Finding the right riding school
It’s generally agreed that horses are good for your health and good for your soul, even if sometimes they are not so helpful for your pocket. Riding unites people of all ages and from all walks of life and invariably there is no turning back once you are hooked. The writer Monica Dickens said:
“If you have it, it is for life. It is a disease for which there is no cure. You will go on riding even after they have to haul you onto a comfortable wise old cob with feet like inverted buckets and a back like a fireside chair.”
So where do you start?
Choosing the right riding school is essential to make sure that your very first riding adventure leaves you hungry for more. You need a good experience on a healthy, willing horse, with clear instruction from a qualified instructor, in a safe environment.
In the UK we are lucky enough to have two organisations that maintain the standards of our riding schools and the quality of instruction they provide
What to consider when choosing a riding school
Once you have spotted a potentially suitable riding school nearby it’s a good idea to pay a visit to check it out. If you like what you see you can usually book a taster lesson before signing up for a course.
Inside or outside?
It’s normal practice to learn the basics within the confines of an arena, often referred to as a manège. It’s a large, safe space, which is usually fenced and has a special shock-absorbing surface that’s comfortable for a horse to move in. Some riding schools have covered arenas, which are great for wet weather or for winter lessons after dark. This can be handy if you are trying to fit lessons around work or school but bear in mind that many outdoor arenas will often have lights too, for riding after dark.
Want to watch?