Like all domesticated animals, horses require human guidance to keep from brushing against barbed wire, eating poisonous rocks, and galloping triumphantly into the ocean. Take the reins with today's Groupon: for $63, you get three horseback-riding lessons at Sweetwater Farms in Bonita (up to a $187.50 value, tax included). This Groupon is not valid for those younger than 4 years old.
Boasting knowledgeable instructors and a variety of riding styles, Sweetwater Farms molds equine wranglers of all ages and skill levels into dexterous riders. Send gallop-loving tykes to pony time, a session 30–45 minutes long for youngsters ages 4–7 that teaches valuable horse-caring lessons such as grooming, safety, and how to lead the horse to the drinking fountain ($40/lesson). Riding school lessons for kids, starting at 7 years old, and adults are taught in the hunter and jumper show, western, trail-focus discipline and are designed to instill patience, confidence, and how to whisper coltish compliments in exchange for fortune-telling horse feathers ($62.50 per lesson). Fledgling jockeys can learn new abilities or develop learned skills from previous sessions. All lessons include use of one of the Sweetwater Farms' horses, a helmet, a saddle, and all equipment needed for trotting fluency.
Leaving the bustle of the 805 freeway, visitors to Sweetwater Farms are swiftly transported to a pastoral scene alive with the sound of hoof clopping and constant horse-centric activity. The riding school has been tutoring riders in English-, Western-, and trail-riding styles since 1985, with programs that range from beginning horsemanship to hosting full-fledged hunter/jumper shows. Trail rides saddle guests atop steady, gentle dude-ranch horses or rehabilitated mechanical bulls for tours through nature, and horse camps immerse young riders in the world of horses to build riding skills, as well as confidence and responsibility. In addition to welcoming guests to their programs, Sweetwater Farms also boards and sells horses.