Scroll Down to Read What Our Riders Say
Dream Come True
I had always dreamed of learning to ride and my dream is coming true at Seventh Farm. Tom and Liz McCadden are excellent teachers: patient, attentive, knowledgeable, dedicated to their horses and their students. They provide a complete experience, from grooming and tack and advice on gear, to equine physiology and psychology, to comporting oneself with a horse, in and out of the saddle.
Liz and Tom believe in a thorough grounding in the basics. They take a slow and steady approach, assessing each student's abilities, strengths and weaknesses on an individual basis. Nothing escapes their expert eye and nothing is beyond their ability to explain, to impart understanding to even the least perceptive of students, like me. They are always positive and encouraging, always constructive in their critiques. Their passion for their horses and for teaching and sharing that passion is communicated in everything they do.
What began as fantasy fulfillment for me has turned out to be so much better than some dream-come-true. It has sometimes been hard work, physically and mentally, but after a lesson at Seventh Farm, I come away wanting to work that much harder and having had another important lesson confirmed yet again: that working is much more rewarding than wishing. Thank you, Liz and Tom, for all I have learned thus far and for the wealth of knowledge that I know lies yet in store!
Life Changing Experience
Riding has changed my life in so many profound ways. I honestly thought it would be simple: to learn how to ride horses better (as opposed to the hold on tight, “giddy up” way I rode as a little girl). But to my great surprise and astonishment, it has completely reshaped me as a person. Riding is so much more than riding. I am braver, more courageous, and stronger – both physically and mentally, than I ever knew. These characteristics, along with countless others, have prospered not only in my riding, but in all areas of my life. And through these most amazing animals I have come to understand and appreciate how bonds, that go deeper than words, are formed. The horses teach me about who I am, what I'm capable of, what my biggest strengths are and of course, how to laugh – especially at myself. Horses are very spiritual beings and the gifts they give are endless.
The personal relationships I have built at the farm are near and dear to my heart. I have been riding with the same group of amazing women since I first started, almost 3 years ago. We call ourselves the Fab Four and we live up to that in every way! Tom and Liz have created a unique, special environment for their students. I am certain that without their guidance and wisdom I never would have advanced in the way I have. They have seen me through my triumphs as well as my hurdles with so much honesty and encouragement. I quickly fell in love with the excitement and sense of adventure of riding. I cannot wait to see what the future brings – for myself, my riding friends and the horses – it will no doubt be incredible!
– CourtneyDowntown Minneapolis (North Loop)
Patient, Detailed and Individualized Instruction
My first experience at Seventh Farm was on my very first day of riding a horse. I arrived at the farm a bit early to watch the lesson immediately before mine. As I watched Liz teach the class, one of the things that struck me was the patience and detailed instruction she gave each individual student. If Liz sensed the student didn't quite understand the exercise, she kindly and patiently explained the exercise again, sometimes drawing it out on the sand of the arena. Watching this made me realized just how important safety is at Seventh Farm. As the student rode off to perform the exercise, Liz was right there with them every step of the way, giving the student gentle reminders on the proper positioning of hands and legs. When the exercise was complete, Liz praised the student. I also noticed the other students in the class congratulating the student on a job well done and clapping as the student rejoined the group. After seeing this, I knew Seventh Farm was the place for me.
I have been riding at Seventh Farm for over three years now and can not imagine riding anywhere else. The horses are all exceptionally well cared for. Both Liz and Tom are so knowledgeable and truly gifted in the art of teaching. All the people at the farm are extremely kind and supportive. I feel truly blessed to have discovered such a wonderful place.
– JenniferWoodbury, MN
The Many Reasons Why I Love Riding at Seventh Farm
I've wanted to learn to ride since I was a little kid. Riding at Seventh Farm is better than I dreamed about. My Top 5 of The Many Reasons I Love Riding at Seventh Farm:
1. Wonderful teaching. Liz and Tom are patient, respectful and really good at conveying new ideas and techniques in plain English.
2. Awesome horses. These guys are the best. There are horses for from-scratch beginners like me, as well as for riders who have more experience. And they are all tolerant and well-mannered.
3. Step-by-step progress. I'm not a very bold person, but the lessons move ahead so logically that my skills and confidence have squashed my fears. It is so nice to feel, “Huh! Look what we just accomplished!” instead of feeling fearful.
4. Horsemanship. I'm learning how to handle horses even when I'm not riding! Learning effective and ethical ways to take care of horses makes riding them easier and builds on the riding experience.
5. Other riders. Riding with the other students I have met at Seventh Farm adds another layer of fun to an already super-cool experience.
