Last Updated on January 21, 2022
Horseback riding lessons are the first step to learning more about and feeling comfortable around horses. If you are on a budget you may wonder- how much do horseback riding lessons cost?
Types Of Riding Lessons
Before you begin to look at scheduling your first horseback riding lesson, you will want to determine what type of lessons you want to take.
There are several different styles of riding. The area you live in may mean that one discipline is more or less accessible to you. However, you may also want to think ahead to what your long-term riding goals are and then select lessons that fit these goals.
The most common beginner lessons are usually English riding lessons. Equestrian centers all over the country offer English lessons, as it’s a very popular riding discipline. English riding is the basis for jumping, dressage, polo, and cross country riding, so it would be a good start if you would like to learn more about any of these disciplines.
It is also worth mentioning that the basics of English and Western riding are the same. So even if you are wanting to choose a more western route long term, it’s still beneficial to start with English lessons if that is what’s more available in your area.
Western lessons are also very common and found in most places around the US. This would be a great option to look into if you are interested in barrel racing, cutting, reining, or even going on the trails.
While trail rides offer less one on one coaching, finding a barn that offers trail riding is a great option if your goals include just spending more time in the saddle in a relaxed environment.
If you have a horse on your own property, you can also find riding instructors of all kinds to come to you for riding lessons.
Find more information about Top 3 Best Horse Breed For Trail Riding
How Much Are Horseback Riding Lessons
The cost of riding lessons can vary greatly, depending on what kind of lessons you are looking for and what area you live in.
Unfortunately, the area you live in may be the biggest factor in determining horse riding lessons prices. Prices are usually cheaper in more remote areas where horses are more common and cheaper to keep. For instance, an hour-long private lesson in Nevada is an average price of $60. However, in busy cities like New York, the prices can be closer to $100. The general average cost for an hour-long private lesson in the US is $85.
In addition to private lessons, most equestrian centers offer group lessons at a discounted rate. While most barns require at least the first lesson to be private, so they can access your skill level and goals, moving to group lessons not only helps the bank but also lets you meet other riders and have a more social ride. Group rates are offered for an average of $65 in the US and generally are about $20 cheaper per hour than a private lesson.
Ways To Make Riding Lessons More Affordable
As mentioned earlier, group lessons are a great way to make riding lessons more affordable. Here are some other tips to allow you to be able to still learn how to ride on a budget.
Many barns offer a program that will allow you to work and do some barn chores in exchange for lessons. Many adults clean out stalls, turn horses out, feed, water, and clean for either a free lesson or in exchange for a discounted rate. This is also a great way to be able to spend more time with the horses if you don’t have one of your own!
This is also a good option for teens who want to ride. Many barns will offer an after-school program where the student can help other riders get ready for their lessons and maybe do light chores and cleaning in order to get free rides or a cheaper lesson price.
Another option to look into is seeing if your barn offers package riding deals. They may offer a package of five or more rides that if paid for at the same time comes out to a cheaper price individually. This would be a great option as long as you are happy at your current barn and ready to commit some time to your riding. These packages are usually not refundable and may need to be used within a certain timeframe, so it’s important to have a clear understanding of what you are buying into.
You may also consider bringing a friend along to lower the cost of horseback riding lessons. Some barns may offer a referral discount if you get your friends to come in and ride. If your barn doesn’t usually offer group lessons, they may be open to giving you a semi-private lesson with your friend at a discounted price as well.
Choosing The Right Barn For Riding Lessons
It’s important to look into several options for riding centers before you take lessons. What are your goals? Where do you want your riding to be this time next year? Do you want a relaxing ride or do you want to sharpen your skills in the competition ring? If you have your own horse, what kind of training is he used to, and does this barn or instructor work along with that?
It may be wise to take a few initial lessons at different barns in your area before you commit to just one. Each barn offers different types of lessons, like English and Western styles mentioned earlier. In addition to that, even within a particular discipline of riding, there are many styles unique to each riding instructor. Make sure you find a riding instructor that you feel safe and comfortable with. It’s okay to ask questions to make sure your values align with theirs. And if you love the equestrian center you are at, but may not click with your current trainer, it’s okay to ask if they have other instructors you could try to ride with.
A Commitment That Pays Off
Horseback riding lessons are indeed a big commitment and come at a (very literal) price. However, doing some research and finding a place to ride that makes both you, and your wallet, comfortable is sure to pay off.