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Reasonable Pricing for Horseback Riding Lessons?

contesstant

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#21
God willin' and the creek don't rise, I'll be there! LOVE watching horse shows. And if I can get to see the Native Dress class I'll be in seventh heaven.
I'm sure you'll catch one! I'll check the schedule for ya! Could very well be a horse from my barn in it!
 

gardenmary

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#22
That would be great!! I remember sighing in ecstasy when we'd work the show so many years ago, in 4H - those are the most GORGEOUS costumes. I can imagine they cost a pretty penny too.

Understandably, "Hidalgo" is one of my favorite movies. Viggo Mortensen + Mustangs + Arabian horses = bliss.
 

SkiNana

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#23
Funny how things happen in life. Sometimes you just have to remind yourself to sit down and hang on, because it's going to be a bumpy ride! Horses teach you so much about life. They are a great activity to involve kids in.
After a horse-crazy childhood, the day I learned I was actually getting a horse of my own is one I will never forget! She was a lovely little Paso Fino mare (we lived in Puerto Rico) and we were absolute soul-mates.
One day a few years ago DH called me to watch a special on Paso Finos on TV: you could have knocked me over! I never knew anyone had even heard about them in the States, much less that there was a huge controversy over whether Puerto Rico or Colombia could rightfully lay claim to the origination of the breed. (Puerto Rico, of course! :smile: )
When this Montana thing becomes full time, I am going to have another Paso, for sure. DH has his heart set on a Quarter Horse: he had a "son of King" growing up, as well as Arabians, and is the showman in the family. Me, I just ride - English, preferably - but I was tickled to see rodeo champ Ty Murray posting in a western saddle! That would work for me too.
 

contesstant

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#24
Pasos are beautiful! How fun!!! I wish my husband had an interest. He is actually really afraid of the horses! Which is too bad, because I've had him on some of mine in the past and he's quite naturally gifted as a rider. Maybe if I get him a big fat QH who's slow and mellow, he'd warm up to the idea. But not while we're doing all this military moving--one's enough to move around every few years!
 

SkiNana

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#25
I can always start a "fight" with DH by mentioning Morgan horses. He hates them for some reason. I read Justin Morgan Had a Horse as a girl (Isn't it required reading for horse crazy girls?) and romanticized them. I still think they're neat (without really knowing) to this day. Drives him nuts! :laugh: But it's difficult when you don't share an interest. I can't imagine how hard it must be not being able to share your love of horses with him.
 

contesstant

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#26
I am so used to him not being interested at ALL now that it doesn't bother me. As long as he respects me doing it, which he does. Our thing together is skiing (and hiking, and camping, and some mountain biking.) So I guess that's OK :D
 

SkiNana

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#27
Horses, "skiing and hiking, and camping, and some mountain biking". . . . and a five year old. Tell me, contesstant, what do you do in your spare time? :laugh:
 

contesstant

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#28
Well, unfortunately he only has so much leave he can take, so we don't get to partake as much as we'd like! We of course have to travel outside of the crazy LA basin to get to any of this stuff, and that's quite an endeavor with the traffic here. I would dearly LOVE to have a part-time at home job to help PAY for some of it!

What's funny is I'm so much happier doing the stuff mentioned above than spending a day at Disneyland. I'd rather poke my eyes out than go to Disneyland! My poor daughter...I do think she'll thank me for it later. We are instilling life-long healthy activities in her vs. amusement parks.

And I'll HAVE to stay busy when he's gone for six months or I'll go nuts! :scared:
 

SkiNana

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#29
My kids were grown and gone before I realized that we had never taken them to Disney World (we lived on the other coast.) ... and that they had never asked to go! I guess that's why we drove so far to work - so we could raise them out in the country. They fished and climbed tress instead of hanging out in malls, and had a pony, dogs, cats and ferrets (yup, ferrets) and were better off for it, I think.
 

contesstant

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#30
My kids were grown and gone before I realized that we had never taken them to Disney World (we lived on the other coast.) ... and that they had never asked to go! I guess that's why we drove so far to work - so we could raise them out in the country. They fished and climbed tress instead of hanging out in malls, and had a pony, dogs, cats and ferrets (yup, ferrets) and were better off for it, I think.
Yes, they were! So lucky! I was raised in a fairly rural area but close to Seattle, so I had trees to climb and of course a horse to ride, but I could hop the ferry to the big city easily. It was fantastic!
 

