Barn - (317) 416-8632
Texting and Calls
Physical Address:
5129 N 600 W
(aka Mt Comfort Rd/Olio Rd)
McCordsville Indiana 46055
Lessons - Stacey Sheley
(317) 416-8632
Lessons - Lindsey Keeven
(317) 418-8933
Camp Director - Andi
(219) 296-8776
Please call between regular business hours.

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Open Door Equine Inc. offers several different types of lessons both in and out of the saddle.

The main themes currently offered are Horsemanship, Western and English. Both of the riding styles require skill, persistence, a bit of aptitude, a ton of desire and a lot effort. Neither Western nor English are any more or less difficult than the other and they both have cross over skills that can be learned regardless of the style of tack one chooses to use. The end result of anyone taking riding lessons should be to become an overall balanced person both in and out of the saddle. This can be accomplished in a Western, English, Dressage, Australian, Endurance, Flat seat, breed specific, or a Side Saddle. The discipline one chooses is of personal taste and should be enjoyed to its fullest by all participants.

The individual goal of the client will dictate the direction of the lessons. For example if your goal is to feel more secure in the saddle while trail riding your own horse, then we will focus on understanding horse behavior, triggers for behavior, how to understand the ways your horse will react, how to prepare for the reaction, how to handle yourself in a sticky situation and above all self-confidence. If your goal is to show, we will concentrate on precision of movement, rider seat, show ring manners, showing rules, proper attire and show grooming. If you are completely new to horses and just want to learn how to ride for the shear pleasure of hanging out with horses, we can focus on all the fun stuff we can do with horses.

What you will need; ODE does not supply riding helmets. These are available at tack shops and can range in price from as little as $30 to over $850. We do not provide them because we strongly emphasize safety. Helmets should be properly fitted to the rider’s head, if not properly fitted the helmet can be less effective. In order to provide everyone with a properly fitted helmet we would need to stock a very large quantity of different helmets and this is not possible. Sanitation is also an issue with lesson helmets. In addition to a properly fitted ASTM/SEI certified helmet the rider should have long pants and shoes or boots with heals to prevent the foot from slipping into and becoming lodged in the stirrup.

People under the age of 18 are required by ODE to wear a properly fitted ASTM/SEI helmet and we strongly recommend and prefer that every person riding a horse wear these helmets. Here is a link to a video of how the ASTM tests helmets for equestrians. In it they compare an approved helmet performance Vs a helmet that would not pass ASTM standards. Testing Video

Beginner Skill Level;

Our first step on your new journey into horses should begin with Horsemanship. Once you feel secure with the most basic of horsemanship skills we can move into the saddle. As with all new activities, some people will advance more quickly than others and it is a personal choice as to when to move on after discussing your goals, feelings, and wishes with your trainer. Once you have progressed into the saddle the Horsemanship lessons will continue in conjunction with your riding lessons. Horsemanship is a process in which even the most seasoned rider constantly learns. It is always with us and we always learn it regardless of how long we have been around horses.

Intermediate Skill Level;

A person who is intermediate knows; how to groom without help, tack without help, the difference between the terms used in Western and English, horse and tack part names, how to lunge the basics, and can recognize a balanced seat and can correct it if unbalanced, how to perform transitions, halt, back, their diagonals and can recognize/correct when they are on the wrong one, how to rate their horse’s speed, how to ask for and get the correct lead and can recognize/correct when they are on the wrong lead, safety procedures and behaviors, is aware of;  the need for emotional self-control, most horse behavior and triggers of behaviors. Western specific; can perform one handed cueing and can perform seat cues. Once the rider has progressed to the intermediate skill level they may take advantage of Practice Time Sessions.

Advanced Skill Level;

The advanced rider can perform (excluding the Reining, Dressage and breed specific moves); the halt, the back correctly and steer while backing, the walk and extended walk, the trot and working trot, the lope/canter and the gallop/ hand gallop, downward transitions/half-halts, in collected and extend gaits, thes side pass/half pass, front pivots/ the turn on the fore, back pivots/the turn on the hind, roll backs,  in a balanced, consistently way, on cue and with little error. The advanced rider also knows basic, intermediate and advanced horsemanship, can lunge and knows the appropriate use of lunging equipment, long line and knows the appropriate use of long lining equipment, train horses and is adaptable to the green horse’s needs and can give riding lessons at all levels. An advanced rider will also recognize and be willing to ask for help from another trainer when they know they need help in specific areas and is willing to learn from others. This is an integral part of understanding the self, it is professional and proof of someone on the path of true Horsemanship. Western specific; can perform all Western cues bridleless.

Good sportsmanship is important to me. I teach my clients to work hard for their goals and that we compete against ourselves and our past performances. Integrity is also important to me. I teach my clients that want to show or train that the must behave in good sportsmanlike manor, deal honestly with people around them and that a win is meaningless if they had to behave dishonorably to get it. Hard work makes a great win, not cheating. Zenyatta’s race at the 2010 Breeder’s Cup is a prime example. She came in second but it was the best race I have ever had the joy to witness.