A couple of weeks ago my daughter and I had the opportunity to check out Hylee Training, just across the border in Mission. I was a bit skeptical taking my five year old daughter to a private horse riding lesson. Honestly, I didn't think that she would take much away from it (other than a desire for me to buy her a pony).
I am happy to report that I completely underestimated the program!
Our trainer, Sam, was incredible with Kayla. She treated her like a responsible and capable horseback rider. For that reason, by the end of the 30 minutes Kayla was able to ride her horse, Fuzz, confidently with her hands on her head! She was taught how to safely interact with a horse as well as the basics (starting, stopping, steering and controlling the horse). When Kayla dismounted Fuzz at the end of the lesson she had an extra spring in her step. Typically, she is fairly shy and reserved, but I could tell that her confidence was given a huge boost in this short session.
When we arrived at the facility we crossed paths with two sisters - I am guessing about 8 and 10 years old - who were just finishing up their weekly lesson. I couldn't believe how much responsibility they were given for their horses. It's clear to me that Hylee Training doesn't only build horse skills, but also life skills. These girls were given the opportunity to show their independence but were also guided in a supportive manner.
If you or your child is interested in learning the ropes (ha!), I would highly suggest contacting Hylee Training. Throughout the year they offer one-on-one lessons for children aged four to six and private, semi-private or group lessons for children six and over. They also offer special programs during spring and summer break where kids are able to participate in all aspects of horse care. And, if Mom or Dad are interested in riding, they have a program for that too (including trail rides through the gorgeous surrounding forest areas!).
Please be aware that although we were provided the session for the purpose of this review all opinions stated here are our own.