319-471-3545

549 Sutliff Road Lisbon IA 52253 us

Horses Level 1 (All Ages) 


This class is designed to start aspiring equestrians from the ground, in the barn, and around the horses. This is suitable for equestrians who have no horse experience, or who have been around horses and need some extra education. Age levels are split up on different days of the week, but everyone starts here and continues on after they test out.


Students will learn and are expected to pass a test including:


  1. Understand and follow safety standards around horses.
  2. ​Know basic feeding needs of a horse and be able to read feed boards.
  3. Recognize the current organization system and follow it.
  4. Recognize safety hazards in the barn.
  5. Be able to understand the barn organization, and maintain it.
  6. Clean a stall within a reasonable time frame.
  7. Proper way to give a horse an apple or carrot.
  8. Approach and halter a horse correctly.
  9. ​Hang halters correctly.
  10. Lead a horse in hand in walk, turn, halt, and through obstacles correctly.
  11. Tie up a horse correctly, using a quick release knot.
  12. Name simple points of the horse.
  13. Recognize different brushes and curry combs.

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Horses Level 3 (All Ages) 


This class is designed to take intermediate equestrians who have a good start, and provide opportunities to interact with horses in a different way other than riding, though that is a next step. This is suitable for equestrians who have some horse experience, and need to upkeep horse management and learn advanced medical care.  Age levels are split up, and after passing this course, you are eligible to be on our Ranch Feeder or Stable Assistant crew. 


Students will learn and are expected to pass a test including explaining why each practice is followed:


  1. ​Know exact feeding needs of a horse and be able to follow feed boards, including grain, hay, and water requirements and why each practice is followed.
  2. Recognize the current organization system, read and follow labelled buckets, explain why we use it.
  3. Discuss organization of feed areas and why everything is placed where it is.
  4. Be able to understand the barn organization, and maintain it.
  5. Check outside waters around the property and fill them according to the standards required; during summer, we overfill outside water tanks to ensure horses have a cool, soft, and muddy spot for their front feet when they need it. During winter, water tanks cannot be below a certain level or it will short out the electric heater.
  6. Recognize safety hazards in the barn and rectify them.
  7. Understand basic visual value outside the barns, dry lots, and property, and help maintain a clean and desirable grounds.
  8. Be able to fill feed buckets and dole out feeds to pasture horses quickly to avoid tussles.
  9. Approach and halter a horse correctly in a group of other horses.
  10. Assess weather and bug situation and correctly "cloth" and treat horses. ie- when winter blankets, fly masks, fly spray, etc. are needed and why they're needed.
  11. When are stalled at night, be able to check "clothing" and take off unnecessary items as needed. 
  12. Be able to assess your personal training needs for the day and only turn out horses you want out, to refrain from going to get them later. 
  13. Clean a stall quickly, with the correct tools, and manage time effectively. 
  14. Tie up a horse correctly, using a quick release knot.
  15. Name advanced points of the horse.
  16. Recognize and use different tools of the grooming kit correctly and without prompting.
  17. Groom a horse using the correct tools, and be able to assess a horse while doing so, making sure to recognize any pain spots, injuries, cuts, or infections.  
  18. Lift and pick out hooves without prompting.
  19. Recognize when a horse is lame versus sound, and be able to assess medical care.
  20. Recognize when a horse has a sore spot or is bleeding, assess the wound, and correctly administer treatment (ointment, liniment, antibiotics, etc)
  21. Lead a horse by hand in walk, trot, turn, halt, and through obstacles correctly.
  22. Lead a horse in a group of other hand-lead horses and follow safe spacing.
  23. Effectively lead a horse through an advanced obstacle course, and be able to explain how each obstacle helps the particular horse and why. (sore spots, muscle building, 
  24. Lunge a horse on a line correctly and effectively. This is not running a horse around in circles, but rather using your body and words to communicate movement.
  25. ​Know basic points of saddles and other tack, and where they sit on the horse's body, and why.
  26. Saddle a horse correctly.
  27. Mount a tied horse from either side and be able to unmount from either side as well.​
  28. Be able to lead a horse up to, and through a gate and close the gate behind yourself with no assistance. 
  29. Turn a horse out in a pen or pasture with other horses, and hang halter back up correctly.


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These new classes are centered on learning about the horse from the feet and stomach up. The classes are for anyone interested, but we require ALL volunteers either take a class OR test out before doing any barn, feeding, or horse tasks. These are five week programs, twice a week. Students of all ages will learn about horse care, body parts of the horse, grooming, horse health and medical practices, horse illnesses and medication, all the way up to leading, riding, horsemanship, and different equine sports. 
Each level is designed to further your equine education, and requires you to pass a skills test to advance onto the next level, and if you already have certain knowledge, you are able to test out of the level and move up. 


This program costs $220 for a five week class, from 4 to 5pm on the day picked for each level.
If participants missed a week, we do a 30 minute review at 3:30pm each day.

We've hired a consulting professional instructor who is going to be teaching these classes, and if you already have purchased a lesson package from their program located in Swisher, $120 will be deducted from this Unbridled Spirits program.


All participants are able to find a sponsor to send them to these classes, OR sell tickets to our fund raising events in order to cover some or all of your enrollment fees. We will provide sponsor letters, tickets to sell, or any of our “Unbridled Spirits” merchandise to sell, if you desire to cover your fees in other ways. 

Horse Management Classes          

Horses Level 2 (All Ages) 

This class is designed to take beginner to intermediate equestrians and give them better tools to care for and interact with horses. This is suitable for equestrians who have some horse experience, but need to learn horse management and basic medical care, or who have been around horses and need some extra education. Age levels are split up, and after passing this course, you are eligible to be on our Ranch Feeder or Stable Assistant crew. 

​Students will learn and are expected to pass a test including:

  1. ​Understand and follow safety standards around horses. 
  2. Know exact feeding needs of a horse and be able to follow feed boards.
  3. Be able to fill feed buckets and dole out feeds to pasture horses quickly to avoid tussles.
  4. Understand hay weight and how much each horse needs daily.
  5. Recognize the current organization system and follow it exactly.
  6. ​Be able to understand the barn organization, and maintain it.
  7. Recognize safety hazards in the barn and report them.
  8. Clean a stall within a reasonable time frame and manage time effectively. 
  9. Approach and halter a horse correctly.
  10. Hang halter correctly.
  11. Turn a horse out in a pen or pasture and hang halter back up.
  12. Lead a horse in hand in walk, trot, turn, halt, and through obstacles correctly.
  13. Tie up a horse correctly, using a quick release knot.
  14. Name simple points of the horse.
  15. Recognize and use different tools of the grooming kit. 
  16. Lift and pick out hooves.
  17. Recognize when a horse is lame versus sound, and be able to assess basic medical care.