Lessons. Camps. Events.

Horsebound LLC

Riding Lessons

Age Requirements:
Our minimum age for students is 10, there is no maximum age, we have many adult students that range from beginner to advanced. For students under 10 years of age, please contact our instructor Jo Davis to arrange lessons.

Availability for New students:
Right now we have a waiting list for new students, all new students are required to take a trial lesson before enrolling in monthly lessons (trial lessons are the same price as a regular lesson, just rather than paying for the month you just pay for one lesson $50) - this is to ensure that the student likes us, our horses, and is a good fit for our program before committing to once a week monthly lessons. The amount of time that it takes to get a trial lesson depends on your availability, the horses we have available during the opening, etc. A student that is available in the mornings during the week or early afternoon (before 2) will be able to jump ahead of people on the waiting list only available weekends or during peak after school hours. A student that has previous riding experience (i.e. is able to walk trot canter or has been in lessons for several years) may get in sooner than someone with no experience, since they are able to be combined with another student - most adults ride in private lessons, kids are usually combined with only one other student once they are able to trot off the line. Some of our advanced girls ride with a total of 3 in their lessons but that's rare. Please bear in mind that the appropriate horse must be available as well (we only allow our horses to go twice a day and they must have a break in-between their lessons, they range in size from pony sized to draft sized), so our scheduling is a little more complicated than it would be for any other type of lesson program. Lessons run over a little over an hour, you'd probably should plan to be there (or leave enough time) for about 1 1/2.
___________________________________________________________________ Our Program:
We are mostly a ‘Western' program, meaning that most of our students ride in a Western saddle, but we do have many students that ride English as well - however in the beginning what they are learning is applicable to both English and Western riding (they are taught to direct rein (rein in each hand) and the basics for both types of riding. We do require that all beginners start in a Western saddle for safety reasons, the horn allows them to gain their balance safely (by having more of something to hold on to) - when they are able to trot off the line they may then switch (or try) to an English saddle, but will have to go back into the Western saddle when learning to canter. Once cantering safely they may switch back. For students that stay in a Western saddle they can learn to neck rein and other things that apply to Western riding. Students learn to tack up each lesson (so that eventually they will be able get ready on their own).

Lessons Pricing:

Trial Lesson: $50

To schedule a trial lesson, please call us at (760) 877-4768 or send an email to horseboundsandiego@gmail.com .


Lessons are priced at :
$200 per month for one lesson per week (four per month)
$360 per month for two lessons per week (eight per month) or
$360 per month for one lesson per week each for two people from the same family.

Horse Camp in San Diego

We don't offer any high impact/speed lessons (no jumping, no barrel racing, no reining, no pole bending etc) - if a student wants to go in that direction we can put the basics on and then refer them to another program that offers these activities. Trailriding is a large part of our program, we have access to PQ canyon from the property (through a tunnel under Black Mountain Road) - if weather & light permits we go on trail about 1x a month. We have lighted areas for lessons later in the day.

We don't suggest buying anything before taking a lesson, we have helmets at the ranch and tennis shoes will work for a while (a little tread on them is good if possible). If you stick with lessons, a helmet would be the best thing to buy 1st, Ovation (brand) makes a great helmet, the small/medium size fits most 9-35 year olds (its adjustable) & they have 2 styles that seem to work on everyone (one is for people with a more round head and the other is for more oval), the cost runs around $50. We can help with a helmet fitting, we have all different sizes and shapes of helmets at the ranch. Boots would be the next purchase, there is a used tack store in Poway or there are lots of synthetic boots that run around $35 new - or target, TJ Maxx, Marshall's, etc all carry kids/women's cowboy type boots that will work as well. Yoga type pants or jeans are best, if it's hot out students are welcome to wear shorts (as long as not riding in an english saddle) - however when kids are first learning to post they are better off in something that at least covers their knees.

Teaching Philosophy

During their years spent teaching in Del Mar, Amy and Katie had ample opportunities to explore what students and parents most sought after in a lesson program. They threw these ingredients into a pot, stirred a little, let simmer - and along came Horsebound!

1. Experience
The Horsebound instructors each have at least twenty years of riding experience - along with a minimum of five years working with hhorses. They all own horses, have show backgrounds, and enjoy teaching English as well as Western. Lastly - and perhaps most importantly - they have each spent at least four years teaching for a well-renowned Del Mar riding school.

