So, you’re interested in learning how to ride a horse and you’ve searched the web and have narrowed it down to 3 riding stables that are local in your area. Before you tour the perspective stables, these helpful questions will help you to decide which riding facility is the perfect fit for you.
If you have never ridden a horse before, the first part of your lesson should be learning how to properly brush and tack up your horse or pony, before you mount.
If you are an experienced rider who is simply changing stables, you will need a private assessment lesson to see where you fit into the new stable.
2. What are the qualifications of my riding instructor?
There are various levels of coaching certifications, however, you will also come across qualified instructors who have not gone through the coaching program. Things to look for in a coach or instructor are: several years of experience in producing quality riders; personal achievements; are personable, patient and provides clear instructions; puts the safety of rider and horse/pony first; and last but not least, you should have a personal connection.
3. What are the riding school horse’s qualifications?
First, the horse should have a good temperament that is quiet and calm. The horse should be suited to your skill level and is appropriately sized to you as the rider. You will want to know that your horse has a good reputation in the school, and it is a bonus to have a veteran show horse.
4. What equipment do I need, and where do I get them?
At any riding facility, safety is of utmost importance. At a minimum, a properly fitted ASTM/SEI certified riding helmet and paddock boots should be purchased before you start your first lesson. Inquiring at your new facility where these items can be purchased locally is usually the best way to go.
5. And finally…how much?
This is generally the first question asked, and although riding lessons need to fit into your budget, be wary of choosing a stable based solely on price alone. Do your research, whether on line or through referrals, be sure to tour the facility for cleanliness and safety, and chat with the coaches and instructors. At the end of the day, you need to go with your gut, just make sure that it is informed.