Choose Between Two Options
- $45 for a one-day holiday horse-riding school for kids ($105 value)
- $65 for a one-day holiday horse-riding school for kids, plus one private lesson ($170 value)
- Camps run on December 14, 21, 23, and 28
Equine Performance specializes in Western riding, among other styles. Learn what that means with Groupon's introduction:
Western Horseback Riding: Of Hats and Herding
Determining whether a rider is practicing the Western style of horsemanship requires no particular expertise. Rather, it requires a look at his or her hat. That’s because the attire of Western riders is typically inspired by the cowboys of the Old West, who developed a specialized riding style that riders continue to practice in competition today, performing for judges who assess their mastery based on a number of parameters. Taking the reins in one hand and maintaining light tension on the horse’s mouth, riders sit tall and straight and give direction to the horse by shifting their weight in the seat. Horses earn high marks by responding willingly to these subtle cues and by demonstrating a smooth, easy athleticism through the gaits of walking, jogging, and loping. Unlike English riding, for which riders “post,” the Western style and its large, comfortable saddles allow riders to sit through the jog.
Modern competitions in Western riding test more specialized skills as well. During barrel racing, riders compete to negotiate a series of turns around barrels in the shortest time possible. To measure roping abilities, riders attempt to lasso a steer at high speeds. All these nuanced events are designed with the same idea in mind: to replicate the tasks cowboys once needed to succeed at their herding responsibilities.