Horseback Riding Lessons

Are Horseback Riding Lessons Expensive?


An understandable concern when researching horseback riding lessons is exactly how much they’re going to set you back financially.

The type of instruction you choose is a major factor in the cost of taking horseback lessons. Horseback riding schools divide training into two basic categories – group and private lessons. Some horse riding barns have a third variation, the semi-private, in which you share the lesson with one other person.

Group Lessons

Group horseback riding lessons cost around $45 for one hour. One criterion when choosing a riding stable is the maximum number of students allowed in a group lesson. Avoid joining a group of more than 5 other riding students, otherwise you’ll not get enough attention from the instructor.

You also want to ensure that the other students are of the same riding level as yourself. This way you’ll learn from watching each other as well as listening to the instructor, and this will add to the value you of your lesson experience.

Private Lessons

Horse riding schools offer private lessons lasting either half an hour for around $45 or one full hour for $65. These lessons are often taken by adults who don’t want the hassle of being around small children, or serious riders who want to advance more quickly than they would in a group situation.

Horse Riding Lesson Packages

Most barns offer lessons in a package form, where you pay for a semester – usually 10 weeks – in advance. A typical price scale would be $400 for ten group lessons, being a saving of $50 over the same number of single lessons. If you’re unable to make a scheduled lesson and give 24 hours’ notice, you can make up that lesson within the semester period. Otherwise the lesson is lost.

A semester of private half-hour horseback lessons would run you $400 (vs. $450) and full hour instruction would cost $600 (vs. $650).

Free Lessons

Some horseback riding stables offer free introductory lessons, so check for these in your area.

If you have access to a reliable horse but not enough money for lessons, check out the ebook Horse Riding Lessons: Training Yourself to Ride. For less than the cost of one lesson, this comprehensive riding guide plus detailed video will help you learn to ride safely at your own pace.

Riding lessons don’t have to break the bank. With a little judicial planning, you can become a competent rider for a reasonable amount of money.


Is Your Horse Attentive During Horseback Riding Lessons?

Posted on 2010-07-03

Whether you’re taking horseback riding lessons on a school animal or your own mount, it’s important to have your equine partner’s full attention. Otherwise no benefit will be gained from your sessions.

Horses used in riding schools often doze during lessons, as the routine is frequently unvarying because repetition is the way to learn. It’s especially hard for beginner riders to change the sequence of movements while they’re still concentrating on how to give the aids correctly and steering the horse.

But part of learning how to ride a horse needs to include varying the routine if you don’t want your horse to ‘fall asleep’ while you ride. Fortunately, there are some simple things you can do to keep your horse awake and listening.

Choose the exercises within the scope of your abilities and use them to make riding more interesting for both of you.

If you’re taking horseback riding lessons ask your instructor if you can use these warm-up exercises appropriate to your level before the lesson starts. You might even have her use these for the whole class!

1. Walk Exercises

Walk your horse on a light contact once around the arena on both reins. Then walk a 20 meter circle - starting with his easier side – taking up a stronger contact. Ask for longer strides, then shorter strides, then longer ones again.

Slow the walk down before circling in the other direction. Before bending your horse the other way, walk him in a straight line for one horse’s length. Ask him to alternate between longer and shorter strides once more.

Your horse should now be alert to your aids because you’re switching movements and he has to pay attention.

Now ride figures of eight, keeping a steady rhythm and concentrating on smooth transitions between left and right bend. Remember to walk one horse’s length before changing direction, and prepare your horse properly for the new bend.

2. Trot Exercises

The above exercises can also be performed in trot, and are an excellent way to prevent your horse from getting ‘stuck’ in one direction and leaning on one rein.

Add transitions between trot to walk and back to trot again. Work on making smooth transitions, so your horse listens willingly to your aids and begins to accept your contact.

More advanced riders can ride trot serpentines across the arena in three even loops. As you ride from one long side to the other, ask your horse for a few strides of walk before transitioning up to trot again. Your horse will start to wait for your aids - which you want - but use your legs to ensure forwards movement at all times. You don’t want him to become hesitant as he anticipates a downward transition. For that reason, don’t always ask for walk in the same place.

