First Farm Inn

Let's Ride!

At First Farm Inn, we ride horses year-round, depending on the weather.  Rain, heavy snow, extremely high winds and temperatures over 100 or below 32 degrees mean rescheduling rides.  For safety’s sake, ground conditions also play a role.  With hills, woods, ponds, pasture and riding arenas, we always have somewhere safe to ride even if the ground is somewhat muddy.

Rides are available for small groups, no more than five, and you don’t have to be a B&B guest to ride.  Two-hour sessions are $100 per person, geared for attentive riders over 12 years, under 200 pounds, able and willing to sit up straight and follow directions.  This is not a “traditional trail ride” on pitiful, tired, sick, miserable horses who are in pain and plod along a standard path.  Our horses are happy, healthy, well-trained, able to do anything they’re asked to do.  That’s why we start with getting acquainted, learning to steer and practice balance and position.

For younger riders or those who just want to interact with horses from the ground, we offer a one-hour session for $50 per person that just involves working in the barn and arena.

Getting Started

Lessons begin with grooming and getting acquainted with your horse. We tack up, mount safely and correctly, then begin in the riding arena, working on basic commands and getting comfortable with your horse. After you have demonstrated control and respect for your horse, we move out and practice riding through the woods and around the farm. Horses can be unpredictable. By coming to the farm, you accept responsibility and all liability for your experience on the ground or riding.

Build a Partnership

First Farm Inn’s colorful assortment of horse breeds and personalities will be matched as much as possible to your personality and physical attributes. It’s a very individual experience! To offer an optimum experience, we generally have fewer than five riders in a session.

As you gain balance and confidence, you will be allowed to speed up and stretch your skills. More experienced riders report riding at First Farm Inn is “like owning your own horse” but with coaching to ensure that you are centered and balanced on your horse.

High Caliber Coaching Included

Unlike a traditional walking “trail ride,” you will be coached as much as you need, encouraged to build your connection and communicate quietly in a way that your horse can understand. You will learn more than you’d ever imagine about horses during your ride at First Farm Inn. Learn how horses think to ensure your rides and interactions with them are safe and fun. Riding Liability release (available to download)

Come Ride Horses in Kentucky!

Riding First Farm Inn horses isn’t limited to B&B guests. Anyone over 12 years old and under 200 pounds who is willing to follow directions and sit up straight can ride.  Call 859-586-0199 (between 8 and 8) to make a reservation. If you believe your child under 12 is responsible and respectful enough to ride, call and ask. The nicer the weather, the busier we are.

Learning to ride horses at First Farm Inn means communicating with your new equine partner in ways he can understand.  Unlike traditional “trail rides,” at First Farm Inn we actually direct and communicate with the horse.  Horseback riding also means learning to balance so your horse can trust you.  Since horses have the second longest memory in the mammal kingdom after elephants, understanding their history helps you understand them. Here are short bios of our riding horses.

Questions About Horseback Riding?

With Jen’s more than 60 years of riding, training, horse care and lessons, we’ve got answers to most horse questions.

There are many reasons for horse accidents, often due to situations beyond your control (something startling a horse, someone else being out of control, etc.)  That’s why we teach Centered Riding and talk so much about balance, always having your fingers closed around the reins, long arms ready for a quick response and heels down to keep your seat in the saddle.

Some people who come to us have been told at some point in their lives: “Show the horse who’s the boss!” Like all of us, horses respond much better when they are asked to do something rather than respond to demands and screaming orders. Jerking and kicking are punishment for not following cues in the body of a competent rider, not a starting point. Horses look for leadership, not abuse. They are amazingly tolerant and forgiving creatures, but reach their limits and chose to get rid of rude riders.

A balanced rider whose heels are down has a better chance of staying on top of a horse if something unexpected happens.  It also helps to understand the differences between predator (us) and prey animals (horses, deer, goats, sheep….) and our perceptions.

If you want to ride, we’ll ride.  If you feel out of control, or just want some help until you gain confidence, you can do a one-hour session that may include riding or not. If you want to ride with friends, your horse can be on a lead line so your horse does everything Jen does. Being open and honest is very helpful.   Horses are a wonderful help to work through fears.  They make us stronger and more aware in many ways.

