Choose from Three Options
- $30 for two 30-minute Tiny Tot riding lessons for ages 3 to 4 ($60 value)
- $40 for two 60-minute private riding lessons ($80 value)
- $75 for four 60-minute private riding lessons ($160 value)<p>
English Horseback Riding: From Cavalry to Country Club
Horseback-riding lessons can focus on the English style. Read on to learn more about the style’s unique qualities and history.
Though practiced in competition and for pleasure all over the world today, English-style horseback riding originates with the traditions of the European military cavalry. As such, english riders tend to ride horses that are larger than their American counterparts (who mostly practice a style known as Western riding) and trained to be much more obedient—invaluable traits on the battlefield and in the competition arena. Riders traditionally don a hunting cap or helmet, a fitted jacket, breeches, and tall boots before clambering into the saddle—built smaller and lighter than Western saddles to give the horse more freedom of movement and closer contact with the person. Textbook english equestrians sit tall and straight, directly keeping firm control of the horse with the reins. English riders also “post the trot,” rising from the saddle slightly to avoid the gait’s often uncomfortable bounces.
The English style appears on the world stage in both judged and nonjudged competition. Depending on the event, riders negotiate a series of balletic movements or obstacles while judges assess the horse’s obedience, responsiveness to the rider’s cues, and agility—attributes that complement the sport’s time-honored emphasis on elegance and decorum. Nonjudged sports include classic horse racing and polo, which uses english tacking and features some elements of the style.
Jon Walker Stables & Riding Academy Inc.
The first time Jon Walker climbed into a saddle, he was a mere 5 years old. More than 35 years later, he and his wife, Carolyn—also an avid equestrian from a young age—share their passion for riding with students at Jon Walker Stables & Riding Academy Inc. Largely focused on English riding, the trainers lead private and group lessons for eager equestrians aged 3 and up. Across their more than 15-acre parcel, two barns, indoor and outdoor arenas, and trails welcome horses and their riders to trot, canter, and gallop year-round.
“Horse lovers need to try this if they have never been on a horse. My 13 year old grandchild truly enjoyed and Carolyn was great with her!”
“My granddaughter had a wonderful time at her first riding session and learned a lot. She can't wait to go back for her next lesson. ”
“They are amazing”
4933 Granny Trail
Gastonia, North Carolina 28056