3. Canter Exercises

Ask for lengthenings down the long side, and collect your horse before the short side. Frequent transitions from canter to trot and back to canter, with canter transitions from walk, will keep your horse attentive, as will lengthening and shortening his stride on 20 meter circles.

All the above exercises help your horse become attentive because you’re varying the routine and suppling his body, making it easier for him to do as you ask. If you make your horse’s task more pleasant for him, he’ll make your horseback riding lessons more pleasant for you.

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How to Jump-Start Your Horseback Riding Success

Posted on 2010-05-08

Wouldn’t it be wonderful to spend 24 hours a day around horses, take multiple horseback riding lessons and learn all about horses fast?

Well, you can do it if you attend a horseback riding camp. This is an ideal way to learn riding and taking care of a horse within a very short space of time.

What Happens at a Camp?

You will be assigned a horse for which you are responsible during the camp and learn the following:

How to ride, in two daily riding lessons

How to handle, lead and groom your horse

Horseback riding basics

How to use and care for horse riding equipment

Important horse care information, including first aid for horses, feed and nutrition, horse anatomy plus careers with horses

Who Are Camps For and How Long Do They Last?

Most horseback riding camps cater to girls aged 5-16, although some co-ed camps are available, as well as mother and daughter and adult camps. They make the perfect horseback riding venue for beginners.

You can attend overnight or daytime programs, for one day or several weeks, and they offer either Western or English riding. Some camps will let you bring your own horse.

What Gear Should You Take?

Check with the camp organizers, but as a rule you’ll need the following:

Pair of jeans or other long pants for Western riding: riding tights or sweat pants for English (jeans will rub your knees raw)

A pair of English or Western riding boots depending on which style you’re riding, or a boot with a slight heel. Sneakers won’t work, as they can get caught in the stirrup irons and are dangerous.

A helmet. You’ll probably be lent one, but if you’re going to be riding regularly, invest in a NEW ASTM/SEI approved helmet.

Where to Find Riding Camps?

A good place to start your camp search is with the Allens Guide at http://www.allensguide.com. This comprehensive and detailed list includes foreign travel programs if you’re interested in going abroad to ride.

A horseback riding camp is a fun way to quickly improve your horse riding abilities. When you return to your regular riding schedule you’ll be amazed at how much better you ride.

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A Family Adventure With Horses

Posted on 2010-05-04

If you’ve already taken a few horseback riding lessons - or even if you and your family members are horseback riding beginners - make this year’s family vacation an interactive one by going on a horseback riding holiday.

Locations

You can choose to ride in the States or experience a new country on horseback. Destinations include:

Africa

Asia

Europe

Central and South America

Australia and New Zealand

Riding Packages:

With the amazing variety of horse riding vacation packages, you will easily find one to suit your family’s interests and level of riding experience.

Activities include:

1. Staying at a guest or working ranch (Western riding)

2. Wagon trains

3. Inn to inn rides

4. Riding lessons and clinics

5. Trail riding – English or Western

6. Riding gaited horses, such as the Tennessee Walking Horse, Peruvian Paso and Icelandic Horse

7. Pack trips: traveling on horseback with pack animals through the wilderness and setting up camp at night

Good family rates are available and you will usually be assigned one horse for the duration of your stay.

Most locations have a weight restriction, so check individual weight policies before booking a vacation, to save disappointment if you think this might be an issue.

Finding Your Ideal Vacation:

Start your search with these two user-friendly sites.

http://www.hiddentrails.com and http://www.ridingtours.com are both easy to navigate and offer a huge selection of riding holidays in the US and abroad. At www.ridingtours.com you’ll also find online videos of their vacation packages.

Your Family’s Riding Level:

Here are definitions of the terms beginner and novice rider, to help you decide where your family’s riding expertise lies when you search for your best vacation match.

Beginner: has limited experience and is not capable of posting to trot or cantering

Novice: is able to mount and dismount alone, apply the basic aids, and is confident and in control when walking, posting at trot for reasonable lengths of time, and cantering for short stretches

Whichever riding vacation you choose, your whole family will benefit from spending time together in a shared activity around horses.

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Read more:

Mom & Dad – Come Riding!


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