IAfter years of my stepdaughter taking riding lessons through various instructors here and in North Carolina - I would strongly recommend visiting several farms to get a feel for the lessons. Try to avoid the "Hit 'em, kick 'em" places (the places where the instructor is yelling at the riders to hit and kick the ponies to keep them moving - even some high-profile instructors are notorious for this). This style of training is simply not safe.
Ocala has some wonderful patient trainers. The best thing for your daughter is to develop a relationship with the horse as a partner. Its safer and saner riding.
Good luck and have fun (and I highly recommend the book Happy Horsemanship - its cute a full of super information for the young rider (and Mom) )!
These are the Camps we have listed in the Summer Guide, hope it helps!
MTRA: Marion Therapeutic Riding Association, 6850 SE 41st Court, Ocala will be hosting its annual summer riding program. The 10 week session is open to the general public and riders of all ages from 5 through adult. Classes will meet Tuesday , Wednesday and Thursday mornings. $200 per rider. (732-7300)
Owl Hollow Farm: 740 S.E. 59th St., Ocala, offers summer riding camp for all ages with weekly or monthly sessions in June and July. (237-4132)
Hidden Lark Farm: 4990 S.W. Seventh Ave. Road, Ocala, offers riding camp June 20-24, July 25-29 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Extended care available. (854-5151 or www.hiddenlarkfarm.net)
Eden Farm: 1720 S.W. 42nd St., Ocala, offers three sessions of summer riding camps, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 9 a.m.-noon Fridays, June 13-17, June 27- July 1, and Aug. 1-5. Cost is $300. (572-7658)
Ocalas' School of Equestrian Art! the instructor is awesome his name is Diego Bravo the cost is 50.00 per hour, check out the website!!!! without a doubt the best around!
We take our girls to Grey Dawn Stables. They are doing many great activities there this summer and throughout the year. www.ocalahorsesrus.com.
MTRA's, (Marion Therapeutic Riding Association), summer riding program is a great program to introduce your daughter to riding lessons. The lessons are taught by on staff (nationally certified) therapeutic instructors,all who have a very solid backround in teaching and hosemanship skills. The facility is clean , safe, and the horses could not be kinder. Lessons are held on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday mornings and are $200.00 for the 10 week session...thats $20 a lesson! And the best part....all proceeds go to support the 501-c-3's therapeutic riding programs scholarships! So your daughter gets a great start and the money goes to a great cause! To sign up call the barn at 732-7300...classes are filling up.
As a mom, trainer and director of the program..I could not reccommend a better place!