Finding A Riding Stable
Determine which stables in your area offer riding lessons
- Check local feed stores and tack shops for flyers on bulletin boards.
- Call horse veterinarians offices for referrals to local stables.
- Call the stables you are considering and ask to talk to the owner/barn. manager. Understand that they may be busy with horses/lessons and may have to call you back.
- When you speak to them, evaluate if they are professional, knowledgeable, patient and interested in your inquiry.
- Questions to ask on the phone
- What age riders do you teach?
- Does your barn specialize in a particular discipline?
- Do you have experienced and well-mannered lesson horses?
- What are the instructor’s qualifications?
- What are your safety precautions?
- How would you define your lesson program?
- Select 2 or 3 barns that appear to fit with your needs and make an appointment to visit them while lessons are happening.
- View a lesson that matches your rider’s skill level.
- Visit with the instructors/staff between their lessons.
Be patient and understand that their students are their first priority.
- Chat with the parents of other students at the barn for their impressions of the lesson program.
- Watch how the horses are handled and how the instructor interacts with both the horses and the students in their charge.
- Watch to see how safety precautions are practiced…not just preached.
- Check Out The Facility And The Premises
- Is the facility well maintained and tidy? Are the horses well fed, healthy and happy in their work?
- Are the barn aisles clear and uncluttered?
- Are the stalls fresh and do they appear to be cleaned regularly?
- Are rules posted and followed by all staff, students and their parents?
- Is their clear signage posted like NO SMOKING, required attire, etc?
- Are their areas designated for the parents and siblings during lessons?
- Is there an enclosed arena or other designated area for lessons?
- Is the area fenced with solid, safe fencing (NEVER WIRE) and at least chest high?
- Is the area well drained and level with adequate footing?
- After doing your research, book an evaluation lesson and experience the barn (or barns) of your choice before making the final decision.
Best of luck in your search!