Got Questions? We Have Answers
For more information about Riata Ranch International, please visit our About Us page
What Do I Wear To Class?
For riding and roping lessons, tennis shoes or any athletic shoe will be most comfortable and versatile. Many students wear stretch pants, but some still like to wear jeans. Tight fitting shirts tend to be more comfortable than baggy or loose shirts, which can get in your way. Long hair should be tied back in a pony tail or braid.
In the summer, wear sun screen. In the fall and winter, wear a sweatshirt or jacket with appropriate shirt underneath.
What Do I Bring To Class?
Always bring water and a healthy snack for after class. If it is hot, you may want to bring a sports drink. Sunscreen and hats are recommended in the summer.
If you have your own rope, you can bring it, but we have plenty for you to use.
Do I Need Any Prior Experience?
No. To get started roping or riding, all you need is a desire to try and good attitude. Some tricks are difficult and some horses need more guidance than others, but our experienced instructors are here to help you every step of the way. We can guide you and give you advice, offer suggestions on how to position your body or assert more confidence. Over the course of a few lessons, your confidence and skills will increase. You will gain all the experience you need by being at the Ranch, watching, learning, and trying.
What If I Get Tired?
No problem, just take a drink of water and a rest. Especially when its hot, learning a new physical activity can be tough, and we understand that, but it is important that you push yourself and keep going when you feel ready. The point is to grow which means you have to try, but it is ok to take a rest and hit the reset button.
Can people watch my lesson?
We have chairs where friends and family can watch the lessons. We hold lessons in different arenas on the ranch, which means there may not be shade. Guests are encouraged to bring water and a hat or sunscreen during the summer. We expect guests to be courteous of the instructors and follow the rules, and love when they cheer the students on and laugh at our corny jokes. We want everyone to have fun.
I Have A Medical Condition Or Injury. Can I Still Participate In Class?
That depends. First, make sure with your doctor that it is ok that you ride a horse. If your doctor says its ok, discuss your situation with the head instructor before signing up, and expect to communicate with your instructor during the class. If you experience pain, you should stop. Roping lessons might be better for certain injuries and conditions, as it is easier to control your body movements, maintain good alignment, and avoid unexpected bumps.
How do I volunteer?
For most volunteer opportunities we post the contact email of the project coordinator. If you don’t see an email, then use the contact info on the site and we will get you in touch with the correct person. Generally you need to be 18 years old or have the consent of a parent or guardian to volunteer.
How do I apply for a scholarship?
We generally post when we have scholarships available. We may ask for a short essay about why you deserve the scholarship. We make our decision based on need, willingness to participate, and often check references.
How do I get an internship?
Just apply! We will periodically post for positions that are available, but if you have a great idea, need the experience, or want to help out, just let us know. You can submit proposals anytime. Use the contact form on the site and let us know what position you are interested in, send along a resume if you have one, and we will consider you. If you need college credit, we will be happy to sign off the hours or whatever you need to get that done.
How old do students have to be?
We generally say 8 years old is a good age to start riding, but we have many students that are as young as 5. It really depends on maturity level of the student and their willingness to participate. Young students with horse experience do quite well with our training program. If you feel your student may be too young, plan to come and watch a lesson or practice first. See if they are interested and engaged, then talk to the instructor. We will help you decide a level that would be good to get started.
Can boys participate?
Absolutely. We have had many boys at our lessons and they enjoy it. We focus on girls and young women simply because that was how we got started. We found that as young students develop skills, girls tend to gravitate toward the type of riding that our performance team does, while boys tend to gravitate towards other types of rodeo performance. You can rest assured that every student that goes through our program will gain skills and confidence they can use throughout their riding and roping careers. Whole families have been involved in the ranch since its inception, and there is a place for anyone who wants to join in the fun and see what ranch life is all about.