I am a parent, and my child and his safety are super important to me. If my son were to grow up and want to ride horses and I was no longer in the horse business, I would look for several things before I allowed my son to ride at any given stable. I think that so many parents see a pretty barn or a cheap price on a Craigslist ad and just take their child somewhere to learn to ride without really giving it any thought or consideration. COME ON PEOPLE! This is your child. Research the facility. Go and visit. Ask the barn manager a few questions. Make sure the place is legit. The last thing you want is for your baby to get hurt when it could have been avoided. My advice to you, go and visit before you start your first lesson. Observe a lesson and see how the instructor interacts with the students. Are they hands on and involved or do they sit in the center of the arena on the mounting block and bark out instructions? Then go and look at the horses. I am not saying go and say wow those are pretty horses, I am saying go check out there living environment. Are the stalls clean? Are the shavings fresh? Are the water tanks clean, what about the buckets in the stalls? Also, chat with the boarders there, see if they are happy. Are the horses and safety put first? How often is the barn manager there? Is communication good between everyone? After you do that evaluation, talk to the barn manager. Ask several questions, see if they know what they are talking about. Say that you want your child to know as much about horses as possible, ask what the normal temperature of a horse is? See if you get the right answer. If not, you probably do not want your child learning from that barn. It is not that they have bad intentions, some people just are not really knowledgeable enough to be in the horse business. It takes more than “I had a horse growing up, and I did a few shows” to run a successful barn. Good luck!