As many people already know, my precious little girl LOVES horses. She's been begging me to let her start riding for a very long time now (over a year, and she's been asking for a horse of her own since Christmas 2006, yes 2.5 years old! LOL). I've been calling around for a while as well, looking for a trainer and stable that would fit my requirements. They are:
1) Not a show barn - my preschool age daughter doesn't need to be in a place training her for shows...not yet anyway.
2) Teaches english riding (versus Western) - English requires much more balance and skill than western, so I want her to learn this first and then she can learn western down the road if she wants. Not likely, though, because she wants to jump.
3) Will teach ALL aspects of equine care, knowledge, etc. not just showing up, hopping on, and riding. I want her to learn all the parts of the horse, the colors, how to groom, tack up, cool down, bathe, muck stalls, etc. as she reaches appropriate ages. (No, I'm not expecting my 4 year old to muck out a stall and tack up her own pony, LOL).
5) Within a 30 min. drive
Well, I think DH stumbled upon the barn for us today. He found an add for a lady, who also offers big discounts for homeschooling families, and when I called the lady was excited that I wanted to start Heather ate the age of 4, believes in teaching all aspects of horsemanship, and met every other qualification that I had! We're going tomorrow to meet her and see the stables and if I still feel good about it, we'll sign her up for her first private lesson. :o) I'm thinking 2 lessons a month would be plenty for her, and still not impact our finances.