Lesson barn recommendation in South Bend, IN area?
My great niece, Taryn, has just turned 6 and lives in South Bend. She is far advanced in her reading, and I just bought her a copy of Black Beauty, which she'll get along with a vintage set of the Breyer Black Beauty horses (Beauty, Ginger, and Merrylegs). However, being a good great auntie, I want to be able to set up some riding lessons for her to at least let her see if she has any interest in riding. I'm in St. Louis, MO, so I can't go running around up there myself. Anyone have any suggestions as to places that are good? Hunt seat or western, really --- I just want to try and bring out the horse blood in her! (Her parents will kill me, for sure!)
Betsy Waltman in Niles, MI seems to be the best in the area. I've been taking lessons there as a haul-in and have been very pleased with her instruction. She does locals and some shows on the A circuit. http://www.laughinplacestables.com/home
Another option I have heard good things about is Lucky Horse. It is a more modern facility. The owner/instructor there is nice and friendly, though not as experienced as Betsy with hunters. http://www.luckyhorseec.com/Location.html
Best of luck with your search. I just moved here in June and don't know any Western trainers, so this is a very H/J-focused perspective.
Thanks! I prefer H/J myself, but to get a kid interested in riding, I'd do anything. I'll check those two out, make some calls,and see what I can work out. What kind of a long-distance great auntie would I be if I didn't arrange for Taryn to learn to ride??? :-)
I have not heard of Lucky Farms nor the owners/trainers, but I also haven't lived in IN for some time.
Another one to look into would be Take A Jump farm-- Kathryn Wells. Kathryn's also been around forever and is similar to Betsy in the way she runs her business. I don't think you could go wrong with either place/trainer.