Serafina

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#31
For me, it's not an either-or with Disney. My guy and I LOVE going to Disney. Last time we went to Fla, we got a trail ride there. And got a visit with their stable full of Belgians. And got to watch them harnessing up a six-team of white Shetland ponies to pull some fairy-tale carriage. It was great!
 
#32
I have no desire to ever to go Disneyland. I can think of lots of ways preferable to me that I'd like to spend my vacation time and money.
 

ski now work later

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#33
I have no desire to ever to go Disneyland. I can think of lots of ways preferable to me that I'd like to spend my vacation time and money.
My husband and I feel the same way, but I have friends who absolutely love Disney! Different strokes, it's all good, as long as you have fun on vacation.
 
#34
Sorry that I dropped out completely on this thread I started!!

Contesstant, I LOVE your pictures. Not only is your horse beautiful, but you look amazing on him!

So, I was able to get a recommendation on a stable to check out for lessons from a friend who rides locally, she actually was gushing that where she rides now is the best place she ever has with the best horses she's been around as well. I went this past weekend to meet the owner of the farm who will also be doing the lessons and to have a look around. The farm was really beautiful with lots of space for the horses, riding rings inside for year round riding as well as outside ones, and trails connected to the property etc. The horses also looked very happy and well taken care of from what I could tell. We were even shown some of the specific beginner horses, for some reason I thought the beginner ones would be smaller? lol Man are they tall! (I'm super excited to start riding, but I do have some fear in the back of my mind going about falling off!)

So we are going to start with some lessons and go from there. I let her know my goals and what I hope to accomplish at this point. The rate seemed quite reasonable in comparison to other places I've looked up as well, they charge $45/hr. and I'll probably do 1 day per week to start. I'll be going on saturday afternoons because I work too far away for it to be feasable for me to do a weekday right now. So I start the Saturday after next and I'm soooo excited!! :smile: I bought a couple of things like riding tights and paddock boots, and I'll be getting a helmet once the tack shop I went to gets my size in, hopefully before my lesson, but if not they have ones you can borrow at the stable. (I just prefer my own head being the only one in a helmet I'm usuing for some reason..) I got riding tights because the pants were a nightmare to me!! I always have issues when buying pants, the thighs and butt never fit into the size my waist takes!! The riding tights cleared up that issue because they fit nice and snug everywhere without the huge waist gap I was getting in the pants! I guess I'll deal with finding regular pants down the road, but the tights are so comfy so I think that'll be a nice start. :smile:
 

contesstant

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#35
Good for you!! Please keep us posted on how it goes, and better yet, share pictures!! I'd post more but have been skiing ALL day at Mammoth and I am POOPED!!
 

Serafina

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#36
We were even shown some of the specific beginner horses, for some reason I thought the beginner ones would be smaller? lol Man are they tall! (I'm super excited to start riding, but I do have some fear in the back of my mind going about falling off!)
:rotf: Yep, they're tall. Nope, "beginner" doesn't mean smaller.

Beginner horses is about temperament (very calm) and responsiveness (very little). They don't startle easily, they don't buck, they don't rear, they don't behave in ways that are likely to make you fall off. They won't listen to every. single. one. of the unintended messages you will be sending them as you learn to ride (and you'll be sending an unintended message about once every ten seconds, to start). "Beginner" horses are, in a word, "poky". They can be made to go fast, but you really have to work, hard, at getting them to do that. This means they won't run away with you.

They also usually have a lot of bad habits, like stopping unless you keep the foot on the gas pedal, eating grass while they're in tack, slowing down or stopping every time you pass the gate into the arena, etc. BUT while that kind of thing can ultimately cause you to say "Grrr" it is NOT the kind of thing that is going to cause you to get hurt.

That said, even the most "bombproof" beginner horse will still take off like a rocket if a bee stings it on the butt, or if someone fires a shotgun right next to its ear. And they *are* horses, and horses as far as I can tell, do three things when they're awake: eat, boss each other around, and fight. Fighting seems to be a recreational activity. They eat a little, they take a nap, they wake up, they check to see if there's food, then they have a fight. So if you get someone who isn't really familiar with the horses picking out rides for the group lessons, it's possible to wind up with two horses in the ring that are all persnickety with each other. This shouldn't happen, but it could. Got to be prepared for anything.

