Like all domesticated animals, horses require human guidance to keep from brushing against barbed wire, eating poisonous rocks, and galloping triumphantly into the ocean. Take the reins with today's Groupon: for $32, you get one riding lesson (a $65 value) at Four Star Farm, with locations in Napa and Bodega.
As an affiliate of the United States Pony Club and featuring instructors and horses that were lauded by Riding magazine, Four Star Farm features several remarkably talented, upper-level competition horses and instructors with in-depth knowledge of the sport. With this deal, you'll get a private lesson that includes 45 minutes of ride time with additional instruction for students without riding experience to learn basic commands and skills. Learn how to gallop around the immaculately manicured grounds and what to takes to properly care for and respect the powerful steed. Many of Four Star Farm's knowledgeable, down-to-earth instructors are accomplished equestrian competitors, including former United States Eventing Team (2001–2004) and current United States Eventing Association member Natalie Rooney Pitts. Instructors will offer personal attention to their mounted pupils, ensuring that both the rider and horse are comfortable and safe, and that any time-traveling medieval jousters are kept off the grounds.
Proper attire is required: long pants and shoes with a defined heel; no tennis shoes. Boots preferred.
Four Star Farm
As founder of Four Star Farm, Natalie Rooney Pitts instills proper horsemanship techniques in each rider, whether they’re saddling up for simple enjoyment or dreaming of one day prancing onto the Olympic podium. Natalie and her team of trainers introduce new equestrians to the sport via lessons that allow students of all ages and experience levels to take the reins without having to own their own enchanted rocking horse. Atop one of the farm’s fully trained mounts, pupils learn the techniques of English-style riding—including eventing, dressage, and show jumping—while building self-confidence and a mutual respect among man, animal, and belt buckle. The ranch also offers boarding and training services, and youngsters can take part in camps and club events offered throughout the year.