– DawnLinden Hills, Minneapolis
A Diversion That Turned Into A Lifelong Passion
What I thought would be a fun one or two-month diversion has turned into a lifelong passion. Riding has taught me more about myself than I ever could have anticipated and it has increased my confidence in many ways. I am a teacher by profession and I have become a better teacher in my professional life because of what I've experienced as a student at Seventh Farm and because of what Liz, Tom and the horses have taught me about communication, trust, assertiveness and the learning process. Seventh Farm is more than just a school; it is a community. I would not have become the rider or the person I am today without the opportunities for growth and the support of other riders that Seventh Farm provides.
– LisaHamline Midway, St. Paul
My Seventh Farm Family
Riding a horse for the first time in my life at age 37 wasn't something I expected to do. But after one ride, I knew I wanted more. I found the Seventh Farm website, spoke to Tom on the phone, enrolled in the four-week beginner class and the best adventure of my adult life began. From the start I realized that everything I knew in the world did not matter on the farm. On the farm, I was a newborn. I knew nothing and had to embrace that. I just needed to be a sponge, to be coached. Liz and Tom are amazing teachers and they do not scrimp on one iota of the learning you need to safely, comfortably and proficiently care for, interact with and ride their array of top notch horses. Riders stay with them for years because the experience at Seventh Farm is holistic and ever-developing – you continue learning as a rider, as a caretaker and as a person. While riding I discovered the kind of focus, concentration and calm of being in the moment (and only in that moment) that I lost the minute a smart phone came into my life. When I moved to London in 2013, the hardest thing I left behind was my twice-weekly lessons at Seventh Farm and my Seventh Farm family of Liz, Tom, and all of the riders I had come to know and adore. I have yet to find a stable here in the UK that matches the level of training expertise, service, caring and range of high-quality, well-cared for horses that Seventh Farm has.
– BethLondon, UK (previously Minneapolis, MN)
The Best Ever-r-r-r-r-r
If I was still a little kid, I’d probably describe Seventh Farm as “the best ever-r-r-r-r-r”!!! But as of this writing I’m in my late fifties, so I’ll try to contain my enthusiasm and express myself like an adult.
Before I discovered Seventh Farm, I had only lived in the Midwest for a couple of years and was heartbroken after having to say good-bye to my riding instructor and favorite horses in Upstate New York. I honestly thought my riding days were over when I could not find a stable in the Twin Cities that operated with integrity. The stars were aligned the day I stumbled on the Seventh Farm website and read about Liz and Tom’s teaching methods and devotion to their horses and students. I immediately knew it was the place for me. I have learned more in four years under Liz and Tom’s instruction than I ever did in my previous 18 years of riding at other stables. They gradually and patiently taught me to undo many of the bad habits I picked up along the way and helped me to perfect my good skills. In time I learned an entirely different and better way to ride. I now feel more balanced and confident and I love the constant education on how to successfully communicate with a horse as partner and friend.
Every week of the year I cannot wait to drive out to the farm to see Tom and Liz, my fellow students and all the healthy, happy horses. It is an absolute joy to spend time at the farm. Seventh Farm is just plain good for the soul!
– TracyHudson, WI
I Progress At My Own Pace
I have been taking riding lessons at Seventh Farm for a year and a half. I first started riding horses about 20 years ago and what I discovered in taking it up again is that - as an adult - I am much more aware of the incredible power and independent spirit of these remarkable animals. I was a bit anxious at first, but one of the great things about Tom and Liz is that they are so attuned to their horses and attentive to their students that they were able to sense my hesitation and match me with a horse (love you, Charlie!) that I am comfortable riding. They have also let me progress at my own pace – never pushing me to do something unless they know I am ready. Thanks to Tom and Liz's patience and thorough teaching style, I have re-gained my confidence and am eager to improve.
– LindseyDowntown, Minneapolis
I Am Becoming a Complete Horseman
I am in my fifth year at Seventh Farm. I love it there because I feel I’m becoming a complete horseman. Liz and Tom emphasize understanding the horse from the inside out. The ride begins when you first enter the horse’s stall and doesn’t end until you leave. We relate to the horse in grooming and groundwork, as well as in riding. Riding instruction draws on various riding traditions aimed at eliciting the most natural and healthful movement from the horse, given the stage of the rider. Classes are small; Liz and Tom bring a dynamic, individualized plan for each rider. One might be working on cantering, another starting to jump, another focusing on transitions. Riders cheer one another’s progress and also analyze and offer observations to each other.