So the short answer is, just like skiing, you are *gonna* fall. It's not "if" it's "when". When it happens, just like with skiing, try to land on your butt or hip. If you know you're going to come off, get rid of the stirrups if you can. A lot of times lesson barns will use break-away stirrups for beginners, so that you won't get your foot caught in them when you fall off. Try NOT to land on your head. I speak from Personal Experience on this one...the helmet will prevent a lot of bad stuff, but you can still knock yourself silly.

My horse is really big. He's a 16.2hh warmblood. You'll pick this up, but if you haven't already, his back is 5'6" from the ground. I was trying (and failing) to learn to trot without stirrups last fall, and I bounced right off his back, through the tape fence around the ring, and right on to my butt. And I took a minute to make sure nothing bad had happened, then I got up, dusted off, and got right back on him. I needed to make a side-trip to the drugstore for a tube of arnica gel, and I spent the next 24 hours plastering that stuff all over my back, arm, shoulder, and butt, but I wasn't anything more than a little stiff the next morning, and was able to ride that day.

Also, like skiing, once it happens, you realize that while it's something you would prefer didn't happen, it's not really that bad. A beginner horse isn't going to go berserk on you and trample you or anything - it's going to wander off and try to eat grass, or maybe just look a little embarrassed. Or maybe it will go to the gate in case someone wants to let it back into the barn.

So we are going to start with some lessons and go from there. I let her know my goals and what I hope to accomplish at this point. The rate seemed quite reasonable in comparison to other places I've looked up as well, they charge $45/hr. and I'll probably do 1 day per week to start. I'll be going on saturday afternoons because I work too far away for it to be feasable for me to do a weekday right now. So I start the Saturday after next and I'm soooo excited!! :smile: I bought a couple of things like riding tights and paddock boots, and I'll be getting a helmet once the tack shop I went to gets my size in, hopefully before my lesson, but if not they have ones you can borrow at the stable. (I just prefer my own head being the only one in a helmet I'm usuing for some reason..) I got riding tights because the pants were a nightmare to me!! I always have issues when buying pants, the thighs and butt never fit into the size my waist takes!! The riding tights cleared up that issue because they fit nice and snug everywhere without the huge waist gap I was getting in the pants! I guess I'll deal with finding regular pants down the road, but the tights are so comfy so I think that'll be a nice start. :smile:
One day per week is all you are going to want, to start off with. :laugh: After my first lesson, I walked like Popeye the Sailor on a 6-martini bender for the next three days. In retrospect, I should have laid in the arnica gel then. Just remember, all riders have great butts and super thighs. :laugh: At some point, those muscles will harden off a little, and (if you've gotten bitten by the Horse Bug) you may want to take more than one lesson per week. You've got a super price, there, if that happens! Sometimes trainers will give you a discount if you buy a bunch of lessons in advance.

Riding tights are awesome - by the time it gets cool again, you'll want proper breeches, because you'll freeze your tuchus off in the tights. The sizing on riding gear is all over the place, so I recommend hitting a few tack stores and trying on as many different brands as you can to see which ones work for you. For me, for example, Kerrits don't work at all, ANY of them, breeches, tights, or tops. I have several Irideon tops that work nicely, so I ordered a pair of their tights from Tack of the Day to check it out. All of my breeches are Tuffriders in some low-rise variant, and my tights (so far) are Devon-Aire. I know I can order anything from those lines, and it will fit me properly. You might want to look into the low-rise breeches, if you haven't yet - it was a good solution to the back-waist gap for me. And they're not *so* low-rise that you get plumber's crack.

I don't know how far you are from Boston, but the Dover Saddlery in Wellesley has a pretty good selection of attire you can try on in the store. SmartPak, just down the street in Natick, has a smaller but still decent selection. Sign up for the catalogs from both of them - that way, once you know what brand fits you properly, you'll be able to take advantage of the sales. Also, it's like Horse Porn. Catalogs full of gorgeous, adorable, CLEAN horses. Standing there, politely eating apples, going over jumps, dancing in the dressage ring. The fact that you can buy stuff out of these is really beside the point.

I assume, in this neck of the woods, that you're going to be riding some English discipline. In which case, you're also going to need a pair of half-chaps. The stirrup leathers will chew your riding tights to bits in pretty short order. You wear half-chaps with the paddock boots - they keep the arena shmutz out of your boot, and protect your pants. They have a strap that goes under the boot heel, and they usually zip up the back or the outside. The place you bought your tights and paddock boots will sell them too.
 

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