Client/Rider Handbook


Family/Client Handbook


“A great place to meet and learn more about horses!”

Talbot Run Equestrian Center welcomes you to one of Carroll County, Maryland’s premier riding, lesson and horse boarding stables.  Talbot Run has been chosen to be an approved Maryland Horse Discovery Center – a great place to meet and learn more about horses.  Talbot Run Equestrian Center is situated on 147 acres in beautiful Mount Airy, Maryland easily accessible from Frederick, Westminster, Eldersburg, Damascus, Sykesville and Columbia.  At Talbot Run, our goal is to provide safe and happy opportunities for horse enthusiasts of all ages and levels to practice and develop riding skills.

Talbot Run is a family owned and operated farm. Ann and Bob purchased the farm in 2004 and designed and built the “Upper Barn” with the attached riding arena.  Ann and Bob are both retired educators employed by the Montgomery Count Public Schools – Ann taught middle school French for  34 years and Bob was a middle school counselor.  Their vision was to create a happy and safe place where kids and adults could come to learn more about horses and riding.  Their expertise in education and working with kids has helped them to create the unique program that is Talbot Run.  Neither Ann nor Bob had horse experience as children but became connected to the equine world through their daughter Robin.  What started as a “free” introductory lesson at Woodland Horse Center grew from riding lessons to Show Team to one horse to two horses to nine horses and a small backyard farm in Highland to Pony Club to a 147 acre boarding and lesson facility in Mount Airy.  Ann currently is the facility program manager and teaches introductory lessons, orchestrates birthday parties and coordinates the unmounted instructional program. The Petraseks live on site with their daughter Robin, their grand-daughter Lilia, Lilia’s father, Curtis, Tyler, Harmony and Hallie the farm dogs, the barn cats and 52 horses.  Please join us and enjoy the fun and learning that are a focus of our lives here on the farm!


Talbot Run Lesson Program – Riders are grouped into lessons based on age and skill level and taught by experienced instructors who are passionate about sharing their skills and knowledge. We teach an English balanced seat philosophy. Many of our riders are members of our United States Pony Club Riding Center and we endeavor to expose all our riders to multiple disciplines – including Dressage, Show Jumping, Eventing, Cross country, Mounted Games, Tetrathalon, Trail riding and occasionally you might see some barrel racingJ. Our program is based on providing a fun and safe environment where all our riders can enjoy the company of our horses, develop friendships with other horse lovers and practice good horsemanship.

Class Descriptions:

Beginner:  Intro to riding, walk and steering, Beginning trot.

Advanced Beginner: Walk, steering, posting trot, trotting without stirrups.

Intermediate A:  Walk, posting and sitting trot, serpentines, beginning canter (individual).  Trot poles.

Intermediate B:  Walk, trot, begin cantering in a group.  Jumping cross rails up to 2 ft.

Intermediate C:  Walk, trot, canter with and without stirrups.  Jumping simple courses.

Advanced /Eventing Skills:  Dressage, jumping and eventing skills as needed by the riders.

Private Lessons – Half-hour private lessons may be used for children / adults who are not quite ready to participate in group lessons. We use these lessons for children under the age of six. This allows even the smallest child a safe riding experience. Adults who may need a little more individualized attention also find these lessons helpful until they reach a point where they and their instructor feel they would be able to participate in group lessons. Half-hour lessons are also used for experienced riders to work on specific issues. Current cost is $285/8 weeks or $40/ individual lesson.

*Please plan to arrive 15 minutes prior to the start of your lesson to help prepare your horse (brush and tack). Depending on the schedule, your horse may already be tacked – please check before and after to make sure that your horse is ready and taken care of at the end of the lesson. If you would like to learn more about tacking and grooming – let your instructor know and we will be sure you have the opportunity to be trained. Parents are welcome to learn too!

*Let us know about any special health needs or disabilities in order to help us provide appropriate and safe instruction.

Classes Always Forming… Sign up ANY TIME!

Class sessions run for 8 weeks, but you can join at any time during a session.  Call for a discounted evaluation lesson ($20) to try us out.  Call (301) 648-7602 to schedule an appointment with Ann. Let us know if you have a friends who is interested in joining and we will make arrangements from him/her to shadow the instructor and take a trial ride.

 Make-Up Lesson Policy

If make-ups for lessons postponed by the barn are necessary they may be rescheduled as needed. If you need to cancel a lesson – prior notice is required for a make-up to be scheduled.  During the week, please call before noon on the day of your lesson to let us know if you are unable to ride.  For weekends, please let us know Friday or by 7 am. Saturday morning.  Make-ups will not be scheduled unless the lesson is canceled in advance, and they must be done during the current session unless you have spoken to Ann and worked out an alternative.  We are not able to apply unused lessons from a previous session as credit in a new session.  There are no refunds for unused lessons.  We will do our best to accommodate your schedule needs.


Lessons will be cancelled in extreme weather situations.  We have riders from multiple school districts so we do not always cancel if one area cancels. We will try and contact you, but please call/text 301-648-7602 to check if you are in doubt.


Please be sure you are dressed appropriately for the weather. All riders must wear either: breeches, jodhpurs, jeans or long pants; a comfortable top with sleeves; and hard soled shoes. Shorts are not allowed, no matter how hot it may be. No sneakers, tennis shoes or hiking boots are allowed. All footwear must be able to slide easily out of the stirrups for safety reasons! If you come with improper footwear, you will not be allowed to ride. Protective headgear (ASTM approved with a harness) is REQUIRED for all riders. We can provide headwear for riders who do not have their own helmet. If you decide horseback riding is for you, this is often an excellent first investment, especially in the summer with lots of sweaty heads

Parents and families – please note that for safety reasons – appropriate foot attire should be worn in the barn. Please change out of your flip fops before coming into the barn- your toes are important to us!

