Riding Lessons at the Happy Horse Farms Equestrian Center
Wanna let your kids learn proper horsemanship or just looking for a nice place to spend a picnic? Then check out Happy Horse Farms Equestrian Center (HHFEC) in Talisay City. It’s a short drive from Bacolod City and worth the little road trip.
Our little daughters love horses. They have those hobby horse toys (stick horses) and they use these to literally “horse around”. Moreover, we would often go to Bantug Lake Ranch here in Bacolod City for a picnic and the girls would not miss the opportunity for horseback riding.
Riding horses just gives these girls that extra smile. So they were just thrilled to be able to make this trip to HHFEC and learn horsemanship.
Watch a video of our afternoon at the Happy Horse Farms Equestrian Center
Happy Horse Farms Equestrian Center
The Happy Horse Farms Equestrian Center (HHFEC) in Talisay City, Negros Occidental, Philippines was primarily established as a riding school. Additionally, it is also where good horsemanship as well as the love for nature and the outdoors and proper care and respect for animals are fostered. I think it is the first and only of its kind of farm here in Negros Occidental.
The farm is already open to the public, however, HHFEC does require advanced bookings. Their horses have strict regimens, so there is a need to plan their days ahead and ensure their well-being.
Equine Services and Amenities
At HHFEC, they offer equine services such as stabling, horse training, English riding lessons, trail rides, pony rides, and riding clinics with top riders from Manila. One can also do trails across the neighboring haciendas.
Currently, their facilities include an outdoor arena, ten stables, two paddocks, and a locker cabana for guests and riders to freshen up. They now take care of a total of 17 horses.
Formal horse riding lessons are offered for children as young as seven years old. Prior schedules should be arranged to ensure the availability of the riding coach and the horses.
The weather is also a major consideration. When we went there, the rain threatened. Thankfully, the skies cleared for our time there so the kids were able to enjoy the farm amenities for the afternoon.
Kids below seven years old as well as those who just want a leisurely trot can go on pony rides. I suggest you wear closed rubber shoes when you go riding. Our Shane insisted on wearing her Crocs but kept complaining that the sand would go inside her shoes. haha
Guests can also come here for a picnic or just to get away from the city. The farm is surrounded by sugarcane fields and a grassy lawn. It’s just so refreshing to look at the scenery and enjoy a breath of fresh air. They have cabanas and picnic mats that guests can use. They also serve meals. Separate fees apply and prior arrangements necessary.
When you are there, kids will not be bored because there is a nice also a nice playground that they can romp around in. Our girls and their BFF Jam had a field time playing there.
The playground has installations made from tires and some are shaped into horses. So fun and colorful, too!
They were having so much fun playing around in the outdoors that it was hard to get the kids to go home. But the thick rain clouds were already looming in the sky and it was getting late so we had to start driving back.
Animal Feeding and Encounters
There is an enclosure at the Happy Horse Farms Equestrian Center where feathered and furry friends stay. They have turkeys, ducks, guinea fowls, and chickens. There are also rabbits and guinea pigs. Kids can also pet their trained and friendly goats named Bugoy and Steve. Animal feeding is allowed for a fee.
The farm also accepts arrangements for special events like birthday parties. Click here for a list of some affordable party suppliers in Bacolod. You may also have photo shoots and field trips here. Just call for prior reservations and fees. They are quite flexible with arrangements.
Fees at Happy Horse Farms Equestrian Center
Here are the rates at the Happy Horse Farms Equestrian Center.
Entrance fee: P100 per person. This covers access to the facility, playground, and petting zoo but is not consumable.
Trail riding fees and lessons:
- Riding Lessons (7-11 years old) – PhP800 for 30 minutes
- Riding Lessons (12 years and above) – PhP950 for 30 minutes
- Pony rides – PhP300 for 20 minutes
- Trail rides – PhP800 for 30 minutes
- Trail rides – PhP1,000 for 1 hour
Please note that their horses don’t work from 10AM to 3.30PM. They really keep their horses happy and healthy.
