Q: I've never ridden a horse; can you accommodate beginners?
Frequently Asked Questions
A: Sure. Our guides are professional and safety is our first and foremost priority in everything we do. All rides include a brief riding orientation, and your guides are readily available should you need assistance during the ride. If you meet the necessary age and weight requirements, all we ask is that you are in good physical condition to be able to mount and dismount your horse and to ride for five miles at a walk/trot. However, being a little nervous is one matter, if you are terrified because of a previous bad experience or if you are being overly coerced by a friend or family member, maybe horseback riding is not for you.
Q: How many people go out on each ride?
A: We try not to have more than 7 people per guide.
Q: Can we go out on our own, without a guide?
A: No! Insurance will not allow us to permit un-guided rides.
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Q: Can my experienced 6-year-old ride?
A: Regardless of experience, children must be at least 6 years or older and able to physically control a large horse without assistance. Safety and basic physics apply here. Please understand that although our horses are extremely gentle and well trained, they are full-size horses, weighing a thousand pounds and more. Due to our insurance, we cannot allow children younger than 6 to go out on the trail.
Q: Do you have helmets, boots?
A: We have helmets for your use. The only thing that we suggest is you wear a boot with a minimum ½-inch heel.
Q: Can my husband ride if he is 250 lbs.?
A: Yes, but we only have horses that can carry up to 250 lbs. at a walk.
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Q: I am an experienced rider; do you offer an 'experienced' ride?
A: The experience of this ride is the romanticism, beauty and sheer tranquility of it, as well as learning about the environment. We provide a scenic eco-tour by horseback. We can't fulfill your lifelong fantasy of 'cantering' or 'galloping' along our trails for many safety reasons, but if you love horses and if you love nature, you will love this rare and exotic opportunity. Any experienced rider will be sure to appreciate the quality of our horses.
Q: Why don't you allow 'galloping'?
A: Many people do not realize that it takes a trainer many years of work to teach horses. In order to make and keep our horses safe for the extreme novice or beginner, we must train our horses not to run on the trails, but only to walk. We, as trainers and guides, certainly do not run them down the trails in our spare time, but in fact are training by doing just the opposite. If we allowed cantering or 'galloping' at any time, we would be un-training our horses, rendering them unsafe for the next novice rider who mounts up.
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Q: Do you ride English or Western?
A: Our horses are trained Western (indirect reining). This is in order for you to safely have one hand for reining and one hand on a saddle horn for upper body support. Quite simply, it's a matter of equipment and reining technique. If you feel you can "only ride English," let us show you something new!
Q: Can my child ride with me?
A: Sorry, but for safety, "double riding" is not permitted under any circumstance.
Q: Can my grandparents ride?
A: For safety reasons, if someone in your party is of 'advanced' age and not accustomed to riding horses on a regular basis, you might want to reconsider his or her participation. Even if your grandparents are still very active, please remember that horseback riding is a very physical activity and is not at all similar to golfing or bicycling. Hip replacements and arthritis can certainly interfere with the rider's ability to stay seated or even hold the reins, and heat exhaustion and fatigue can be a serious threat at any age.
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Q: Can I ride if I am pregnant?
A: No! Although this is a gentle ride, horses can be unpredictable; so please don't risk it.
Q: How far in advance should I make a reservation?
A: Our busiest season is from December to April. Weekends and holidays are also peak times. We take out as many as 10 horses in a group, four times daily, so space is limited. The more people you have in your group, the sooner you should call. Please give us at least a few days, but generally no more than a month to ensure availability. Last minute calls and walk-ins are always welcome; however, we can't guarantee availability without a reservation.
Q: What if I have a reservation and the weather is bad?
A: Simply call the ranch to inquire prior to leaving or just arrive as planned. The weather can change in central Florida so please don't assume it's raining here if it's raining where you are. Our professional tour guides will make an educated decision about whether it is safe to take the ride out. We will certainly cancel any ride due to extreme weather conditions, i.e., heavy rain, lightning, or severe weather forecasts, at no cost to you. Otherwise, we make every effort to get you on the trail. However, if we do get caught in the rain, we simply get wet!
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Q: How should I dress?
A: We suggest wearing shoes that have a ½-inch heel and are secure to your feet simply so they won't fall off during the ride. Avoid wearing boots over 4.5" across the ball of your foot; so that they fit safely in the stirrup and won't jam. We also suggest long comfortable pants and shirts with sleeves. Shorts and tennis shoes are not suggested even in the summer. Also, please do not bring anything loose or cumbersome with you such as backpacks or purses. Sorry, we do not provide lockers. Be sure all hats, visors, caps and clothing are snug and secure to you, and prepare for sunshine!
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Q: Can I bring my pet?
A: Although we are sure that your pet is wonderful, we do not accept pets of any kind at the ranch.
Q: Should we tip our Trail Guide?
A: Sure, especially if you enjoyed your ride! Your Trail Guide will gladly accept tips. Thank you!
Rock Springs Riding Ranch is a family attraction, located near Sorrento and Sanford, in Lake County, Florida-- just minutes from Orlando. Call us soon to schedule your horseback riding adventure!