Contrary to conventional wisdom, one can in fact look a gift horse in the mouth, now that the mouth no longer houses the retina-scorching nuclear reactor that powers the horse. Get an eyeful of equine incisors with today’s Groupon: for $12, you get a 60-minute children's riding lesson at Gallop Again in Harrison (a $25 value).
Gallop Again rescues, rehabs, and rehomes neglected horses and ponies, creating a welcoming sanctuary for noble steeds and an arena where aspiring centaur impersonators can hone their skills with horseback-riding lessons. Most of the horses used for lessons are rescued animals that have been rendered gentle and safe due to hours of loving attention and trust falls. Children ages 3–12 foster relationships with these kind, fleshy chariots through one-on-one instruction from Gallop Again's staff as well as long, apple-themed poetry readings. After first mastering the essentials of grooming, students develop an understanding of different horse garb,
equipping equines with all the correct bits and matching saddles to the season’s color scheme. Once atop the majestic creature, rookie Rohirrim gain confidence in controlling their powerful animal for the rest of the lesson. For extra safety, particularly green riders are fastened to a lead line manned by the instructor.
Founder Sarah Rose McGuire dedicates her stable to rescuing and rehabilitating horses that may have been neglected or abused by a former owner. During lessons for children 3–12, both horse and child benefit from gentle interspecies interaction: the rescued horses learn to trust their pint-sized human partners and the children enjoy themselves or overcome their fears of riding or being recruited as a jockey. The 60-minute sessions illuminate the subtleties of equine grooming, tack, and proper riding form, with new riders leashed on a lead line until they demonstrate mounted mastery. An experienced trainer with a class A show pedigree conducts each lesson in a private one-on-one format, though two siblings may take their lessons together.
In addition to interactions with the on-site horses, Gallop Again offers children an opportunity to be surrounded by an array of other animals, such as donkeys, ducks, chickens, and rabbits. Other activities available through the farm-and-horse camp include obstacle courses and painting a live pony. While many of its lessons and camps are geared toward children, Gallop Again also offers lessons for teens and adults.
11546 New Biddinger
Harrison, Ohio 45030