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I'm 16 years old, I've ridden horses many times before, but only took a couple of lessons about 3-4 years ago and I really want to start taking lessons again.... I don't really remember too much about horses at all and I was just wondering if you could give me some basic information on starting up horseback riding. I'd like to know more about the whole "art" in horseback riding. Also, where are some good places to get lessons... I live in Minnesota too. Twin Cities area.

Thanks a lot. Hope to hear from you.

- J. F.


Uff-da! That's a mighty tall order - teaching you everything you need to know about horses in one lesson... and without being in the ring with you! I'll see if I can figure out some way to put down the basics as though I were actually working with a new rider. Unfortunately, there's a lot of interaction that goes on between rider, horse, and instructor, and I'm not sure it's even possible to give you what you've asked for.

Have you gone through all of the other tips on my site? If you haven't, I'd suggest that you begin on the "Learning More About Horses" page, then work your way through all the "Questions and Answers" pages. You'll find a lot of the basics there - just not organized into a single riding lesson.

Some of the things I always emphasize with new riders are:

See what I mean? Those tips only hit the high points of a few of the basics! I'd probably cover all of that - and more - during just the first five minutes of the first one-hour session. This isn't much, but I hope it helps.

Keep in touch - and I'll try to do the same. Between the two of us, maybe we'll find a way to put together an on-line riding lesson. I'll also ask around to see if I can find a good flesh-and-blood teacher in the Twin Cities.

By the way, are you interested in learning Western-style or English riding?

Happy Riding!

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