The atmosphere at Seventh Farm is open and inviting. Liz and Tom include us in all the aspects of horse care. We might be invited to observe the work of the equine dentist, the blacksmith or the vet. Liz and Tom explain aspects of each horse’s background that influence its health and demeanor. And we are regularly updated on each horse’s training. The horses themselves enjoy their work. They spend most of their days off as a natural herd, working on their relationships. But at lesson time they are ready, well-mannered and very athletic. It has been a joy getting to know each of the horses at Seventh Farm
– ReginaLinden Hills, Minneapolis
Dear Liz and Tom,
I cannot begin to tell you how much riding has meant to me over the past 16 months. I have called it my “Equestrian Therapy” because it has provided me with an experience of personal grounding that I have found few other places. When at Seventh Farm, I am completely there with all the stresses of life set aside. I told my sister early on in my riding lessons, “Every time I ride, it is a miracle!” I am an older beginner and I never imagined that I could progress so much in my first year. And I never imagined how powerful the experience of riding would be in finding a piece of myself that I never knew.
I am a teacher by profession and I believe that you and Tom are outstanding teachers. You build a perfect mix of clear direction and affirmation. You help me see exactly what I am doing right and what I am doing wrong so that correction is immediate and specific. As I have watched you giving feedback to other students, I have been amazed at how individualized your feedback is. You know each rider, where they are in their development and what each of us needs.
Your care of and knowledge of your horses has also been amazing to see. Although I have nothing to compare it to, I have heard from other students that have ridden at other stables, that the care at Seventh Farm is not typical of most horse stables. You have taught us the unique personalities and idiosyncrasies of each horse so that they become special in their own way. The orderliness of the stable and the rituals of tacking provide safety and comfort. You are ever present and I know that questions are welcome and respected.
I cannot thank you enough for your gift of horses and riding. I love my riding experience at Seventh Farm!
– CateMinneapolis, MN
When I first started at Seventh Farm I was looking for a place to escape my hectic job and relax every week. Coming to the farm was it!! I have always admired horses so I thought I would give riding a try. I had little knowledge about riding and so I was nervous to get started. Liz and Tom were so welcoming, I felt like I was joining their family. Getting to know all the horses and all their personalities is a lot of fun. Getting to ride so many different horses has really helped me improve my riding.
Tom and Liz’s knowledge of horses is endless! They have a way of giving feedback that helps you improve your ride even on difficult days. I have always felt challenged and never pushed to do more than I’m comfortable with. All the time I have spent at Seventh Farm has been a real pleasure! I would highly recommend Seventh Farm to a full range of riders from people like me who had no experience to very advanced. I could not have picked a better place to ride!
– SamanthaCathedral Hill, St. Paul
I came to Seventh Farm almost 6 years ago. I had never ridden a horse and in fact was afraid of them. Something made me go to Seventh Farm to learn to ride. These years of riding have taught me so much about self-confidence and have allowed me to go from an absolute beginner to happy, confident rider ready for whatever comes next in our lessons. Tom and Liz are absolutely the best teachers! I have learned to support my fellow riders and to make friendships. Riding is a great stress reliever for me as I drive to the Wisconsin farm from St. Paul.
– SharonHighland Park, St. Paul
“It is wonderful to have a hobby that is fully engaging both physically and mentally. The way the classes are structured at Seventh Farm allows me to learn from the instructor as well as from other students of all ages and abilities. Tom and Liz do a great job of individualizing their approach with each student and allow each person to progress at their own pace. Liz and Tom always take the time to explain not just what to do, but why – which makes learning so much easier.
I Wish I Would Have Found Them Much Earlier In My Riding Career
From well trained, dependable horses to excellent instruction, Seventh Farm has made all the difference in my confidence as a rider. Every lesson is packed with tools, feedback and great imagery to help you become a better, more aware rider. I have only ridden with Liz and Tom for two years, but I wish I had found them much earlier in my “riding career!”
– ErinRosemount, MN
Easy Transition From Another Stable
I had been riding at a different stable for about 4 years when I switched to Seventh Farm. I was very worried that it would be a difficult transition but Liz and Tom made it easier by using great examples and having a lot of patience with me. I have improved so much in many ways since I started riding at Seventh Farm. I am more comfortable around horses, I have more confidence when riding and I have learned many skills and techniques that make me a better rider. The stable is always clean and organized and the horses are very happy. The top three reasons I love riding at Seventh Farm are the teachers, the horses and the other students. Liz and Tom are great teachers who are always pushing the students to do better and teaching in interesting and helpful ways. The horses are well trained, happy, healthy and fun to ride. Lastly the students are amazing. I like being in classes with students of a variety of ages and abilities. They are so supportive and friendly and you really feel like you belong. I love it here and could not be happier I switched to Seventh Farm.
– NaomiHighland Park, St. Paul
Get Back on the Horse!
I have been telling myself for years that I just had to get back on a horse. My first day at Seventh Farm brought me a joy I had not felt in years. Meeting Tom and Liz for the first time, I knew immediately they were the teachers for me. From the first day I have learned so much in every lesson. Tom and Liz see everything and communicate with their students very clearly. Their expertise and confidence are inspiring. They have high expectations of their students and they encourage them to reach higher in their ability and confidence. At Seventh Farm, we learn so much more than riding. We learn how to establish a mutually respectful working relationship with the horses we ride. I feel very lucky to have found Seventh Farm. I know I am learning from the best!
