Looking for Horseback Riding Lessons in and Around Leesburg and Loudoun County, VA?

Welcome to Clairvaux Riding Academy!

Riding horses teaches so much about life, leadership and the give and take in every relationship. It develops character and builds self esteem. Let us show you how riding improves lives with horseback riding lessons!

At Clairvaux, horsemanship plays an important part in our program. Our lesson packages include weekly seminars that give students the opportunity to gain more insight into horse care and making sure our equine partners are happy, healthy and able to perform at their best.

We have a thoughtful, goal-oriented approach that teaches correct fundamentals. For horseback riders who already have a foundation, we teach “next level” skills that improve show ring performance.We believe that group riding lessons are a great way to learn from others, especially when aiming for show ring success. Seasoned, reliable school horses are available; ship-ins welcome.

Visit the About Us pages to learn more about us, our Leesburg stables and our horseback riding instructors.

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Leesburg Stables Amenities

  • Indoor arena with state-of-the-art German Geotextile footing and jumps
  • Heated seating area in indoor arena
  • Outdoor arena with jumps and lights
  • Nearly eight miles of HOA-maintained equestrian- and pedestrian-use-only trails
  • Large, clutter-free barn aisles
  • Heated lounge
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Bathroom with shower
  • Wash stalls with hot & cold water and heat lamps
  • Clairvaux-supplied tack, grooming equipment and supplies

Introduction to Horseback Riding

Riding Fundamentals

Riders are introduced to the basics of riding, including the proper position of the body, how to make the horse go (at the walk and trot) and how to stop and slow down.

Riders are either lead around by the trainer or by a long rope, allowing the instructor to maintain control over the horse’s speed and direction.

Skill Development

Riders confirm the riding position and learn to communicate with the horse. Exercises for practicing steering and starting and stopping the horse are introduced and practiced. Control of the horse’s pace at the walk and trot is emphasized. Students learn to be independently in control of their horse and building “muscle memory” is commenced.


Introduction to Jumping

Students learn how to canter and go over small obstacles, such as poles on the ground and small cross-rails. Correct approach and the use of the arena is emphasized, so when the rider is ready to start jumping higher, he or she understands the basics of successfully getting to and over each jump.

Novice Jumping (Cross-rails to 2’)

For riders with secure positions and control of the horse’s pace, courses of jumps are negotiated and feedback given. Riders learn how preparatory flatwork impacts how a course is ridden. Correct position and control of the horse are emphasized.

Intermediate and Advanced Jumping

Riders learn how to influence the horse in subtle ways including lengthening and shortening the stride at each gait, plus how to achieve the best performance from the horse in the show ring. The finer points of equitation are covered in order to produce a winning round.

For riders on their own horses, how to train the horse is paramount; exercises will be prescribed for practice between each lesson. Depending on the riders’ competitive goals, whether competing in Hunters, Jumpers or Equitation, exercises and courses are tailored to each rider’s needs. Riders are placed into groups based on age and/or skill level.

Showing Your Horse

Competing in horse shows is a way to put riding skills to the test. Whether getting ready for your first show or trying to move up to the next division, we can help polish your riding and prepare you to meet the challenge. This is also a great time to watch other riders and learn what it takes to achieve a winning round. Sportsmanship and teamwork are emphasized. Additional costs apply.

Lesson Policies

To learn more, please click here to see Clairvaux’s Lessons Policies.

Please note that we do not offer free riding assessments. We are happy to set up a lesson so we can get to know each other and we can show you our program and how we can help you. We also do not host birthday parties.

Please contact us for further information on horseback riding lessons or for more information on our Loudoun County services and facilities.

Horseback Riding Lessons - Terri Young teaching a group of young riders Hunter Jumper Riding Lessons Graduate from Clairvaux - Alison Anderson and Zenith competing in the Culpeper Equitation Classic at a HITS Culpeper Horse Show
Junior Hunter Horse Training Student at Show -  Alaina Rhee showing her Mandalay Bay in the Junior Hunters at the Loudoun Benefit Horse ShowHorseback Riding Lessons Can Be Rewarding