Down Under Stables

Ann Arbor, MI

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About this pro

How does your business stand out?

Our horses are very well trained. Some stables put their students on old plugs. We use retired and current show horses, well bred, well trained individuals who, when asked correctly will respond willingly. Like Eeyore, they do have their little ways, but in general they are not sour and cranky because we don't allow anyone to pull on their mouth. This is what makes learning to ride fun instead of frustrating.

What do you enjoy about the work you do?

It is truly rewarding to see the improvement in students, who often come with bad habits. We can give truly, step by step instruction, teaching people to ride every stride and it is eternally fascinating to watch them become more comfortable, competent and effective.


Ann Arbor, MI 48105

Times hired on Thumbtack



2 Reviews
  • Gin C. Oct 30, 2012
  • Ellen B. Nov 9, 2010
    I have taken lessons from Jan and boarded horses at her facilities for about 16 years. I stay because the lessons are great and the care the horses receive is superb. Stalls are cleaned properly, they get ALOT of good quality hay; they are pampered and and happy. Her indoor arena is big, with excellent footing. There is an outdoor sand arena as well as hay fields to ride around in. For me, the location is also important. It is close enough to town that I can get out there often. Also, the other riders and horse owners there are friendly...and Jan is great!


What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?
All serious riders go to clinics with visiting equestrian "stars" who visit Michigan. There are always top notch people coming through and although it is expensive, even to audit, let alone ride, it is considered part of one's continueing education. That, and reading. Horse magazines have become much improved over the years with excellent teaching articles in every edition and there are many excellent books worth reading.
How did you get started doing this type of work?
I fell in love with horses as an 11 year old girl, about the typical age and this passion never left. I had many opportunities to ride but my family had no money for lessons. When I started to earn my own money I spent most of it on getting really good instruction, then came the years in the showring and working race horses, and I always wanted to pass on to others what I had learned along the way.
What advice would you give a customer looking to hire a provider in your area of work?
Watch a lesson. No one minds that. Ask permission to arrive at a certain time and observe carefully. Are the horses obviously groomed and well cared for? Is the tack of good quality? Is the instructor friendly, encouraging and patient? Not intimidating? Our instructors are particularly articulate, the owner having been a freelance writer in another stage of her life, another who specilizes in children is a highschool teacher and another a PhD scientist with a history of showring success.
What questions should customers think through before talking to professionals about their project?
You need to know that there are many people hanging out shingles as riding instructors who are well meaning, but little more than enthusiastic amateurs, If you are serious about learning riding using classical dressage principles, you want someone who truly knows their stuff. Just riding well is often not enough. It's the ability to actually TEACH with great specificity that matters. And we wish people knew just how much it costs to keep nice horses on hand for others to ride. When people cancel you can't say to the horses "ok chaps, no lessons today, so I won't feed you." It is very expensive to maintain both animals and the property, so that is why lessons cost what they do.