Academy of Riding Starlight Stables  (816) 805-2364
How to find the right horse riding academy,
or horseback riding lessons for you or your child           

In my professional opinion, you'll have a better overall riding lesson
experience if you consider these things:

1.  Are the horses owned by the riding school?
      The answer should be yes. Horses should never be leased, boarded, or donated.
2.  Is the school owned by the head instructor?
      The answer should be yes.  
3.  How many students are in a class?
       There should be no more than 5 in a class.  For beginner lessons 1 or 2 per instructor.
4.  Will you be riding the same horse each time?
       You should ride the same horse each time,  for at least 10 weeks. Your instructor should move you to the next level of horse when you are comfortable and ready.
5.  Will you have the same instructor each time?
       You should have the same instructor each time. Consistency of Instructor and Horse helps you learn faster.
6.  Does the instructor also train horses?
      Your instructor should also know how to train horses.
7.  Are there different levels & styles of riding?
      Yes, there should be. Your instructor should also have the ability to access your progress and move you to a more advanced horse when you're ready.
8.  Make sure there is compatibility between you and your instructor.  Talk with the riding instructor and ask to come to the stables during a class to see the teaching style.
9.  Horses must be people friendly & in good physical condition.  The horses should be like a happy dog.  Coming to the front of their stalls or pastures to meet you.  Ears forward and eyes open and inquisitive.  They should not be afraid of you or the instructor.
10.  School should have age appropriate horses & age and size appropriate saddles & tack.
       The more inexperienced the rider, the older & more trained the horse should be.
        The horse should be at least 10 years old for an inexperienced rider older for beginners.
11.  Lesson plans should enhance your working knowledge of horse safety, horse care, communication & riding style.  Instruction given verbally, handouts, and by example.
12.  Make sure you're able to call past & present students for references.
        The longer the horse riding academy has been in operation with the same owners  and school horses the better.   
13.  Does the atmosphere of the barn reflect good values & provide good role models?
        It should be a family atmosphere with positive reinforcement, encouragement and good                         manners.  Regulations and Rules of the stable should be spelled out, on a sign or handout.
14.  Are your lessons on a set schedule?
         Yes, they should be. And you should have the full attention of your instructor.  
15.  Is your school an established business?
        I, personally, wouldn't take lessons from a school that was was less than 5 years old.

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