Horseback riding lessons and programs

Lessons and after-school programs for young equestrians

Find horseback riding lessons near you, listed below. Every child should experience the pleasure of learning to ride a horse. Camps and programs listed directly below offer extensive lessons in horseback riding. Under that list find after-school and weekend programs with some horse-related activities. Beneath the lists, learn more about horseback riding. Read more

Organizations with Horseback Riding/Equestrian programs (TBD)

Horseback riding lessons near you offers programs and camps in cities from coast to coast. Use our advanced search to find horseback riding lessons in your city or region. Find your city in the list below:

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More than just lessons

Use to find other ways of learning more about horses.

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Five benefits of horseback riding lessons

Access to fresh air. Horseback riding is a great way for kids to engage with nature. During lessons, kids get a chance to take a break from their homework and screens and venture into the natural world for fresh air.

Socialization. Kids will always be socializing with their riding instructor or their peers. Horseback riding lessons encourage kids to communicate, learn, and share with a diverse group of people. Broadening social skills is an important part of becoming strong, well-rounded adults.

Exercises the body. Horseback riding may seem like a sedentary activity, but it does exercise the body. Kids will begin to strengthen their legs and posture in these classes, helping them initiate and maintain an active lifestyle.

Connection to nature. Of course, horseback riding lessons are a great way to connect with animals. Kids grow a bond with their horse. This exposure is a great way for kids to connect with the animal world and come to relish the beauty of nature.

Long-term mental health benefits. Riding a horse may seem daunting at first, but over time, riding can become an important outlet. The British Horse Society found that “horseback riding stimulated mainly positive psychological feelings”. During horseback riding lessons, kids will be beneficiaries of these mental health benefits, thus improving their wellbeing and reducing their stress.

What will your child learn in horseback riding lessons?

On our horseback-riding camps page, learn how instructors help kids partner with the right horse or pony, and how lessons providers teach kids how to dress for safety. Here are some other things kids and teens learn. 

Animal care. Horses are strong, fast, and large creatures. Kids learn how to be gentle, communicate with, and stay safe around them. They learn how to be considerate and respectful of the horse. Practice of this proper care can lead to deeper interest in, and understanding of, other domestic animals.

Reading body language. Staying safe is important during horseback riding sessions. In classes, instructors educate kids on how to read a horse’s body language. This will help them identify when the animal seems stressed or excited. With an emphasis on safety, instructors teach kids the necessary cautionary steps to take. In this, kids develop their sensitivity to animals, understanding how they express emotions.

Control. Taking control of the horse is an important step in horseback riding lessons. Kids must be able to lead and assert their dominance over their horse, to stay safe and ride with ease. By taking on this assertive role, kids develop confidence.

Increased awareness. Kids’ spatial and emotional awareness get tested during lessons. Kids must be aware of what’s around them, where they’re going, and how their horse is behaving at all times. When they remain focused, kids preserve the safety of both themselves and their steed.

Essential character building. Children’s responsibility, courage, and generosity are challenged during horseback riding lessons. These skills are important to master as young children. Kids develop character traits and use them in school and future employment. Horseback riding lessons nourish strong, confident, and compassionate children worthy of being leaders.

Questions to ask horseback riding programs

  1. Are there clear first aid procedures in place in the case of an emergency?
  2. Is there a dress code during lessons? What clothing or accessories are provided?
  3. How much time is dedicated to instructional and safety training vs. riding?
  4. How many instructors are supervising riders at a time?

Consult other Our Kids resources:

Sources and further reading

"How horseback riding is beneficial for mental health."

"Understanding horse body language."


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