– LauraLynLake, Minneapolis
A Charming Retreat
When I started riding at Seventh Farm, it was on a whim. I did some casual Western riding when I was a kid and had always wanted to try English. I saw an ad for Seventh Farm in the Southwest Journal and decided I would take a month’s lesson for fun. I have been hooked ever since. I am not only hooked on the horses as amazing animals and riding as a great sport – I am hooked on Seventh Farm. It’s a charming retreat where the horses and riders are cared for with warmth and respect and where I get to live absolutely in the moment.
– JenniferLinden Hills, Minneapolis
Meticulous Horse Care and Excellent Teachers
Last fall I began riding at Seventh Farm after several years of not having ridden horses. I wanted to enjoy riding once again and when I found Seventh Farm, I knew that I had found the place to start again. The reasons that Seventh Farm is a perfect fit for me are due to Liz and Tom’s meticulous care of the horses and the farm and their expertise and knowledge of horse care, as well as an excellent ability to teach riders of all ages and riding abilities.
Other great things to mention about riding at Seventh Farms include:
• Friendly and welcoming atmosphere.
• Tom and Liz are respectful of both riders and horses.
• Small group lessons.
• Teaching individualized to meet the need of each rider.
• Each rider is challenged to do their best.
These are just a few of the wonderful things that come to mind. Oh, and one more. It's Fun!!!!!
– PattiSt. Paul, MN
Small Class Sizes and Individual Feedback
Whether you are a novice beginner or have some experience, riding at Seventh Farm is very satisfying because the facility is well maintained and the staff is excellent. There is ample room to practice riding in both the heated indoor arena and the outdoor arena. Lessons are available year round. The stable is kept impeccably clean and the equipment is well-maintained and always in good working order. The horses are healthy, people friendly and a joy to ride. Everyone, from the stable employees, to the blacksmith, to the instructors (Liz and Tom) are friendly, courteous, knowledgeable, and professional. I especially appreciate the individual attention and feedback that the small class size provides. Because of Liz and Tom's depth of knowledge and genuine concern for my success, I have learned so much! Finally, Seventh Farm teaches to all age groups and to all levels of experience, so no matter where one is on this spectrum one will feel at home. I highly recommend Seventh Farm.
– MonicaEagan, MN
A New Depth of Knowledge
I began lessons at Seventh Farm a little over seven months ago and it has been an enjoyable and rewarding experience since day one. I first learned to ride as a kid and spent most of my teenage years riding and working at another stable, but I hadn't really ridden in the twelve years since. My previous experience had been focused on pleasure and performance riding within the world of a specific breed and did not include any hunter/jumper training. So I came to Seventh Farm with a strong background and a high degree of comfort around horses, but also as a relative beginner in the specific discipline Tom and Liz focus on. I was excited to put riding back in my life and open to learning something new, but having a natural bias toward my past experience, I also wasn't sure what to expect.
I am happy to report that riding at Seventh Farm has been a fantastic experience, which has exceeded all my expectations. While my background with horses has certainly been helpful to my progress, there are also ways in which I feel like I'm learning to ride all over again. I loved and was very passionate about my previous riding, but I can now see how much of my past training was superficial in comparison to what I'm learning at Seventh Farm and I have no doubt that I'm on my way to becoming a much better, stronger rider than I ever was before.
Tom and Liz are knowledgeable, thoughtful teachers whose intelligent and deliberate attention to the fundamentals of sound riding helps their students lay a strong foundation upon which competent, confident horsemanship can be built. Their in-depth, holistic approach teaches you how to really connect to and work in partnership with your horse. Equine psychology and anatomy are integrated into every lesson and Tom and Liz do an excellent job of explaining how you can maximize the receptivity of your horse by understanding and respecting the way the horse's mind and body work. I have been very impressed by the comprehensiveness of their instruction and by how well they are able to explain the complex and subtle ways of using one's whole body to enhance the performance of both horse and rider. It is incredibly satisfying to feel how well you are able to communicate with your horse when you are connected in this way, and I'm excited to continue learning how to strengthen and refine my ability.
Finally, I want to say how great it is to see how happy and well cared for Tom and Liz's horses are. I've been to barns where the horses are pretty worn down in both body and spirit. You won't find any examples of this among the Seventh Farm horses, all of whom are clearly valued and enjoy their lives and work. It is obvious how much Tom and Liz genuinely love horses and riding and I think it is this enthusiasm, in combination with their knowledge and skill, which makes them such excellent teachers.