Mounted police opt for equine transportation so they don’t have to deal with the squad car's wailing thirst for gas and justice. Avoid similar automotive appetites with today's Groupon to El Camino Ranch in Redlands. Choose between the following options:
- For $40, you get a one-hour private horse-riding lesson (a $45 value) and a one-hour group horse-riding lesson (a $35 value; an $80 total value).
- For $99, you get a three-hour horse-riding birthday party for up to eight people (a $250 value).
El Camino's trained riding instructors showcase equestrian knowledge on sleek, coffee-colored arabian steeds that frolic against a backdrop of picturesque mountains. Burgeoning riders equipped with an included ASTM/SEI-approved helmet learn the name and usage of each piece of tack and how to use fashion a petrified stingray into a saddle. One-on-one safety instruction prepares students for their lessons, and trainers in the group session may share information on hunt-seat, Western, dressage, and a variety of other riding styles. A basic method for mounting and general equestrian knowledge leaves pupils ready to safely ride most horses or sabotage Mr. Ed's sudoku puzzle.
Alternatively, a three-hour party grants up to eight guests a chance to ride under the watchful eye of El Camino staff. Celebrants gleefully awaiting their turn may romp on the sun-soaked patio, which features a barbecue grill and eye-catching mosaics, or recline beneath umbrellas. Additional guests may be included for $15 each, and a free orientation is available prior to any party.
El Camino Ranch
El Camino Ranch has cared for a growing family of Arabian horses since 1983, when it was founded with a mission to help people connect with the intelligent creatures. The ranch itself traces its origins back even further—to the early 1950s, when Bill and LaVesta Locklin started a farm and began to grow oranges and tomatoes against the scenic backdrop of the San Bernardino Mountain range.
Today, LaVesta’s son, Scott, and her granddaughter, Vandi, continue to look after the facilities, showering their horses with affection and treating them to a healthy daily schedule of riding with guests, participating in shows, and munching on fresh treats from the orange grove. During lessons, the trainers guide students through riding techniques and teach them the basics of equine grooming, tacking, and health care. They also organize a special series of “Pony Pal” lessons for children as young as 3, saving the horses the indignity of galloping around with training wheels glued to their haunches.