- Animal Feeding – PhP20
- Breakfast (per pax) – PhP350
- Merienda (per pax) – PhP350
- Cocktails (per pax) – P500
Note: They also accept bookings for events and photo shoots.
Horse Riding Lessons in Negros Occidental
I am glad that we have this kind of riding school at the Happy Horse Farms Equestrian Center in Negros Occidental. Their holistic approach in animal appreciation and relationships, not just riding, is I think their best feature.
They offer one-time lessons for beginners as well as continuous courses for serious riders. Plus, they give opportunities for their students to harness their passion for riding if they want to get serious with the sport.
Lessons are offered for both children and adults. They just require that students should be at least 7 years old upon enrollment. Younger kids, however, can take pony rides for the fun of it.
About the Instructor
Happy Horse Farms Equestrian Center in Talisay City is owned by Jet Lacson and his wife, Antoinette Begre-Lacson. The couple has the heart for taking care and even saving animals and they have made these their advocacy. The farm is a passion project that the couple has built over the years.
Antoinette has always been interested in riding but it was only 11 years ago when she started formal training as a riding coach. She has joined FEI Dressage Coaching seminar and she keeps herself abreast with the latest techniques. “I still go to Manila several times a year to train with my coaches. And if there are international instructors that hold clinics, I join those, too,” she discloses.
Furthermore, her coaches also come to Negros Occidental several times a year in order to conduct riding clinics. Antoinette continues to join these trainings with her own students.
Basic Tips for Good Horsemanship
According to horsewoman Lynn Palm, here are some tips for good horsemanship. Read the whole article at the American Quarter Horse Association website.
- Always wear a helmet when riding a horse. At the HHFEC, that’s the first thing you have to do. Riders are not allowed to mount without a helmet.
- Always do some kind of stretching or warm up exercise on the ground. These will develop your muscle and flexibility of your joints.
- Check your girth for tightness before mounting your horse.
- Mount your horse with a correct posture and confidence. This will encourage your horse to stand still.
- Always keep your eyes and your concentration in front of your horse’s head.
- Be light with your hands and don’t pull on the reins. Your horse appreciates the lightness of your hold. That way, they will learn not to pull and resist you.
- Relax. If you panic, the tighter your hold on the horse will be. The more you squeeze, grip, or kick your horse’s sides, the horse will most likely ignore you.
- Always communicate with your horse through the natural aids, such as using the seat, leg, and hands. Meanwhile, the artificial aids, such as crop, whip, and spurs should only assist your natural aids.
- Horses are sensitive animals. When he responds positively, always reward your horse with a pat, soft voice, or treat. That will make him more willing to give a positive response next time.
- Learn by observing more experienced riders.
- Seek horse riding lessons from a professional. Find one whose methods and training program are based on common sense, not gimmicks.
- Follow farm rules for safety.
For Trail Riding:
- When trail riding, bring a phone and let someone know when you expect to be back.
- When taking your horse on a new trail, ride with a friend on another horse for moral support.
- If your horse is acting spooky, get off the horse and address the obstacle. Deal with it on the ground than on the saddle.
- Always practice loading your horse before you go for a trip. Open all the doors to give as much light as you can before loading your horse.
The World is Our Classroom
As we continue our homeschooling journey, we take our kids to such exposure trips in order to gain knowledge, to play, and also to unwind. They learn new things and get a better appreciation about animals and nature. These are some of the more important aspects of life. Sophia, the daughter of the owners of HHFEC, is also being homeschooled.
Happy Horse Farms Equestrian Center
Hacienda Virhen, Baranggay E Lizares (5.18 mi)
Talisay, Negros Occidental, Philippines | For reservations, contact: (0917) 301 2337
Find Happy Horse Farms on the map.
FB Page: HappyHorseEquestrianCenter
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