Rules and Requests from Talbot Run Staff and Family

  • Please do not run.
  • Please place all trash/bottles in trashcans.
  • Please clean up the aisle BEFORE you ride. All grooming tools need to be returned and aisle area swept of debris. Halters need to be hung up. Please clean up all manure that your assigned horse produces during your time together and place on the manure pile outside the barn. This includes if your horse leaves manure behind in the ring when you are riding.
  • Please do not climb gates.
  • Do not chase or harass barn cats or dogs.
  • Absolutely NO PETS except those who reside at TREC are allowed on the property at any time. We love animals but we don’t want anyone to get hurt.
  • All people entering or pass outside the indoor arena gates must shout “door” loudly and look carefully to avoid spooking or running into a horse and rider.

Parents, spouses, etc. are always welcome and encouraged to stay and watch lessons. However, it is important that the students hear the instructor without interference from: spectators speaking too loudly, suggestions from spectators, cell phone usage or walking around arena doors, running, playing loudly, etc. Please note: young visitors should be under adult supervision at all times. There should be no unattended children on the property at any time. If you are riding your own horse or doing a lease ride – you must have an adult present if you are under 18 or have permission/supervision from an instructor or designated adult to ride.

Horse Treats

Treats are allowed after your lesson and after your horse is untacked and all tack has been put away and the horse has been groomed. Do NOT feed treats by hand, unless you have permission from your instructor. Otherwise, please put them in your horse’s stall bucket when they are put away after the lesson. You are welcome to feed our horses healthy treats like apples and carrots and occasionally mints. Do not try to feed a horse a whole apple or large chunks of carrots. They could choke. When in doubt, see your instructor for permission.

Talbot Run Programs

 TREC Horse Shows

 On and off site horse show opportunities are available to our riding lesson students and boarders. We hold Mini events, dressage shows and jumper shows on site. In addition will take interested riders to local shows at a variety of farms and venues. Pony Club members have the opportunity to participate in regional rallies and national championships.

Working Student Program

The working student program at TREC is an opportunity for all to learn more about horsemanship and riding instruction.  All weekly lesson students and boarders over 11 years old are eligible to participate in this program. Working students must be enrolled and paying for at least one lesson per week in order to participate.  Our working students are an integral part of maintaining a high level of horse care and a safe and nurturing riding program at Talbot Run Equestrian Center.  Working students are expected to work a minimum of 4 hours per week.  Hours are available after school from 3:30-7:30 and on Saturdays am. and pm..  Duties include grooming, tacking, lesson assistance and general barn work.

All working students will be expected to attend training meetings with the barn staff throughout the year.  In addition, students and parents when under 18 must commit to the procedures outlined in the working student contract.  Working students must record their work hours in the notebook in the office and have those hours verified by a staff member.  Every 8 hours earns the possibility on a space available basis to jump into an extra lesson.  These lessons must be approved and scheduled in advance on the calendar.  Contact Ann to sign up.

 Talbot Run Riding Center Pony Club

 Talbot Run Pony Club Riding Center is excited to be one of Maryland’s largest Pony Club Riding Centers. The Talbot Run Riding Center Program includes 2 mounted lessons per month plus unmounted meetings as scheduled and weekly during Quiz prep. Lessons will concentrate on working on rating standards for riding – including riding on the flat and jumping. Unmounted lessons will cover a variety of topics including horse anatomy, veterinary care, bandaging, nutrition, competition rules, farm management and developing future leadership and teaching skills.  We also participate in the USPC Badge Program at the D level.

Pony Club Riders have the opportunity to participate in rallies throughout the spring, summer and fall.  Currently we compete in Quiz, Games, Show Jumping, Eventing, Tetrathalon, Polocrosse and Dressage.  We have sent TRRC riders to Pony Club National Championships in Tryon North Carolina and Lexington, Virginia in Show Jumping, Dressage and Quiz.


 $165 per year – All Pony Club riders must join the United States Pony Club (USPC).  In addition there is a $25 membership fee to the Capital Region.

 $60 per month  – Talbot Run fees for lessons and unmounted instruction. This fee is ongoing and due whether or not you attend all activities.

 $50 (approx.) – Rating fee (Periodic depending on progress)

?  – Rally costs including additional practices depending on discipline – Each participant is responsible.


Talbot Run polo shirt  – for ratings and rallies

D Manual and Badge Handbook– can be purchased from Pony Club website

Pony Club Pin – provided by USPC

TREC Riding Day Camp

Come and enjoy friendship and horses at Talbot Run Equestrian Center Summer Day Camp.  Learn to ride or improve your riding skills in a safe and relaxed setting dedicated to teaching balanced seat riding and horsemanship.  In addition to two riding lessons daily, campers will learn to groom, tack and take care of their horses.  A variety of fun un-mounted lessons will be offered including horse anatomy, breeds, tack care, and outdoor activities. At the end of the week, the campers will have an opportunity to share what they have learned in the presentation to their friends and family.  We have camp for 8 weeks in the summer, over winter break and occasional days off from school.

Horse Discovery Center Programs

Our Horse Discovery Center offerings consist of programs and field trips specifically and uniquely designed for libraries, preschools, grade schools, home schools, and scout troops. Components of the programs can include:

  • Tour of the facility
  • Horse Discovery Curriculum linked to Maryland science and world studies standards
  • Presentation of various breeds and types of horses and ponies
  • Demonstration of horse and farm chores
  • Saddling and grooming demonstrations
  • Age appropriate games
  • Arts & crafts activities
  • Scavenger hunt (reinforces material learned during session)
  • “Take Home” packets
  • “Mini-lesson” or horse/pony ride (for some programs) Please call the farm for pricing and scheduling information.










%d bloggers like this: