riffraff asked in PetsHorses · 1 decade ago

How can I choose a good stable?

I wanted to get back into horse back riding after I had to stop when I was younger due to financial and transportation issues since I couldn't drive myself. This is no longer a problem as I am now able to drive and pay for lessons myself. My question is, how do I choose a good stable to take lessons from? What should I look for and or ask?

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  • 1 decade ago
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    When trying to find a good stable for riding you should call around and ask them a few questions about their riding programs and stable.

    Some good questions to ask and answers you should receive are:

    How old are their school horses?

    - There should be an average age to their horses. They shouldn't be too young or too old, just middle aged.

    How many times a day are they ridden or worked? Do they provide breaks and rests for them?

    - This is important. Many training stables overwork their horses and basically, abuse them. Horses should not be worked over 5 hours each day without a break and even then, that's a lot for a school horse who is going to have to get up and carry other riders the next day.

    How experienced are their instructors?

    - This is important. A lot of instructors have a basic knowledge of horseback riding. You aren't going to want a stable hand teaching you (this is extremely common). They should have some sort of certification and have extensive experience with horses, horse behavior, and riding styles.

    How large is their farm?

    - This depends on what you are looking for. Do you want a large stable that is going to give you a lot of options? Or do you want something close knit where everyone knows each other.

    Do they board horses or are just a training stable?

    - This is another personal opinion. Do you plan on getting a horse in the future? If you build up a repertoire with the stable you may be able to get a better deal on boarding prices. If you are just looking to relearn how to ride stick with specifically a training stable.

    What packages or lessons do they provide?

    - This is extremely important! Are they focused on showing or just pleasure riding? They should offer group, private,potential showing opportunities, and lessons in different styles of riding.

    If they answer correctly to the above questions, you should schedule a visit. Tell them you'd like a tour of the farm. Make sure you see the school barn, state of their tack, riding arena, and meet some of the staff. This is the real test of faith, you want a barn that is clean and takes good care of their horses.

    This should be easy to tell! If the barn is in dilapidated state, the tack is old and falling apart, and the horses are sickly or extremely tired looking this isn't the stable for you. You should ask to sit in on a lesson and see how the instructor talks to the students and how they treat the horses during the lesson. They will most likely put on a show for you, but it's better than not seeing it at all.

    Good Luck! I hope you find the perfect stable.

  • 1 decade ago

    Most barns have websites, so you can look up centers on the web that are near where you live. Look over a few different sites and decide which ones seem like they could fulfill your needs properly. Try to shoot for one with an indoor arena, they are really nice to have (and by indoor, I mean some thing big enough that a few horses could ride around in). If the barn looks kind of funky to you, don't even bother (by funky I mean in poor looking condition, if it looks like a run down place to you). Contact the barns you look interested in and ask questions; a lot of things might be mentioned on the barn's page. Ask if you can come get a tour of the stables, they should allow you, I don't see why not. As you are taking the tour, check different things. Even if your not boarding a horse there, you are still going to be riding the horses that are there. Check and see if they have enough water and if it's clean, see if the stalls are clear of pee and poop spots. How do the fields look? Does it have a enough grass? Or is it mud up to the horses knees? Do all the horses have stalls? Are the facilities that you will/might be using clean (like tack room, bathroom, lounge, cross ties, arenas, etc.)? Find out about the trainers you might be working with. Feel free to ask any questions to the trainer or barn staff. If you end up liking a barn, have lessons there. Hope this helped! Good luck with your lessons.

  • 1 decade ago

    Well, one thing I would suggest is to ask people who are having riding lessons what they think of the place. Also, ask them what they are doing in their lessons and how long they've been riding. Trust me, I spent 3 years in a stable just walking, trotting, and cantering in a line. And I liked it! But the problem was, I wasn't learning anything new. Also, look at the horses. Do they look healthy? Is the barn clean? Try to watch the horses during a lesson. Some horses are beautiful on the ground and nasty to ride. That stable I talked about earlier had some very nasty horses. Two of them would bite if you walked past them and kick you if you stepped in their stalls. (Of course...those two where my favorites :) ) See if you can watch a lesson to see if the coach's teaching style suits you. DON'T go to a barn with an instructor who yells at their students, unless the students do something to the horse that is really not very nice.

  • S
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    Check that the stall water buckets are clean! Make sure the water troughs in the pasture are clean! Make sure the stalls are clean! Make sure your confident in the safety of the barn (electrical, construction, etc). Make sure the feed good quality hay. Does the owner/trainer live on the premises? Do the lesson horses seem happy? Are they in good physical shape. Do they seem grumpy when you get them out to be ridden? The answers will all be symptomatic of the larger picture. A well run barn is a smoothly oiled machine and all the pieces fit together. Is proper headgear required? What is the background of the trainer? Do you feel comfortable with her/him? Are the horses well-behaved, and are you comfortable riding them? Are the lesson horses suited for lessons (ie- not green and over-excited?). Is there an indoor for riding in inclement weather?

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Make sure the barn has good lesson horses that are well taken care of. Make sure the coaches are certified. Is there places to ride in the winter if it snows, like an indoor arena? Does the barn do the discipline you would like to do? Is the barn competition or pleasure oriented?

  • 1 decade ago

    Ask if all the trainers are certified, experienced, and a little bit of background info.

    Things to look for:

    -are the horses healthy? (not bony, heads raised high, look lively, ect...)

    -ask someone who boards for their opinion on the stable

    -look at their business (do alto of people ride there/board there?)

    -is the price of a lesson suitable for the amount of riding time?

    -indoor/outdoor arena

    -riding discipline your looking for

    -also you could ask someone who rides there for their opinion

    Hope it all works out!!:)

    Source(s): I did this when i first started riding. Google Camelot Farm in Oswego, Il. This is a great quality stable. Good example!
  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Go for a tour, MAKE sure their horses are takin care of well.. Dont go to a stable that their horses hooves look terrible. Try to get one with an indoor and outdoor arena and land to trail ride. try to go to a stable with not too many horses so your horse will have more time for atention. good luck

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