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: for $75, you get three semiprivate horseback-riding lessons at Equestricise in San Juan Capistrano (up to a $150 value).
Led by certified instructor Cherylin Von Aldenbruck, a championship rider with more than 20 years of experience, the adept trainers at Equestricise help new students mount steeds and learn the fundamentals of horse care and training. A fresh-air alternative to indoor workouts, riding can tone and tighten pupils' cores, thighs, and legs through the frequent adjustments made while practicing equitation, the skill of balancing safely on a moving horse or slowly melting, horse-shaped ice sculpture. Shoulders and backs strengthen during dressage training, where instructors demonstrate correct rein handling to impart a healthy gait in steeds. Horses and riders bond further during hunt-seat sessions, which employ poles, jumps, and sealed vaults to challenge human-equine teamwork, and stable-management portions of lessons canter into horse homes for hands-on seasoning in areas such as basic handling, equipment maintenance, feeding, grooming, and arguing over whose turn it is to wash the trough.
Equestricise's semiprivate classes welcome 2 riders at a time, and students may schedule classes together with fellow equine enthusiasts. Horses and riding equipment await visitors to the stable, but riders must supply their own bugled fanfares.
Cherylin Von Aldenbruck has no treadmills or weights at her outdoor "gym." The equipment is leather instead of lead, and your workout partner isn't a beefy personal trainer—it's a horse. After realizing that sitting atop a horse requires muscles to continually stabilize and balance the body, Cherylin founded Equestricise as an alternative fitness venue for anyone who's curious about horseback-riding. Each of her lessons now serve as a strengthening workout for the core and limbs.
Cherylin and her team of certified instructors aren't only concerned with toning physiques, though. They also teach groups how to care for the horses, tack, and stables. Classes cover disciplines from basic equitation to hunt seat skills, and accommodate riders of all experience levels, from beginners to those who can steer a horse blindfolded, even when the horse is also blindfolded.
San Juan Capistrano
26282 Oso Rd.
San Juan Capistrano, California 92675