Individuals 12 and older can learn valuable horsemanship and riding skills in a friendly group setting or receive one-on-one instruction with private lessons. Click any of the links below for detailed descriptions, requirements, schedules and registration information.
Horsemanship I is for inexperienced riders as well as riders with experience who need a refresher course. Students receive hands-on instruction in haltering, grooming, leading and tacking and learn basic riding skills.
Horsemanship II is for students who successfully completed Horsemanship I and want to improve their skills.
Horsemanship III is for intermediate riders who continue to practice techniques from Horsemanship I and II. Students prepare their horses for riding with little to no assistance and learn to ride a balanced seat in a Western saddle.
Horsemanship IV is for intermediate and advanced riders who continue to practice techniques from Horsemanship III and want to establish a balanced seat and perform intermediate and advanced skills associated with the walk, trot and canter.
Private lessons allow students to progress at their own pace and achieve personal riding goals. They’re also a great way to work on a specific skill that needs extra attention. Danada offers private individual lessons and private 5-pack lessons.
Students can register for single lessons or a package of five that meet at the same day and time each week. Packages help riders advance more quickly than lessons taken weeks apart and allow the instructor to design five-week lesson plans to help students better reach their goals.
NEW! Trail Ride Classes for Intermediate and Advanced Students
Our new trail classes focus on the educational aspects associated with trail riding on public trails such as in the DuPage forest preserves. Students will learn trail etiquette, safety and the riding skills and techniques needed to prepare them for riding on the trail through on-the-ground and mounted instruction. The first part of the class will be held in the enclosed riding arena to go over trail skills and what to expect when riding outside of the arena. The instructor will determine which trails are ridden and the length of time outside of arena.
Horsemanship III Trail Class
Intermediate students will ride in western saddles and maneuver through, over and around intermediate trail obstacles inside and outside of the arena. Students enrolled in Horsemanship III Trail Ride Class must have completed Danada’s Horsemanship III class or above within the last year. Students who have taken private lessons at Danada within the last year will need instructor approval before enrolling in Horsemanship III Trail Class.
Horsemanship IV Trail Class
Advanced students will ride in western saddles (English saddles can be used with instructor approval) and will maneuver through, over and around intermediate/advanced trail obstacles, both inside and outside of the arena. Students enrolled in Horsemanship IV Trail Ride Class must have completed Danada’s Horsemanship IV class within the last year or must have instructor approval to move on from Horsemanship III Trail. Students who have taken private lessons at Danada within the last year will need instructor approval before enrolling in Horsemanship IV Trail Class.
NEW! Horse Ownership 6-part lecture series
This new series will provide the prospective horse owner or horse enthusiast with an in depth look into the daily, annual and lifelong care of horses. Individual lecture topics will include Horse Health, Colic and Deworming, Horse Behavior, Training Your Horse/Leasing VS Owning, Finding the Right Horse, and Expenses in Owning a Horse. Attend the series as a package (last class is then free) or purchase individual lectures (following the first class). Lectures will take place indoors and, weather permitting, may include handling of horses in the Kentucky Barn. Please dress accordingly.
Camps for Kids and Teens
Kids and teens ages 10 – 14 can enjoy hands-on experiences with horses and the chores of a working barn. These day camps offer horse-related games and crafts and either lead-line rides or daily lessons. They’re available in summer and during spring and winter breaks. For details, visit the Forest Preserve District camps page.
Guided Group Barn Tour
This one-hour tour of the equestrian center’s Kentucky-style barn introduces horse behaviors, types of feed, saddles and tack and includes a grooming demonstration. (It does not include any horseback riding.) If interested, please fill out the tour application form and call (630) 668-6012 for availability and reservations.