Contrary to conventional wisdom, one can in fact look a gift horse in the mouth, now that it no longer houses the retina-scorching nuclear reactor that powers the horse. Get an eyeful of equine incisors with today’s Groupon: for $35, you get two private horse riding or driving lessons at Ramblewood Farm (an $80 value) in Spring Valley.
Ramblewood Farm is a sprawling facility that specializes in American Saddlebred riding and driving lessons for equine enthusiasts of all skill levels. After decamping from their motorized carriages, would-be wranglers experience literal horsepower as they bump hoofs with one of Ramblewood Farm’s sociable steeds and begin their one-hour lesson. Instructor Holly Fisher, a 20-year veteran of the equine industry, first schools students on the finer points of grooming and tacking the horse, a task made much easier since horses evolved to include a seat. Once properly coiffed and outfitted, the horse is ready to be mounted and ridden. Classes are tailored to the individual rider’s level, and can focus on a range of skills from basics, such as leading a horse to water, to more advanced riding techniques, including making the horse drink and then making the horse laugh until water comes out its nose.
Riders must be at least 6 years old; those younger than 16 must be accompanied by an adult or an especially responsible imaginary friend. Ramblewood Farm conducts its classes every day of the week in the morning, afternoon, and evening.