2. Safety
With the risk of sounding like a waiver/release, horses are prey animals, so their reaction when exposed to danger (real or perceived) is to run first, think later. Additionally, some horses are strong-willed and highly opinionated (appies, anyone?). Because of this, riding and spending time with horses can be dangerous. At Horsebound, we take many precautions to remain one step ahead and prevent accidents before they happen. From an all-kids-in-helmets policy and careful instruction (for example, trot and canter are both first taught on the lunge line, enabling riders to gain balance and confidence before venturing out on their own) to safety awards for students who take extra measures to help others stay out of harm's way, you can rest assured that neither you nor your child will be exposed to unneccessary risks.

3. The Right Horses
After all, what would a riding school be without them? Just as we don't hit it off with every person we meet, different people click with different horses. We spent a considerable amount of time, money and efforts hunting down a truly diverse herd of horses - ranging from a Shire and a Morgan to quarter horses and ponies of different breeds. Some are forward, move easily off the leg, and are all about the fun. Others are calm and kind, taking care of the more timid riders. Still others are pretty movers, dressage school masters, gymkhana ponies, or will nicker at you when you go to fetch them. They do, however, have two imperative things in common: they are all safe, sane, and sound, and they all made our hearts beat a little faster. For more information, see the Meet the Horses tab.

4. Night Lights/Flexible Scheduling
The pace of today's So Cal lifestyle rivals the one of Amy's four-year-old Arab in turnout. If you're like the majority of our students, you (and your family) have a million things on your plate. The last thing you need is to spend the next three weeks reshuffling your schedule and cancel previous commitments to make room for horseback riding. Fortunately, our facility features an enormous arena equipped with night lights - enabling us to offer evening rides in addition to weekend, morning and the conventional after-school slots. We are also more accomodating than the typical riding school when it comes to makeup lessons, should you or your child fall ill or need to go out of town.

5. Friendly Instruction and Positive Feedback
Most riders we know have had at least one evil riding instructor, who would yell at them or tell them all the things they were doing wrong without offering solutions. At Horsebound, we believe in the 90% positive, 10% negative ratio, and in working through one problem at a time. Rather than telling you what not to do, we will tell you what you could do better - and introduce you to a multitude of exercises aimed at improving your skills.

6. Variety
At Horsebound, we encourage our students to explore a variety of disciplines - English and Western - before zooming in on the ones of their liking. We enjoy all types of riding, although we each have speciality areas where we take lessons of our own and/or show. We also like to break things up with trail rides, bareback, and other just-for-fun activities thrown into the mix!

7. Fun and Games
Not only are games fun and a great thrill for most kids - they make for better learning! Keeping a horse on the rail when all it wants is to cut into the middle can seem like a daunting task - but somehow, grabbing a Breyer horse off the fence and dropping it into a bucket in a different part of the arena is a breeze. Riding is, after all, all about focus. Older kids practice simple changes around barrels, steering over cavalettis and ground poles, and sitting trot bareback.

8. Horsemanship
We like to think of ourselves as a prep school for horse ownership rather than just a riding school, quite similar to the way some schools (especially private ones) market themselves as college prep schools, as opposed to those that teach their students according to a standardized curriculum. In addition to riding, our lessons include activities such as lunging, leg wrapping, deworming, tack cleaning and fitting, and hoof care 101.

We like to think that Horsebound is all of the above, and invite you to try us out and see for yourself. To schedule a trial lesson (priced at $50), please email us at houseboundsandiego@gmail.com.

We also conducted a non-psychic survey to find out what horses look for in a lesson program. Here's what they had to say:

1. Lots of food
Ideally, they'd like to eat at least 24 hours per day.

2. A reasonable work load and breaks between lessons so they have time and energy left for eating (see 1).

3. Tasty food
While horses do tend to prioritize quantity over quality when it comes to food, they do appreciate treats. Especially alfalfa. Lots of it (see 1).

4. Riders with soft, gentle hands
A sore mouth makes it hard to eat (see 1).

5. A monster-free work environment
Fear has a negative impact on digestion, which in turn interferes with the eating experience (see 1).

6. A great variety of food
The horses appeared willing to eat almost anything, reasoning that the more different types of food they are open to, the more food is available to them, total (see 1).

7. Lots of food (see #1)

8. Lots of food
They suggested we mention it one more time, to make sure the message is clear!

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Horse Bound Riding School is located at CanyonSide Stables, 12115 Black Mountain Road, San Diego, CA 92129

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