Although once mankind's primary transportation, horses were replaced by cars due to their slower pace and lack of vanity plates. Revert back to a simpler, less ostentatious time with today's Groupon: for $50, you get two private horseback-riding lessons at Lori Ragland Performance Horses in Kyle (a $100 value). Hurry to redeem your Groupon as it expires in just three months.
Boasting more than 50 years of combined equine experience, the staff at Lori Ragland Performance Horses has been building bonds between human and horse for more than 30 years, and currently hosts students aged 3 to 77. All new riders begin in private training, where they learn basic bits about horse care, including proper nutrition and the performance-enhancing properties of hay. Equine newbies also brush up on grooming, bathing, tacking, and rudimentary riding skills before instructors allow them to advance to further training and group classes—usually after three to four private lessons. One-on-one sessions are also open to intermediate and advanced riders, preparing them for greater skill challenges and horse shows, and tiny trotters aged 4–6 can harness instruction that focuses less on grooming and more on riding and the correct way to whinny the ABCs.
Dedicated to fostering a lifelong love of riding by combining safety and education with a fun, fearless environment, Lori Ragland also welcomes all wannabe equestrians to take a facility tour prior to scheduling their saddle-top schooling. Though lessons are by reservation only, Groupon holders should keep in mind that lessons may need to be rescheduled in the event of inclement weather or unexpected Bonanza marathons.
Lori Ragland Performance Horses
The quiet hanging over 20 acres of white kentucky fence-lined prairie is broken with the opening chords of a power ballad. Lori Ragland is in a light-rock kind of mood today, and has chosen the soundtrack for the afternoon’s riding lessons accordingly. Finding this balance between the serenity of nature and ebullience of horseback riding is key to Lori’s approach to providing a controlled yet supportive learning environment for all of her pupils. A seasoned equestrienne who started her riding career at the tender age of 5, she strongly believes that a rider should possess a solid knowledge of riding safety and horse anatomy before stepping into the stirrups, which is why much time is spent with beginners reviewing these basics. Lori and her equally passionate crew of instructors pride themselves on their almost preternatural ability to pair up riders with their perfect steeds. They carefully analyze each rider’s disposition, comfort level, and fluency in colloquial neighing before matching them with a well-tempered mount from their fleet of 32 predominantly arabian horses.