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 $17, you get a half-hour horse-riding lesson at Stone Ledge Farm in South Beloit (a $35 value).
A fully equipped Morgan-horse-training stable, Stone Ledge Farm teaches burgeoning equestrians of all ages the ins and outs of horseback locomotion. Lessons start with an optional 15-minute preparation period, teaching riders how to groom and tack their steeds, how to get horses ready to ride, and how to console equines when they realize that only humans get to wear chaps. Once prepared, students embark on 30 minutes of four-legged frolicking, taking the reins and feeling the wind ripple through their manes as they trot, gallop, and canter. A second 15-minute session after the lesson teaches the post-ride half of stable care, showing horse whisperers how to remove gear and where their noble pal's power-down button is located.
Stone Ledge Farm swaddles noggins with provided helmets and asks that guests wear long pants and shoes or boots with a heel. Children's lessons are offered Tuesday–Friday starting at 3 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday at 9 a.m., and adult classes are available at 1 p.m. on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays or by appointment.