Horses and humans have worked together for centuries, transporting goods, fording rivers, and sharing the blame for the fall of Troy. Bond with the noblest of creatures with today's Groupon: for $35, you get two private riding lessons at Jon Walker Stables & Academy Program in Gastonia (a $70 value).
The equestrians at Jon Walker Stables train beginning and expert riders in the art of English saddle seat on 30 acres of rolling foothills. Hands grasp reins in 45-minute lessons as legs dangle over the backs of the american saddlebred or friesian breeds provided by the facility. During saddle-seat riding, mounted pilots focus on smooth trotting, making for comfortable long-distance treks around a prairie or supermarket produce section. Each lesson works out the limbs and core, and a large refrigerator stands ready to supply snacks and drinks for post-lesson refueling. Instructors can prepare students to compete for national titles, take pleasure rides, or warn sleeping settlers that the British are coming. All attire and equipment is provided, and Jon Walker Stables keeps an on-site indoor training area in case of poor weather.
Creekwood Riding Academy
Each day, students on horseback gallop alongside attentive instructors on Creekwood Riding Academy’s 30 acres of undulating terrain, learning the subtleties of English saddle-seat riding during private and group lessons. In addition to helping everyone from beginners to advanced riders improve their technique, instructors also take time to teach the essential non-saddle skills of grooming and tacking horses. They encourage each fledgling jockey to learn at his or her own pace, whether riding goals include competing in American Saddlebred Association of the Carolinas shows or simple pleasure riding. The farm’s indoor and outdoor facilities ensure that lessons take place throughout the year, unaffected by winter cold, summer heat, and horse spring break.
5201 CR Wood Rd.
Gastonia, North Carolina 28056