The first lesson in Vallebona is an introduction to our style of riding, which combines English, western and trekking techniques and styles. The instructors carry out the lessons on horseback so that they can constantly demonstrate and assist the guests. Thanks to the trustworthiness and and experience of our horses, even absolute beginners can ride out on a hack in the countryside after their first hour's lesson.
Lessons are organised according to the level of each rider.
In the large arena beginners' lessons start with work on posture and balance, in walk, controlling the horse with one and two hands, before going on to changing direction and breaking into trot on demand.
For riders with a bit more experience we analyse the various methods of controlling the reins (direct, open, neck and indirect reins) and the effect each of these has on the horse (stop, change of direction, turn on the forehand, lateral steps, roll back), applying them to the different paces of walk, trot and canter.
Obviously all exercises in the lessons are geared towards preparing the rider for hacks out in the countryside: our aim is to take you to discover Tuscany in a pleasant way.
Often several young horses are present and it is possible to watch the training sessions, from their first steps to the achievement of total confidence in the saddle and the rider. Everything takes place following the principles of 'natural horsemanship', starting with a rope headcollar before going on to a simple snaffle bridle and only when the horse is comfortable, relaxed and used to neck reining and can be guided with one hand, on to the 'grazer bit' - a short, solid and simple bit, effective but not severe.