About Back to Basics
For the past five and a half years Back to Basics has served as a starter barn for many riders who either were brand new to horses or are seeking to get back into the and accomplish goals that they have always wanted to reach. After the 2019 snow storm when the roof of the arena collapsed at the flagship location it wasn't a question for B2B if they would find a new home or close its doors. The Weideman family choose to seek out a new home so that the B2B family could stay together.
We found our new home in the town of Rochester, WA. The year of 2019 was an amazing year at our new home and we made many new friends. Sadly December brought on changes for the Weideman family with the passing of Instructor Sarah's mother. With much of her family in Alaska and the longing for a return the their home state the hard choice to close the doors of B2B in Washington was made. By February 1st 2020 B2B's Washington doors will be closed for good.
We are now back in the Weideman's home state of Alaska. At this time we are primarily traveling for lessons around the Mat-Su Valley and Anchorage areas. Summer 2020 we will be traveling to Fairbanks and possibly Kenai area for clinics.
Instructor Sarah currently holds 3 national certifications as a riding instructor. Our lesson program is treated as a "living" thing and is constantly evolving and adapting to the needs of our students.
At B2B we pride ourselves in offering the "out of the box" riding lesson. We do not just focus on riding or as many of our students say "the fun stuff." Our students learn everything from leading, grooming, horse health, bandaging, stall cleaning, sheath cleaning, bathing, tack care, and so much more.
We teach a variety of disciplines but stress the fun of horseback riding no matter what your goals are.
Our requirements of our students are: you are willing to try, willing to learn and have fun!
For as long as I can remember I have loved horses, even during times of my life that I could not ride I would find comfort in being around them. During a hard time in my life as a young teen I found myself at a barn in a small town in Alaska. My parents had separated and my life was rapidly changing. In exchange for cleaning the barn of 30 horses I would receive riding lessons on a schooling horse and my life began to feel whole again.
My first lesson was on an old red dun mare named Carmel. I think between her and the old pony-Peanut, every kid in that town had learned to ride. I had grown up around horses and had some experience thanks to my sister who had them but this was my first real “formal” education.
I remember laughing, crying, the bruises and making lifelong friends. The barn was always a happy place full of laughter and people who loved horses. As my riding improved I moved into the Hunter/Jumper ring and found a new instructor who specialized in the sport. Bill was a terrifying instructor and none of us would even as a question for fear of being yelled at. He would stand in the arena with a cigarette hanging from his mouth and bark orders. Needless to say my stay there was brief, however my riding did improve.
Of course over the years I was told “you can’t make a living with horses” or “there is no way that you could build a business out of horses” and I believed it. So I settled on trying to have a “regular” job. The “regular” job just never seemed to pan out. Health issues with my daughter made the 9 to 5 job even more difficult. So when the opportunity came to lease my current facility I did it!
I founded Back to Basics Horsemanship with the goal of boarding and instructing enough to cover the expenses including my own horses That goal was met in the first month and then it started to grow- quickly.
My students started as just a few young kiddos what loved horses as much as I did and then spread to working with adults wanting to rekindle their love of horses, and teens competing on the equestrian team. Instructing brought me such joy and happiness that I wondered why I ever tried another job.
When you see a student who could not even enter the barn for fear of how big these amazing creatures are on the first day take their first solo canter step and the smile spread across their face it changes your life. When you help a woman purchase her first horse in 40 years and see that instant bond that you can only find with an equine.
I am a riding instructor not for money, fame or glamour- trust me there is none of that here, but rather to help people reach goals, learn and enjoy these amazing animals that teach us more about ourselves than we ever could on our own.
Instructor Sarah and Annual Reward
2019 Retired Racehorse Project Makeover Hopefuls
5th ride at home off the track
Instructor Sarah and Diamond
Rainbow Meadow Farm, Rochester, WA