RIDERS learn to follow the horse's rising and falling rhythm.
photo: Courtesy of Jazdecká Škola Zálesie
Located just off of Staro-bystrická ulica, next to a cattle farm, is the Jazdecká Škola Zálesie (Zálesie Equestrian School). Here adults and children take horse-riding lessons through the Weekends on Horseback teaching program.
Taught by the hour, lessons usually follow a twelve-lesson course. In the first set of lessons students learn the basic theory and practice of riding. In the second round they correct any imperfections. By the third set of lessons they are ready to ride alone out of the school, or to focus on jumping hurdles. Of course a student's advancement depends on how well they take to riding and follow the rising and falling rhythm of a horse's steps.
A one-hour lesson is not too short a period of time, one instructor points out, as riding a horse takes some physical exertion, especially in the legs where the rider must grip the horse. Riders bring pants to protect their calves and knees from friction against the saddle and the horse's body.
"Lots of families come for the day to ride and then relax and enjoy the rural atmosphere, and couples also come to take lessons together," says one instructor.
The school has some 20 horses, which they raise and train themselves. Each horse has its own personality and some match certain riders better than others. "It is an art to work with horses," says Dušan Sterančák, who has been riding horses for 35 years and co-owns and co-directs the school with Lucia Sterančákova.
In addition to riding lessons the school offers pool tables, ping-pong, an inflatable pool, and lunch or other refreshments. For children the school runs a riding camp during the week, and half-day lessons on Saturday and Sunday.
Private horses are also kept at the school, where they are given room, board, medical care, and daily exercise in the event that their owner is too busy to attend to these things.
The Weekends on Horseback are open during the spring and summer every Saturday and Sunday. Instruction in English is possible, and a one-hour lesson costs Sk300. For more information call 02/4594-6232 or 0907/756-131, or visit www.jazdectvo.szm.sk.
11. Aug 2003 at 0:00 | Eric Smillie