FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Irish Manor Stables
718 Sergeantsville Road
Stockton, NJ 08559
Irish Manor Stables offers award-winning riding instruction- Hunterdon Happening winner 2018, finalist 2019 & 2020.
Our head trainer, Stephanie Swites is committed to thoughtful, goal oriented, academic instruction for all of her students. She believes in supporting the continuous growth and education of new and experienced riders alike, and places a strong emphasis on teaching quality horsemanship along with confident eventing skills.
Her list of credentials include:
- B.S. in English Equestrian Studies with a Riding & Training Emphasis,
- B.S. in Business Management from The University of Findlay
- American Riding Instructors Association certified riding instructor
- The United States Pony Club, C-2 graduate (in eventing)
- United States Eventing Association Silver Medal at the Novice levelFirst Aid & CPR certified
Other instructors credentials:
- American Riding Instructors Association certified or have a degree in Equine Studies from a four year college
- First Aid & CPR certified
We cater to the adult rider, but do accept children and teens into our program.
Children must be at least 7 years old to start riding at Irish Manor Stables.
Yes—for the welfare of our horses, we limit the weight of the rider to 250 lbs.
We require that you groom and tack your horse prior to your lesson, and leave time after your lesson to cool out your horse, groom them, and untack them.
After the first lesson, you will learn how to care for your tack after your rides and that will become a part of your routine.
If you have never groomed or tacked before, these skills may take 1-3 lessons to learn and may take the majority of your lesson time to learn without as much time in the saddle.
These are essential skills to learn and will serve you well moving forward in your education.
We email a monthly newsletter highlighting student accomplishments, barn events, and other fun opportunities.
If you do not receive our newsletters, please let us know at email@example.com.
Often this is due to spam filters on your email in-box, so check for it in your “spam” or “promotions” folder in Gmail accounts.
We also have an active Facebook page (Irish Manor Stables) and Instagram account (@irishmanorstables).
In the barn, we post events and education fliers on our bulletin board.
We try to keep everyone involved, even if it is as a spectator to support your fellow riders. We also host several social events like our barn picnic and Halloween costume parade and gymkhana.
Weather with horses can cause a great deal of havoc at times. Horses are just like dogs; they can be intimidated by weather patterns that we don’t always see. We consistently check weather conditions for our area to make the best possible judgment before you leave home for your lesson. We always side with the weatherman and their predictions.
Here are the main weather patterns that we cancel lessons:
- In extreme heat- We do not ride if the temperature is 95 degrees or hotter.
- In extreme cold- We do not ride if the temperature is 25 degrees or below.
- Lightning strikes/impending storms
- Severe wind
YOUR SUCCESS IS OUR SUCCESS
"My main goal in starting lessons at Irish Manor was to get back into horseback riding as I hadn't consistently ridden in about 10 years!
This was also the first time that I was able to truly dedicate some time to riding and I wanted to see how much I could progress when I had the focus and time to apply myself.
I was very nervous when I first started riding as the program and barn itself was more intensive than what I had previously been involved in, but I quickly realized that everyone was incredibly supportive and the program was there to help riders continue to learn and grow as equestrians - which was very helpful especially when you are rusty!
The main difference between this barn and others that I have been a part of is that the main focus seems to be on teaching.
The instructors here all seem to really love teaching and take the time and effort to really help explain things in ways that work best for your learning style. I also love that the teaching isn’t just while you are on a horse but they have many opportunities for basic and advanced horsemanship lessons.
As an adult it is hard to admit sometimes when you don’t know what is considered “common” horse knowledge but here, they realize not everyone was taught why or how things are done for horse care and maintenance and they support a low-stress environment where everyone feels comfortable to say, “I don’t know, but please teach me”.
The first moment I realized that I was improving was probably at my first horse show. I was a nervous wreck but about halfway through I realized - oh, I can do this, and if I just relax, I can do this really well. It was a really good feeling to be able to showcase all the hard work that I put into getting to that point. I feel really accomplished and proud of how far I’ve come in the two years I’ve been riding at Irish Manor."
"After 30 years of being involved with riding and caring for both lesson horses and my own horses, I thought I’d learned all I needed to know in terms of my riding ability and horsemanship knowledge.
My primary goal upon my return to riding was to get back to where I was when I stopped riding 2 years prior.
When I started my lessons at IMS, I was nervous. Riding a horse is not the same as getting back on a bike!
Stephanie understood where I was in my journey and paired me with Sadie, a sweet, patient and tolerant lady. Before long, my confidence grew.
IMS is different than any other equine program by virtue of the Academy approach to learning. Everyone is given the opportunity to master skills outlined in their level curriculum. Each level builds upon the previous level and successfully passing a level allows the student to build confidence while opening opportunities available only to IMS students.
And like a quality school, the curriculum is well defined and varied. Teachers and staff have respect for each other, for their students and most importantly the horses. Negative attitudes, gossiping or criticism is not allowed.
While teaching a lesson, both on the ground and in the saddle, Stephanie gives her student 100% of attention.
Riding the horse is only 50% of the time spent at the stable. The other 50% is preparation and post ride care. Staff helps everyone learn how to clean and care for the equipment and the horse. The attention to cleanliness for horses, equipment and the facility is above and beyond anything I’ve ever experienced.
Now that my confidence is grown, I’m so excited to start to go off site to ride at small local shows to challenge myself. I know I’ll have the support and guidance I need. Learning is of utmost importance to me and I believe IMS will be there every step of the way."