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Riding Lessons, Summer Camps, Clinics, Workshops, Riding Vacations

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GRR instructors welcome students of all  levels of ability.  Our lesson horses have been carefully selected and trained to be suitable for even first time riders.  However, students who have their own horses are welcome to bring them for their riding lessons and horse training lessons. 

The disciplines we focus on are western and hunt seat, with primary goals of establishing a good balanced seat, natural horsemanship techniques, and skills to optimize the safety of horse and rider.  Our instructional programs come in a variety of formats as listed below.

Students under the age of 18 are required to wear protecticve headgear, bring their own helmet if they have one, or one of ours will be provided for them.  Shoes with at least a one-half inch heel must be worn, no sandals or tennis shoes.  You can download a copy of our Student Policies and Waiver of Liability on this page.  The waiver must be signed by BOTH parents for all riders under the age of 18.

Visitors are welcome to come observe lessons in progress and to tour our facility any time, but if you prefer a personal guided tour, just call or email us for an appointment. Click on the "Location" page for specific driving directions. To join our lesson program, email us from this web page, or call the numbers listed at the bottom of this page.

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Click on this link to view and download our Student Policies.

Click on this link to download our Waiver of Liability.

Riding instructor/trainer and summer camp director, CJ Farmer, has over 35 years experience with horses, breeding, training, boarding, seven years of showing the Appaloosa breed show circuit on a national level, and 20 years as a riding instructor. Th assistant instructors and camp counselors at GRR are screened and selected for their personal qualifications as well as their experience in the equine industry.  Attending classes in chaperone training and CPR/first aid are mandatory. Continuing education in the areas of horsemanship and horse training is attained by participating in a variety of clinics each year. 


Standard lessons are structured for people who want to come take a 45 minute lesson ($45 for private lesson, $35 for 2-6 riders) on a regular basis, usually weekly. Scheduling can be fixed or flexible. Two hour lessons can also be scheduled.

Boot Camp, a workshop for adults, is specifically focused on teaching skills and knowledge that is needed by the first time horse owner, riders who wish to lease/own a horse in the near future, and parents of kids who are involved with horses.  Strong emphasis is placed on safety, horse care, ground handling, horse psychology, desirable personality traits, health care, facility design and maintenance.  Check the calendar of events for the date and to download a document with the program format and fees.

Workshops for Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts to earn horsemanship merit badges are available. Other badges that can be earned if the troops chose to camp over the weekend might include (but not limited to) camping, hiking, fishing and cooking. GRR is an approved scout facility and offers special scout discounts for the two hour workshop and semi-private riding lessons.

Riding Vacations are for guests who would like to include customized riding lessons during their stay.  Training and problem solving instruction is also available to guests who wish to bring their own horses.  On site lodging and stabling by reservation.

Therapeutic Riding.  GRR is not set up to properly conduct a lesson program for children with special needs.  Contact NARHA certified instrucor Lisa Graham at Bella Terra Stables in Winder 404-626-0456. 

Click on this link to learn more about Lisa's therapeutic riding program.

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Horsemanship Summer Camps.   All things horses! Horse-related activities, horsey arts and crafts, and making new horse-loving friends. Classroom academics, demonstrations and practical application of skills help campers learn horse care and horsemanship riding skills. At the end of the camp session, campers will demonstrate some of their newly acquired skills for parents. Beginners to advanced, campers grouped by age and experience level. For a higher quality of instruction and safety, sessions are limited to 4-8  campers.  Attendees who own their own horses are welcome to bring them to camp. Intermediate and advanced camps can focus on drill team basics, horse show skills, or trail riding. Overnight/Resident Horsemanship Camps will be offered for beginners to advanced riders 10-17 years old.  Campers will reside in a new two bedroom "bunk house" in the stables. Click on the link below to see interior photos. To view and download a camp brochure and the session rate sheet, click on the links below. Ask about our discounts. To request a registration form or a personal interview and ranch tour, contact CJ. 

Click on this link to view and download the summer camp brochure.

Click on this link to view photos of the Bunk House in the stables.

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Small Stirrup program, scaled down for youngsters 6-8 years old, is  an introductory camp  to  prepare them for the more comprehensive riding program when they are older. The one-day format  includes demonstration of horse care and horse handling skills, safety techniques, grooming, tacking, and some hands-on practice for the youngsters. All riding is done with an attendant or on a lunge line, usually in the indoor round pen.

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Pony Parties are not just a lot of fun, but a good way to introduce children to grooming, saddling, and then "riding" while led by an adult.  The indoor arena and indoor round pen allow for all-weather parties.  After riding, guests are welcome to use the climate-controlled party room for snacks, games and gift-giving.  The hostess is welcome to come decorate the party room (seats 36) the day before and leave food items in the refrigerator.  Contact CJ for pricing.

Many of our students, adult and youth, acquire skills through our lesson program to pursue a variety of activities including showing, riding in parades, trail riding and camping with their horses, and competing in obstacle challenges.

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Specialized Clinics with top professionals will be organized by Grove River Ranch LLC based on public demand. We have twenty years experience hosting clinics on specific subjects, such as "resistance free riding and training", colt starting, re-training problem horses, Parelli Natural Horsemanship, reining, mounted police horse training for civilians, gaited horsemanship, and dressage.  As clinics are booked, they will be listed on our Calendar of Events along with a flyer and registration information.  GRR facilities can be rented by a clinician or group for an event.  Contact CJ for rates and availability.

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We are always interested in new clinic ideas, and invite clinicians looking for a quality host facility to contact us.

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CJ Farmer
345 Hickory Flat Drive
Gillsville, GA 30543
706-677-0072 or 770-540-8380 (no texting)