Are you planning on choosing a lesson barn for your child after they expressed interest in learning to ride horses? It’s great that you are encouraging your child to do something they love, but you must first consider a few crucial things before selecting a lesson barn. First, you need to find the best lesson barn that will offer your child fun and enjoyable learning experiences in a safe environment.
How Long Has the Barn Offered Lessons to Students?
Try to find out how long the barn has offered lessons to its students. If the barn has taught thousands of students over the past few decades, they’re likely a good lesson barn to choose because they know what they’re doing. When it comes to teaching others how to ride horses, quality teachers/barns often find new students by word of mouth. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you can’t choose a barn that has only existed for a few years, just one piece of criteria to consider.
Another angle to look at: what is the barn’s retention rate of students? Do students seem to come and go or do the majority of students stick around for many years? Barns with high student turnover rates can sometimes indicate an issue with instructors/horses.
Does the Barn Offer One-on-One or Group Lessons?
Some barns offer group lessons, while others put more of a focus on that one-on-one time with each rider. You may want your child to have a chance to do both. Ask a staff member about the types of lessons they provide, along with how long each class lasts. If both options are available, you can give your child time to socialize with others while learning how to ride horses and care for them. It can turn into the perfect hobby for your little one that will keep them entertained for hours.
Ask about pricing for group vs private lessons as private lessons typically cost more.
How many kids take lessons from the barn that are around your child’s age? A lesson full of kids has a much different dynamic than a lesson with a couple of kids and several adults. Find a barn that has lesson groupings that you think your child will enjoy most (whether that’s more kids or fewer).
What Safety Measures Are Currently in Place?
All lesson barns should have a specific protocol to provide a safe and welcoming environment to all students. It would help if you asked about these safety measures in advance to find out what the staff members have to say. If there are no safety measures in place, it’s best to choose a different lesson barn that considers the safety of its students a number one priority.
Safety measures can include things like requiring students to wear equestrian safety helmets when on or near the ponies. Having instructors who are certified in CPR and basic first aid is a great safety measure as well.
Do the Horses at the Barn Have a Good Temperament?
Before you choose a lesson barn, you need to make sure the horses have a good temperament. While most horses are well-behaved and enjoy being around people, some are more anxious than others. The best horses to learn to ride on are those that are patient and friendly. It makes the experience a lot more enjoyable for children of all ages. If you want to feel like your child is as safe as possible during each lesson, it is essential to ask about the temperaments of the horses at the barn and their behaviors.
My kids’ lesson barn has some of the most patient ponies around. From equestrian games to costume classes (pictured below) and everything in between, they put up with a LOT. This make them the PERFECT kind of ponies to learn on!
These are the primary things to consider when you’re choosing a lesson barn for your child. The goal is to find a place where your child will feel comfortable and safe around the horses. When you select the most suitable lesson barn, it enhances the experience and provides your child with the opportunity to learn with ease.
Have you found a lesson barn that you absolutely love? Leave us a comment and tell us what qualities make it such a great place to ride!