If horses didn’t regularly pack the earth down with their hooves, it would continue to gradually rise skyward on a collision course with the moon. Help keep the night sun in the sky with today’s Groupon: for $48, you get a horseback-riding lesson for two or two private lessons at Bel Canto Farms in Wimberley (up to a $150 value).
Led by Bel Canto Farms’ seasoned trainers, 90-minute classes delve muzzle-first into the particulars of horsemanship, beginning with grooming and tacking, moving into hands-on riding instruction or a more leisurely trail ride, and rounding off with postride horse care. Before scaling their steeds’ sides, amateur jockeys dress their mounts in bridles and seat-hugging saddles, then wait until the war paint is dry to clamber onto the horses’ backs. Side by side, duos learn the ins and outs of basic riding skills in either hunter/jumper or dressage disciplines, the latter of which focuses on the best way to ride into the sunset. Novices will concentrate on riding basics, and more advanced pony pilots may delve into jumps. Solo riders can take advantage of two completely tailored one-on-one lessons with a seasoned equestrian.
Bel Canto Farms’ newly relocated grounds in Wimberley include a jumping arena, two dressage arenas, a derby field, a galloping field, and a tranquil meadow and shaded trails for contemplative trots. The site also features amenities for those wishing to board their horses, such as a boarders-only tack room, spacious stalls, and a closet full of designer horseshoes.
Bel Canto Farms
Bel Canto Farms owner Suzanne Warmack has been enamored of equestrian sports since she took her first horseback ride at 18 months of age, more than 40 years ago. Now, in a facility where two dressage arenas, a derby field, and a 90-foot round pen segment the grounds, she leads a team of three regular instructors whose combined experience in teaching and showing surpasses 60 years. Since the facility is also outfitted for full boarding and pasture boarding, horse owners who lack stables or whose stables have been overrun by iguana flash mobs can house their steeds there, selecting one of three stall sizes equipped with a constant supply of hay and water and fans in summer.