Maybe you have a pony mad daughter who has been bugging you for weeks, or longer, to learn how to ride a horse. Or perhaps you used to ride as a child and want to see if you still know how. Whatever the reason, you are now researching the options available in your area and are feeling somewhat overwhelmed at all the different companies and individuals offering horseback riding lesson.
As with most activities the best form of advertising is word of mouth. If you know someone who is taking horseback riding lessons I would suggest you ask them where they go and if they are satisfied with the service. I would also see if you could go and watch them take a lesson to see what is involved. Most equestrian facilities welcome onlookers.
If you don't know anyone currently taking lessons I would start with a web search such as Google. From your phone or computer you can easily search using the term - Where is the best place to take horseback riding lessons near me? You should be able to see a map of all the facilities close to you. Take a look at a few of them and also be sure to read the reviews.
Once you have narrowed down the ones that you would like to know more about give each of them a call. Ask them how long they have been in business, what kind of riding style they teach, how many current students they have, how much does it cost, and very importantly, do they carry liability insurance. Horseback riding can be lots of fun but it is also a high risk sport. You would be surprised how many individuals and companies operate without carrying insurance. Of course you hope that you will never need it but it is very important to know that if you did, it would be valid and available to you.
I would also make an appointment to take a tour of the facility and watch a lesson before committing to spending your hard earned cash. Private lessons are a better value for money, if you have a good instructor, as you get 100% of their attention for the whole lesson. They may sound to be more expensive but in the long run they are the most cost effective.
Once you have decided where and when you will take your lesson you also need to know what kind of equipment you will need. Most places will have riding helmets that you can borrow. I suggest you take advantage of this, at least to start with, just until you are sure this is something you intend to keep doing. This is especially important if you are looking for a horseback riding lesson for a young child. They might be interested in ballet or bikes the following week. Having said that, it is my experience that once bitten by the bug of riding there is no cure.
A strong pair of shoes with a small heel and a comfortable pair for pants are also a must. Once you decide this is something you will continue to do you can buy the correct clothing and equipment. Most facilities will recommend a local tack store to you where you can purchase everything you need.
Horseback riding is a wonderful way to exercise, enjoy the outdoors, and learn co-ordination, responsibility, empathy, and so much more.