What You'll Get
- $30 for a one-hour private horseback riding lesson ($60 value)
Western Horseback Riding: Of Hats and Herding
Many equestrians specialize in Western riding. Learn what that means with Groupon’s introduction.
Determining whether a rider is practicing the Western style of horsemanship requires no particular expertise. Rather, it requires a look at his or her hat. That’s because the attire of Western riders is typically inspired by the cowboys of the Old West, who developed a specialized riding style that riders continue to practice in competition today, performing for judges who assess their mastery based on a number of parameters. Taking the reins in one hand and maintaining light tension on the horse’s mouth, riders sit tall and straight and give direction to the horse by shifting their weight in the seat. Horses earn high marks by responding willingly to these subtle cues and by demonstrating a smooth, easy athleticism through the gaits of walking, jogging, and loping. Unlike English riding, for which riders “post,” or rise and sit in rhythm with each stride, the Western style and its large, comfortable saddles allow riders to sit through the entire jog.
Modern competitions in Western riding test more specialized skills as well. During barrel racing, riders compete to negotiate a series of turns around barrels in the shortest time possible. To measure roping abilities, riders attempt to lasso a steer at high speeds. All these nuanced events are designed with the same idea in mind: to replicate the tasks cowboys once needed to succeed at their herding responsibilities.
The Fine Print
Promotional value expires Oct 1, 2015. Amount paid never expires. Must be 6 or older. 225 lbs. max weight. Must sign waiver. Younger than 18 must have guardian-signed waiver. Younger than 18 must be accompanied by guardian. Subject to weather. Subject to availability. Reservation required. Merchant's standard cancellation policy applies (any fees not to exceed Groupon price). Limit 1 per person, may buy 1 additional as gift. Limit 1 per visit. Valid only for option purchased. All goods or services must be used by the same person. Proper riding attire required including closed toe shoes and long pants. Merchant is solely responsible to purchasers for the care and quality of the advertised goods and services.