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 to Willow Pond Ranch in Soquel. Choose between the following options:
- For $130, you get four weekly small-group riding lessons (a $260 value).
- For $300, you get a week-long summer day camp (a $600 value).
Founded by certified equine expert Sharon North-Pohl, Willow Pond Ranch schools would-be saddle fillers in the fine art of horsemanship. Sharon, a competitive rider with more than 20 years of teaching and riding experience, has rescued and rehabilitated more than 100 horses and ponies, the most upstanding 17 of which now make up her training team. Small-group lessons with two to four students are available for riders of all ability levels (ages 5 and above), and cover the essentials of riding, horse care, and communication. Younger riders will learn responsibility, teamwork, and compassion for their hoofed partners, and adults can enjoy a day in the countryside and away from the stresses of training commuter cows.
Riders looking for a more in-depth submersion into the world of equine endearment can opt to attend a five-day summer riding camp, geared toward riders aged 6–16 of varying abilities. Camps run from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and kick off with an introductory lecture into the gentle art of grooming and tacking, followed by a group riding lesson. After a practice in tacking and a break for lunch (not included), young horsemen and horsewomen will engage in activities centered around ranch awareness and identifying local law-enforcement by their spur tracks. A provided snack then nourishes the newly roughened riders before the long trip home in their parents' stagecoaches.
Nestled at the scenic foothills of the Santa Cruz Mountains, the ranch’s redwood-lined, landscaped grounds offer a safe and scenic environment to learn in. Located 3.5 miles away from the ranch, the seaside village of Capitola features many shopping, day-spa, and sandcastle real-estate opportunities for parents to enjoy as their bairns engage in sanctioned horseplay. Committed to not only enjoying but also preserving the environment, Willow Pond Ranch sponsors an award-winning program to compost manure.
Must register within 10 days of purchasing this Groupon
Founded by equine enthusiasts Jordan and Valerie Fox, who draw on more than 15 years of experience in training and rescuing horses, Fox Horsemanship's trainers provide rich educational experiences during lessons and day camps. At the redwood-ensconced ranch’s riding school, students are matched with one of 6 gentle horses and ponies after instructors consider skill level, personality, and quality of whinny.
505 Alfadel Ln.
Soquel, California 95073Get Directions