No prior experience required. No expensive equipment to buy. You don't even need to own your own horse!
Jumping, Dressage, Western, Trails and MORE!
Ice cream truck Tuesdays all summer long.
Fun, games, crafts, treasure hunts, picnics and more!
Stay cool in the pool or misting tent!
This is where it all begins! The cornerstones of our foundation are safety, education, sportsmanship and FUN. PONYSITTERS learn riding and horse care through mounted and unmounted activities. The skills, habits and values instilled through good horsemanship will apply to every part of a PONYSITTER's life.
Children learn all about life on the horse farm including safe horse handling techniques, equine care, nutrition and proper grooming, understanding equine behaviors, equine wellness checks, properly take care of their tack and equipment, tacking up & proper equipment fit, mounting & dismounting riding, conditioning and much more!
English and Western styles of riding.
Equitation, Jumping, Dressage
Indoor/Outdoor Jumping & Riding
Western Horsemanship, Pleasure, Western Dressage
Showmanship & Halter (unmounted)
Trails, Obstacles, Games, Sensory Activity Stations
After school and Summer options
Vail Farm & UVMS PROVIDE TRANSPORTATION!!
Parent drop off 3:30-4:30pm
Pick up 7pm
Tuesday, Thursday & Saturdays PLUS...
Good Horsemanship begins on the ground and continues into the saddle and extends to proper horse and farm care. Our accredited, friendly staff will guide your child as they follow their passion into the wonderful world of horses. PONYSITTERS are assigned their VERY OWN HORSE (or pony) that they get to take care of from feeding to grooming, exercising, conditioning and wellness checks.
Our horses and ponies are PROVEN confidence builders, are very well trained and make GREAT best friends for your child.
PONYSITTERS welcomes children 5-15 years old, with and without, prior horse experience. During the school year, PONYSITTERS meet at the barn after school on Tuesday and Thursday til 7pm and on Saturdays plus BONUS DAYS.
Sept-June * After school PONYSITTERS ends June 25th *
Horses are BIG business and a thriving equine industry is vital to the health of the New York State's economy. The NYS Equine Industry Economic Impact Study determined the equine industry to have a $4.2 billion effect on the state’s economy and generates 33,000 full-time jobs. The equine industry contributes to the local economies of every one of New York's 62 counties, with Dutchess County topping the list.
Our PONYSITTERS program brings together the diversified horse industry into one AMAZING kid's program.
The equine industry occupations include veterinarians, farriers, hay & grain producers, Certified equine body workers, horse trainers, horse farm managers and many others. PONYSITTERS are able to take a hands-on active role making rounds and assisting professional veterinarians, master farriers, working along side Nationally known, professional horse trainers and learning to have a confident partnership with horses, IN THE SADDLE AND ON THE GROUND from Certified instructors and licensed Horse Show Judges.
Our popular PONYSITTERS program has been featured on TV, in the Hudson Valley Parent magazine, USA Today newspaper and Hudson Valley Newspaper.
PONYSITTERS program is PERFECT FOR HORSE CRAZY KIDS!.
We welcome children with and without prior horse experience. We welcome children who own and do not own a horse.
PONYSITTERS is a comprehensive equine educational program designed for children who love horses. We provide MORE hands-on horse learning time than anywhere!
PONYSITTERS is open to all school age children.
We are dedicated to producing capable, knowledgeable horse people and setting your child up for success from the barn and to the board room. Our PONYSITTERS program gives your child (and you) the unique opportunity to be part of our farm family, without having to own your own horse or buy a lot of expensive equipment.
Enrolled PONYSITTERS have FULL ACCESS to some of the Country's BEST horsemen and horsewomen who enjoy mentoring, teaching and watching your child learn through hands-on horse experiences on the farm.
Our PONYSITTERS program is designed to raise equine welfare awareness and promote horses in agriculture. Our trainers teach safe, horse handling and riding skills PLUS promote equine knowledge while encouraging aspiring young riders, Olympic hopefuls, cowgirls and cowboys from all walks of life.
Children have the opportunity to try both English and Western styles of riding. Children learn all about horses in a positive environment with hands-on horse activities with friendly, well-trained horses & ponies. They participate in creative projects and play fun games like equine trivia with barnyard game buzzers. (think Family Feud with horse questions).
PONYSITTERS are able to demonstrate success at individual & team activities, critical thinking skills and problem-solving & decision-making. PONYSITTERS develop leadership skills, responsibility, time management, organizational skills and build their self-confidence taking care of, handling and riding horses.
Special workshops and clinics are offered periodically for the PONYSITTERS with professional guests to supplement their equine education and test their Horsemanship skills.
In addition to their regular barn time, PONYSITTERS are encouraged to take a pro-active role within their community to raise equine awareness. PONYSITTERS are invited to attend public functions, like community days and parades with their PONYSITTERS teammates and their equine ambassadors, providing equine educational demonstrations and presentations. Horse Show opportunities are offered as children master showmanship and riding skills.
Team PONYSITTERS welcome children who have little to no horse experience and children who have prior horse and riding experience. No, please don't run out and buy expensive equipment. Check the farm's CONSIGNMENT ITEMS FIRST. A simple pair of Western boots or a pair of paddock boots, a pair of leggings or jeans and a fitted shirt are all they need to start with. You can purchase boots online. Don't forget to check Ebay, FB marketplace or your local Tractor Supply.
YES! Children from Vail Farm and Union Vale Middle School are welcome to take the bus directly to JL Performance Horses. Children from ANY school district is welcome to register for the After School PONYSITTERS program. Parent drop offs welcome.
We ask that parents pack an 'after school' snack for their child(ren). We do have pizza parties, Team dinners, marshmallow toasting, picnics and such.
2018 & 2019 East Fishkill Community Day, Union Vale & Lagrange Community Day, Stormville Flea Market, DCF 2019 & at the 2021 Patterson Library Equine Education class.
Contact us on (845) 260-0962 to invite Team PONYSITTERS to your next event!
Congratulations team PONYSITTERS on your televison appearances! http://westchester.news12.com/story/40183025/pony-sitters-program-gives-children-handson-experience-with-horses?fbclid=IwAR03mYoXdlosjHajCjUaxvWlYxhlpb2awVur16HIfZKvW0bBe3QyHcDCesQ
If you know someone who has a horse crazy kid, point them in the direction of the PONYSITTERS. These amazing kids take an active role in the barn and a pro-active role within their community. Learn more about joining the PONYSITTERS.