Horses were once considered man’s best friend, but after the invention of the dog, the horse was rebranded as man’s eccentric, oat-obsessed uncle. Take a journey with the kindest of kinsmen with today's Groupon for dressage lessons at Sonora Creek Farms in Canton. Choose between the following options:
•For $45, you get a one-hour dressage lesson (up to a $95 value).
•For $150, you get a four-session introductory dressage course (up to a $380 value).
Nestled amid rolling meadows and scenic pastures just 40 miles north of Atlanta, Sonora Creek molds neighing neophytes into established equestrians. Aided by a 22-acre facility featuring a show barn and both indoor and outdoor riding arenas, Sonora Creek's hoofmasters trot the light fantastic with dressage lessons at both casual and competitive levels. Often referred to as Horse Ballet due to the strappy slippers worn by both riders and their mounts, dressage emphasizes subtle control, compulsory movements, and breathtaking pirouettes within a regulation-size arena. With a single hour-long lesson, beginning to advanced rein-wielders can slip into the saddle and smooth out the learning curve with one-on-one instruction, avoiding raised eyebrows when asking trainers where ponies come from. The four-session complete introductory course methodically teaches dressage through a series of progressive lessons intended to ease new riders into the nuances of horsemanship and establish saddle-bound confidence.
You don't need to see Mary Frankel's United States Dressage Federation bronze medal to tell she knows her way around a saddle. The owner of Sonora Creek—which opened in 1995—has been riding and showing horses for 40 years, and in that time she's coached locally, regionally, and nationally in both hunter/jumper and dressage. It's fortunate she has so much experience, since she's charged with operating such a sprawling space.
Spanning 22 acres, the facility rolls across hills and pastures and includes an indoor arena, two tack rooms, a regulation-size dressage arena, a 300'x150' outdoor jumping arena, and a 25-stall boarding facility. The scope of the facility's services is just as ambitious; staffers board and train horses, teach riding lessons, and lead a summer camp for kids aged 5–15 who grow weary of brushing and tacking their parents' motorcycles.