Horseback Riding in Scottsdale

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(This post gives my honest feedback from a great personal experience with JFSH and is sponsored.)

I grew up with a love of horses. When I was six years old our neighbors had horses on their property (we lived in the country of Tennessee) and I dreamed of riding around the field or in a circus. Finally, after years and years of asking my parents at the age of nine, I was finally allowed to take riding lessons. My heart was full. And thus begun my life-long love of the horse.

I haven’t ridden regularly since before having children. And now that Reagan (age four) is getting older and starting to develop skills, passions and interests of her own, I’ve been excited to introduce her to the world of horses and see what she thinks.

Here in the Valley, there are plenty of opportunities to introduce children to horses and life on a farm without living on a farm. The Phoenix Zoo has horses to visit and even a well-respected program to teach horsemanship. And West World hosts horse shows throughout the year that are open to the public to watch.

As I’ve been researching what type of horse experience that I’d like for Reagan to have, here are a few things that I consider, it might help you as well if you are interested in enrolling your child in a riding program.

1. What does the facility look like? Is it clean? Who maintains the grounds? Do the horses look healthy and well cared for?

2. What is the background of the trainer(s)? What certifications does he or she have? 

3. What type of horsemanship is taught at the stable? Do children arrive with their horse already saddled and tacked up? If so, are you ok with this type of support? Are they taught how to groom and care for the horse?
I grew up in a show barn, but we were required to learn about grooming, caring for and saddling our horses for ourselves. There are many barns in the Valley, where you can show up to a saddled horse and leave before the horse is completely cooled down. This is a matter of preference. Personally, I love grooming a horse and taking care of them after I’m done, so a barn that does this for me is out of the question.

4. Is it a compeitive barn or is it more “riding for pleasure”? Which atmosphere do you want for your child?
Both have their advantages and disadvantages, so it’s good to understand which you prefer.

5. How much money do you have to spend on this hobby?
Horses are expensive to care for from food to vet bills to shelter, you don’t have to own a horse to enjoy all the benefits of being an equestrian, but take some time to consider the natural steps. Your child will want a horse of his or her own – or at least one to bond with and tell secrets to!

I’m happy to report that I’ve found a wonderful facility and trainer just five minutes North of Desert Ridge Marketplace located on 80 acres! Joni Fitts School of Horsemanship is a clean facility that teaches the fundamentals of horse care, riding and showmanship. It’s a fabulous place to start. The school participates in the Blue Ribbon Horse Show series, which is a low-key cost-effective local show series that competes at Horselovers Park on Tatum. Joni has multiple certifications and is recognized by Scottsdale Parks and Recreation as the traing barn of choice for their introduction to horse classes!

I strongly encourage you to start your equestrian journey with Joni Fitts School of Horsemanship! See you at the barn!

 

(This post gives my honest feedback from a great personal experience with JFSH and is sponsored.)

 

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