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Horseback Riding Lessons in Pequot Lakes

I grew up around horses, have always loved them, and started (seriously) horseback riding at the age of 7. Throughout all my years of trail riding, practicing for horse shows (mostly 4-H) and just horsin' around, Maxine has been there. She's not just a friend; "Max" is family. But that aside, she's also a damn good horse woman, and she's finally giving riding lessons again.

Horseback Riding Instruction
Maxine gives lessons to horseback riders of all ages at Lonesome Dove Training Center in Pequot Lakes, Minnesota. While the fundamentals of horseback riding she teaches aren't discipline-specific, she can focus with any rider on their desired discipline: western, hunt seat, saddle seat, show hack, even driving.

Whether you're an adult looking to step up your horse show game or learn a new discipline, or you have a young child deliriously in love with horses, you should be taking horseback riding lessons from Maxine Luger Gallett. She has an innate sense of how to train riders to work along with their horses. She has over 30 years' experience showing horses, schooling riders in equitation, and showing horses in multiple disciplines; she can take any horse and rider combo and turn them into a well-rounded pair.

Maxine Has Schooled Many Horseback Riders Over The Years
Over the years she's garnered quite a following of loyal protégés.

While I didn't take as many lessons from her as I'd have liked over the years (by the time I hit my "stride" with showing, she wasn't giving lessons), I've learned a lot from her and I did pretty well with my little 4-H horse over the years. I mean, if you count winning a trip to the State 4-H Horse Show every year I was eligible (and placing down there, too :); placing highly in local shows and even winning some open classes against "big-shot" trainers, then yes, I think I did pretty well. Of course, that was way back in high school and college. Now I pretty much just trail ride, but I'm still learning – every time I see Max, I learn SOMETHING new!

My sister (Amy Bernier Satterfield), on the other hand, took lessons with Max for years – and not just for 4-H competitions, she went to the Class A Arabian shows – and under her tutelage not only became a beautiful equestrian (first in hunt seat, followed by saddle seat and western) but also a great trainer. She finished her National Show Horse ("Ben") and turned him into a winning machine. Her recent accomplishments include attending and placing at WSCA horse shows against some extremely tough competition in hunt seat pleasure. In fact, for the Arabian Unplugged 2010 show circuit, she was the "runaway" English Hunt Seat High Point Champion. That's quite an accomplishment!

Another of Max's students, Stacy Ennenga Stricker, has gone on to become quite the horse woman. She also trains horses – she's working on finishing two of them this year – and has an affinity for Parelli training. To watch her working with her horses is truly amazing. 

Maxine's own daughter, Tasha, is following in her mother's footsteps, showing her pinto (Tío) in 4-H, at open shows (including WSCA), and participating in drill team.

Max's latest students are young girls (my niece included) in various stages of learning to ride. She teaches them the basics of riding, but she also gives them confidence. One of them – the 11-year-old daughter of my friend – won her walk-trot class at the 4-H County Fair Horse Show this past summer. She's gung-ho, excited about her lessons, and is shaping into a great little rider under Maxine's tutelage! And so the list goes on.

Horseback Riding Lesson Details
So, after singing a few of her many accolades, here's the scoop on taking lessons with Max:

All lessons are given at Lonesome Dove Training Center, owned and maintained by the Haffs.

Pricing: Using a Lesson Horse
If a rider uses an on-site lesson horse, the pricing is $65.00 for an hour of riding instruction. This hour does NOT include catching the horse, grooming or tacking up. Each rider receives a full hour's worth of riding and schooling. $5.00 of this fee is for the use of the arena (since Maxine doesn't own the facility); another $10.00 is for the use of the lesson horse.

If only a half-hour session is desired, the charge is $40.00 (with the use of a lesson horse).

Pricing: Bringing Your Own Horse
If a rider chooses to bring his/her own horse, lesson pricing is $55.00 for an hour of riding instruction; $30.00 for a half-hour session. Again, the time to groom your horse and saddle up is not included in the lesson time.

Of course, if you have a young child who wants to learn these things – how to properly groom and tack a horse – I'm sure she can accommodate, since these are also important aspects of riding!

Also, discounted rates are available for lessons with 2 riders – of approximately the same knowledge level – but talk to Max to discuss details.

Contact Maxine
To get started on your way to becoming a better equestrian – or to enroll your daughter/son – you can email Max at or call her at (218) 562-4754.

If you take lessons from Max, I guarantee you'll not only learn how to become a better rider and how to work with your horse; you'll have a lot of fun, too!

Metaphorically Speaking?

Today while I was getting ready for work a thought hit me which I must expound on here.

I have a walk-through bathroom. I believe the technical term is a Jack & Jill bathroom. It's pretty stupid...I mean, a bathroom with two doors I have to shut before – well, you know. Anyway, while I like having all the openness and light, I'm not a fan of the layout.

In order to get to my linen closet – in which I store linens (weird), medicine, hair products and other necessities I use every day – I have to close one of the bathroom doors. This bothers me.

I don't WANT to close one door to open another one. It's irritating.

Which got me to thinking: is that a metaphor for my life?