It depends. Children are small. Horses are big. The horses can tell that. Horses have tiny brains that generally react by running away from things that startle them, or – if they know they can get away with it – doing whatever they’re in the mood to do, which is, with mine, graze.
Many horse camps are loads of fun – making stick horses to race, coloring horses, playing games, pretending to be horses, having snacks, water fights, braiding…. Few do much hands-on interaction with horses. That generally requires one on one with an instructor standing next to the tiny person to keep them safe, focused and working. Most horse camps rely on teenage supervisors whose interest is having fun. Consequently, lots of fun is had, practical learning is limited.
The Certified Horsemanship Association, of which Jen was a member early in its founding, recommends only allowing children over the age of 5 to ride. Before that, a child’s head is disproportionately large in relation to the body, making it difficult to balance. Riding is balance in motion and requires more muscles than any other sport. Yes, people still put toddlers on horses and some become great riders. I did with mine too (before I knew better), but will not take that risk with your child.
Yes, I will allow an extremely focused 9-year-old — with parents who understand the risks — to join us. If he or she is capable of riding without a lead-line, it can be removed, or removed and reinstated. Safety is first. Always.

After you demonstrate your skills and show you can control your horse thoughtfully, assertively and kindly, you will get directions on where it is safe to increase your speed, try a more advanced skill or do whatever you’ve expressed that you’d like to do.
Meanwhile, we’ll work with the newbie, building his or her confidence and teaching basic skills. Sometimes those willing to “go along” become great riders quickly. Other times, they stay on a lead line the entire ride. Simply being honest and upfront with your feelings and goals is a great help. I don’t discriminate or judge. I once had a 64-year-old retired marine on a lead line for an entire riding lesson. By his third lesson he was cantering!

Are you in for an education! Ask a question and the answers are endless! With 25+ years of experience, research, reading and attending seminars, Jen can talk fencing and shelter options, feeds and hay, supplements, worming, selecting a vet, vaccinations, emergency vet kit, tack choices, saddle fit, bits and bridles, breeds, gender, horse rescue, websites….
Cut her off when you’re overloaded. So many horses change hands rapidly because new owners don’t understand the complexity of horse ownership. Our goal is for all horses and riders to he safer, happier, and live better lives after visiting First Farm Inn.

Jen — While I rode and owned horses for 30+ years before starting First Farm Inn, I didn’t know what I didn’t know. Yes, I could ride just about any horse, over just about anything, just about anywhere, in any kind of tack or without any. But what I didn’t know now astounds me since I’m heading into my third decade of making it my business to know.
An experienced rider understands how horses think, the difference between human and prey animal reactions, the importance of balance to both horse and rider, how to sit the trot, how to cue a canter lead and that riding isn’t about jerking on a horse’s mouth or kicking endlessly.
Carolyn and I have taught lifelong horse riders and owners how to use their bodies more safely and in balance with their horse, as well as to prepare for the unexpected, which you always expect around horses. Many of us have “just ridden” with no training and not much thought about it and done just fine. There’s always more to learn — and always people who know more and different things about horses than you do!

Riding horses uses more muscles than any other sport. Many of them are not used or stretched in the direction they are to ride, any other time. Even very fit people feel the odd pulls, knee twists, ankle stretching and core workout more than they expect. When we get tired, our response times slow and things get more difficult.
After years of observing, very few holiday riders are able to sit a horse for more than about an hour and a half, which is why we do the two-hour horse experience.

Sorry, helmets are made differently for different purposes. First Farm Inn has an assortment of helmets in various sizes for you to chose from. If you have your own riding helmet, you are welcome to bring it.

Your dog may like horses, but our horses may not like your dog and demonstrate that with a swift kick. It’s not worth risking an accident.
If you are doing our dog-lovers training experience, part of your sessions will be introducing your dog to the horses. Carolyn’s dogs and Pickle, who have been around horses the majority of their lives, are the only dogs allowed off leashes when we ride.

Usually, yes. Planning is a good thing. If you’re focused on doing it tomorrow, it’s the middle of summer and we have the full day booked, it’s not going to work.
We are delighted to help creative lovers make unique memories. Some fantasies are a little beyond practical, but we can always come up with unique experiences. We’ve done a unicorn ride! Ask about the bunny, the diamond, the bubbly bottle and emergency surgery….

Call 859-586-0199 and see if we can make your dream come true!