How to find a good stable for horseback riding lessons. How to ride a horse, how to learn horseback riding. English riding or western? How to find a good riding instructor.
Perhaps you want to learn how to ride a horse, or your child is interested in horseback riding lessons. Finding a good stable with good instructors, and gentle horses, is very important. Finding the right stable for horseback riding lessons can be tough.
Where to Find Horse Riding Lesson Stables
Sometimes riding lesson stables are advertised in the phonebook, however you are more likely to find them advertised at your local livestock feed store, tack and saddlery store, or even in livestock newspapers that are often distrubuted through these mentioned shops.
Types of Horseback Riding Lessons
The first thing you will want to decide is if you want to learn English or Western. Most people agree that learning Engish first is better because it teaches you more balance in the saddle and confidance. English lessons can go further into jumping, dressage, or saddleseat. Western lessons are more for people who wish to stick to pleasure riding or go into rodeo.
Some stables offer group riding lessons, others offer semi-private, or private lessons. Group lessons are more affordable and a good place to start, with private lessons being best for a person who owns their own horse or wishes to be competitive in horse shows.
Lessons may be an hour long, or less; shorter lessons are not effective for group lessons. A good riding stable will also involve the students in learning about horse care, how to saddle up the horse before the lesson, and how to cool it down afterwards.
What to Look for in a Riding Lesson Stable
A good stable will have many horses, some for more advanced riders, and some for beginners. They will have enough horses so that the horses are not being used too much and as a result be prone to becoming sour.
The stable should have a knowledgeable instructor who is friendly and personable. Some riding stables have more than one instructor, allowing a student to find the one that works best for them.
Decide why you want to learn to ride, is it for pleasure, or are you interested in gaining skills and knowledge so you can one day own your own horse?
If you want to be competitive you may want to pick a stable that has instructors for beginners, as well as ones for more advanced students, where they do allow students to take their horses to shows. If you are more interested in just learning to ride for your own pleasure you may find that you do not enjoy riding at a stable where the instructors are keen for students to compete and win ribbons.
You can always ask for references, or ask at the local tack store if they have heard anything positive or negative about the horse riding lesson stables in the area.
Some stables only have an outdoor arena, this can be limiting if you are in an area where the weather can get bad, with snow, cold, wind, or rain. Stables that have indoor arenas mean lessons can take place all year long and are rarely cancelled.
Before you sign up for lessons at a riding stable you should watch one or two lessons if you can. (It may not be possible to watch private lessons, but you should be allowed to watch group lessons). This will give you a good idea on the style of the instructor, if you find an instructor is belittling their students you will not enjoy learning to ride there. You can also see how safety concious the instructor is. Are the students required to wear helmets? Is the arena messy with objects that could be hazzards?
Finally you may want to ask about the instructor's training, experience, and if the stable has insurance.