Of all the traits passed on to humans by our centaur ancestors, the strongest is our desire to bond with horses, followed by our innate ability to converse with horses in ancient Greek. Celebrate ancestral bonds with today’s Groupon: for $20, you get a one-hour riding lesson at 49 Rivers Ranch (up to a $40 value). Lessons for children 17 and younger normally cost $25.
The equine experts at 49 Rivers Ranch help nascent steed riders of all abilities navigate the fundamentals of horseback riding in their indoor arena, capping lessons at two students to ensure one-on-one guidance. Seasoned instructors kick off the one-hour lesson by schooling pupils on how to ready their oat-powered vehicles for riding, focusing on proper saddling, bridling, and icebreaker games to get the rider and horse comfortable with one another. Pony piloters can opt to hone their riding-while-tea-drinking skills in an English saddle or can channel their inner tumbleweed wrangler atop a Western saddle. With feet firmly nestled in stirrups, fledgling equestrians develop skills with a series of drills and exercises such as rein handling and horse-human push-ups. A posttrotting grooming lesson teaches riders to shine and buff four-legged carriages before high-fiving shoed steppers for all their whispered words of encouragement.
49 Rivers Ranch
At 49 Rivers Ranch, horses leisurely graze on 160 acres of natural-grass pasture as the farm’s two young ranch hands tend to a 30-stall barn and indoor riding arena. Against this idyllic backdrop, owner DJ Dale sparks riders’ passion for equestrianism with Western and English lessons and trail rides through miles of pastoral wilderness. The ranch also hosts birthday parties, inviting revellers young and old to ride horses indoors, interact with cuddly residents from the petting zoo, and enjoy the great outdoors.