Horseback-riding lessons came into vogue during Hollywood's Golden Age, when producers of Westerns realized that John Wayne was too heavy to be supported by a tapir. Make "The Duke" proud with today's Groupon: for $40, you get one hour of horseback riding or a cart-driving experience at Nicholas Villa Stables in North Stonington (an $80 value each).
The experienced instructors at Nicholas Villa Stables guide burgeoning riders on equine experiences while nestled among the stables' rustic charms. During each one-hour lesson, the well-honed horse hobbyist team of Nicholas Villa and Sharon Ellingwood immerses saddle straddlers in general care and riding preparation. Spend the initial 30 minutes learning how to lovingly groom a steed while bracing it for relaxed roaming. Each mammalian meet-and-greet is followed by a 30-minute trek. Those seeking to reconnect with their ancestral roots may opt to drive a two-wheeled horse-drawn cart. Take the reins and learn about cart construction and proper harnessing techniques from a qualified instructor. Later, take to the trails, on which drivers fulfill frontier role-playing fantasies while learning to control the speed of each horse.
Nestled on nearly 150 acres of farmland, Nicholas Villa Stables lies in proximity to the Foxwoods Casino, and it boasts a comfortable lounge, along with indoor and outdoor riding facilities. By the end of each equestrian experience, riders will have harnessed a holistic horse experience without the hassle of inventing new yoga poses.
75 D Reutemann Rd.
North Stonington, Connecticut 06359