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the Price of Horseback Riding Lessons

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$ 40
Jul 2008
San Diego, CA
Private horseback riding lessons after basics  more... close row
$ 45
Jun 2006
Marysville, OH
Private Horseback Riding
One on one lesson with absent-minded instructor  more... close row
$ 20
Jan 2009
Randolph, VA
Horseback Riding Lessons
Price of lessons for daughter's horseback riding stays constant  more... close row
$ 18
Aug 2008
Delware, Ohio
horseback riding
90 minute horseback riding lesson for daughter  more... close row
$ 75
Jan 2009
Hunterdon County, NJ
Horseback Riding Lessons (Dressage)
One English-style horseback riding class  more... close row

Description of service

This description is for one English-style horseback riding lesson with a qualified Grand Prix level dressage rider and instructor.

The price above is for one 30-minute long one-on-one lesson on the rider's own horse or an appropriately trained school horse.

Training sessions focus on improving rider skills and technique, rider/horse communication, practice and perfection of dressage maneuvers, performance, and overall horsemanship.

The level of instruction in these sessions is tailored to the experience level of the rider and horse. They can range anywhere from beginning level dressage to advanced-level training for show riders.

Review of Service

This review is based on my riding lesson experience at a mid-sized stable and boarding facility that boards high-quality horses, has both indoor and outdoor facilities, and offers training and instruction to both pleasure and show riders.

Lessons at this facility are held are in an extra-large, mirrored indoor riding arena in winter and may be conducted in either the indoor or outdoor arena in summer, depending on weather. Both have very good quality sand footing, which is important for both the safety and performance of the horses.

The indoor arena is well maintained and well lighted. As with all oversized halls, acoustics are somewhat less than ideal. A PA system for the instructor in a hall of this size would be a plus.

Several instructors work out of this facility. They charge varying rates.

The $75 lessons I am reviewing here are conducted by a trainer is qualified to instruct riders at a higher level. This instructor has an excellent reputation, and a background as a high-level dressage competitor, and thus the cost of their lessons are higher than average.

Other qualified instructors at this facility have somewhat less prestigious credentials, and charge on average $50 for a 30- 45-minute session. At a facility like this, the slightly lower priced instructors are often more appropriate for beginning or pleasure riders who might not yet need such high-level experience in a trainer.

Overall, these riding lessons are well conducted. The trainers are attentive to both the rider and horse, and work both appropriately during the course of the session to resolve problems and get best performance out of both.

The lessons are worthwhile, but I found them somewhat less personal, less educational, and less fun than other training sessions I've had.

Much of that depends on how the personality of the instructor meshes with that of the student, though. While I found the style of instruction to be rather dry, I am certain many other riders would find nothing lacking.

I rode as a guest rider at this facility for two weeks. I was generally satisfied with the quality of the lessons I received, but less satisfied with the value. I feel that a 30-minute lesson is often too short, and I found $75 too pricey for what I ultimately got out of each session.

One disappointment for me, though, is that the instructors approache these lessons more like a coach than a teacher. By that I mean that when particular difficulties arise between rider and horse, the rider is simply told what to do next.

I find I pick up my most valuable horsemanship skills from instructors who thoroughly explain the "whys" of riding. I particularly expect a high-level trainer to tell me why my horse is having a problem with what I'm doing as a rider, and couple that with an explanation of why a particular solution is the right approach. I expected more of that in these lessons than what I got. If I had my choice I would go with a trainer who could offer me a more informative approach.

In the $75 sessions, I got expert instruction, but it was more in the format of a supervised riding session than the kind of in-depth schooling and knowledge-exchange I would expect from a personal trainer who gets top price for their services. That is something I?d shop around for if I were looking for a more permanent arrangement.

This particular price-to-value ratio is largely due to location. All things equestrian are priced particularly high in the Metropolitan New York area and outlying regions. Because the average horse owner in that area is able to bear the price, trainers are able to ask prices for their services that they might not get in other parts of the country.

Summarized Review:

? The facility described here is excellent

? The instructor described is more qualified than many who teach dressage

? The price, at $75/half hour, is at the high end for that type of riding instructor in the area listed, and very high for some other parts of the country

? The lessons described are overpriced for what they are

? I would, nonetheless, recommend lessons like this over "budget" lessons for any serious rider wishing to learn overall English-style horsemanship.

Write a review of the quality of the service you received


Every rider is different. Not all instructors and riders work well together. If you have an instructor who winds you up or makes you feel frustrated on your horse, the horse will feel your tension and nothing will work well. Select someone who can help you feel comfortable, relaxed, and confident on your horse.

Shop around for an instructor you really feel comfortable with! It's not just about price. Look at how his/her other students ride. Sit in on some lessons being given to other people. Try out a few lessons with a few different instructors before making your final decision. If you have to pay a little more for an instructor with whom you really ride well, do it. But make sure you are paying for riding skills and not prestige.

Prestige and show records do not necessarily indicate a great trainer. Not all competitors make good teachers. Use your own judgment. In the end, you will get far more value from an instructor who can teach you how to handle any horse expertly, than you can from an instructor whose name sounds impressive in show circles.

Some of the higher-end stables will groom and tack your horse for you. I suggest you don't let them. Choose a facility where you can groom the horse yourself. Handling a horse on the ground is a critical part of your whole training as a rider.

When you take riding lessons at a facility like this, the instructor will expect you to have your horse in the arena and warmed up by the time he/she arrives to begin the lesson. If you show up late and aren't ready, you'll be throwing away your money.

$ 60
Mar 2008
Horseback riding lessons
Four hour-long horseback riding lessons  more... close row
$ 65
Jul 2008
Santa Rosa, California
Horeseback riding lesson with a friend  more... close row
$ 30
Dec 2008
Phoenix AZ
lessons for my son
Lessons not worth the money for son  more... close row
$ 45
Apr 2007
Green Bay, WI
Beginning horse back riding
Much of lessons spent grooming and cleaning  more... close row
$ 20
May 2007
Anniston, AL
Horse back riding
Price per person for a one hour group lesson  more... close row
$ 35
Feb 2009
Santa Rosa, CA
Horseback riding lesson an excellent value  more... close row
$ 30
May 2008
San Diego, CA
Horseback riding lessons didn't seem like a great value  more... close row
$ 60
May 2008
Horseback riding lessons
Informative horseback riding experience  more... close row