing her education in physical therapy.

Jessica’s skill set allows her to customize each student’s lessons to their specific needs and a myriad of creative ways to help students understand each skill and technique involve with riding, grooming, and handling horses, all while keeping lessons positive, fun, and engaging.

Jessica Sokolowski

Meet Our School Horses

Frodo

Frodo is a 13.3h Kiger mustang/Fjord gelding that came to us in 2013 and is now our school pony professor!  His resume includes pony club, eventing, beginner lunge line lessons, trail riding, fox hunting, pony rides, pony sledding and even rides for the handicapped!  He lives life in slow motion though, so needs some encouragement to go very forward which makes him a great pony to learn the basics on.  Plus, he is super cute sporting a multi colored mohawk and dun coloring. 

Pina Colada

Pina Colada (aka PJ) PJ is a 2013 palomino welsh pony that joined the team in 2021.  His resume includes pony club, eventing through BN, trail riding, horse camping, swimming, and snuggles.  His favorite thing to do is pull on zippers!!!  PJ is slightly smaller than Frodo, making him a great kid pony.  His versatility makes him a barn favorite.

Summer

Summer is a 15h QH mare that also joined the team in summer of 2023.  She is owned by Paula Lane and is ridden by Paula’s granddaughter Azzy as well as other lessons.  Summer is learning how to canter, but has a heart of gold and is a great step-up horse from Frodo.  She hasn’t jumped much, but Jessica will be expanding her education this winter.

Mario

Mario is a 6yo draft cross standing 17h who belongs to Houston Hamilton. While Houston is off working in Washington DC, Mario is being used as a school horse.  He has started his eventing career, jumps up to 3′ and is a big enough citizen for adults to learn to ride on. 

Mr Pickles

Mr Pickles aka Pickled Piper is a 10yo gelding that joined the team in the summer of 2023. He is half leased out but used for intermediate lessons on occasion- This guy is full of personality and is very quiet (maybe to a fault!) at home.  He loves to please and will happily lick you to see if there are cookies anywhere. 

Summer Fling

Summer Fling (Fling) is a 2005 – 15h Oldenburg mare that joined the program 7 years ago.  She has evented through training level, is a lovely dressage horse, loves to go on the trail and is a gem on the ground.  She is for the more intermediate riders ready for a step up from the ponies and man she loves to jump!  Eventing and XC is her most favorite thing in the world, aside from carrots.

Contact Paula for more information!

Please fill out the form below.

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