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Finding the Right the Lesson or Training Barn

By Emily Heggan Subscribe to RSS | August 10th 2012 | Views:

When you or your child decides to learn to ride, it is important to choose a good stable.

If you do not know where to look, you first can check out your county’s phone book, look online or read a newspaper for farms and trainers offering lessons. When you find some that are within a good distance of your home, give them a call and ask for more information about what they have to offer. For example, do they offer private and or group lessons? If possible, try to visit more than one facility. This will help you narrow down your choices to the farms you liked the most.

When you arrive at the farm(s) have a good look around. The horses and ponies should look well fed, clean and happy. All of the stalls should be clean and the stable and tack room should be well organized. The farm itself should be safe with gates closed, locked, and free of debris and other things that might be harmful to you or the animals. The farm should be kept clean, free of loose hay, and straw. Look for a farm that is set up nicely and well kept.

The staff and boarders should know how to handle horses and ponies safely and quietly. They should also be helpful and friendly. Make sure you observe other children and boarders that may be there with their horses or learning to ride. See if they are enjoying themselves and their surroundings. You should also look into the ponies and find out a little bit about them to see which one would suit you or your child the best.

You should also consider the instructor; how long have they been teaching lessons? What is their age? Ask about their credentials and if they specialize in any particular discipline. Also, if there is more than one trainer on the farm, talk to each one to see where you or your child would make the most progress and learn the most from. Ask to watch the trainers give a lesson or two. See how they handle the students and observe their teaching methods. Make sure they are competent and know a wide range of horse-related material.

If you or your child wants to compete or travel to shows, find a barn that takes their students to various shows or competitions. It is a great learning experience if the barn you choose holds shows on their property or attends them. Competing at shows is a great way for you or your child to gain more experience and learn about friendly competition and responsibility. Riding at a show barn will give you a leg up on the competition.

Here is a breakdown of what you should look for when scouting out a new training barn:

•A facility located relatively close to your home

•A clean and friendly environment

•Welcoming and knowledgeable boarders and trainers

•Healthy and happy horses/ponies

Finding the right riding barn may be hard to choose, but when you take the time to find the right one you and your child will greatly benefit from it.

Emily Heggan - About Author:
Emily Heggan is a senior at Rowan University majoring in journalism. She currently competes in the 3' hunters with her horse, General, and enjoys writing about equestrian topics like horse tack.

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