Horsemanship was once a vital skill, much like the ability to avoid sailing off the end of the earth or discern which pizza trees were poisonous. Master an ancient art of survival with today’s Groupon to Willow Pond Ranch in Soquel. Choose between the following options:
- For $130, you get four consecutive one-hour weekly small-group riding lessons (a $260 value).
- For $300, you get a spring break camp (up to a $600 value), held Monday, April 2, 2012–Friday, April 6, 2012.<p>
Founded by equine expert Sharon North-Pohl, who draws from more than 20 years of experience in training and rescuing horses, Willow Pond Ranch pairs man and steed for rich educational experiences during lessons and day camps. Helmets and boots are available for no charge. At the redwood-ensconced ranch’s riding school, a discerning instructor matches each student with 1 of 17 gentle horses and ponies after considering skill level, personality, and quality of whinny. Four consecutive weekly classes teach a merry band of two to four saddle sitters age 6 to adult to build a partnership with their mounts as they learn to communicate, pick up essential riding techniques, and discover how to tack and care for the horses. The covered riding arena enables educational trotting even when rabid snowflakes are on the prowl in the scenic foothills of the Santa Cruz Mountains, where the horse-rescuing ranch nestles its stables.
During the five days of spring Horsemanship and Life Skills camp, budding equestrians ages 6–16 of all skill levels spend 10 a.m.–3 p.m. at the sanctuary. Mornings kick off with a lecture and tutelage in how to groom and tack horses, after which a riding lesson counsels campers in the art of patting their heads, rubbing their stomachs, and neighing simultaneously. Next, youths untack their mounts and put them away in the proper cabinets before engaging in a horsy craft and breaking for lunch (not included with Groupon). In the afternoon, campers soak up more equestrian skills and partake in a nature and ranch awareness activity before nibbling on a provided snack and heading home.
Though Willow Pond Ranch sometimes features a discounted price online, this Groupon still offers the best deal available.
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 95073