Contrary to conventional wisdom, one can in fact look a gift horse in the mouth, now that the mouth no longer houses the retina-scorching nuclear reactor that powers the horse. Get an eyeful of equine incisors with today’s Groupon to Top Ridge Farms, located at the Discovery Valley Equestrian Center in San Marcos. Choose between the following options:
- For $59, you get three small-group horseback-riding lessons (a $120 value).
- For $189, you get a two-day, four-hour weekend riding clinic (a $450 value).
At Top Ridge Farms, Debi Jo and her staff of equestrian educators saddle up and school all levels of riders age 7 and older with personalized training. Over the course of three one-hour lessons, beginner groups containing no more than a trio of students will become acquainted with basic horse handling and grooming as well as essential tacking knowledge, including Coco Chanel’s timeless advice to take off one bridle accessory before leaving the stable. More advanced gallopers will be evaluated on their skill level before expanding upon pony proficiency.
The two-day riding clinic is ideal for equine enthusiasts already proficient in riding and jumping. Those with their own horse and equine accouterments can reserve a spot in a weekend clinic, soaking up two hours of hunter, jumper, and equitation instruction over two days. Saddle sitters will be split into groups of five or fewer, sorted by skill level as determined by jumping height and a brief essay on the merits of precut carrots. Top Ridge Farms grants students access to a jumping arena, three riding arenas, and a full dressage court. Students can park their trailers or make arrangements for a stable sleepover for an additional fee, and all riders must wear appropriate attire and supply their own helmet.