I love horses. I remember a family friend had a riding school and I had an opportunity to go riding – not over a period but maybe once or twice when I visited on holiday. There’s something appealing and yet frightening about horses at the same time.
Horses are my favourite animal and I would love to be able to go riding frequently. The children also say they would love to join a riding school. I know I may not indulge them in this regard as it would be frightfully expensive but I thought I would nosy around and see what schools and facilities are available around London.
Here are some of my favourite riding schools around London –
Hyde Park Stables – Top of my list but obviously. Who would not want to go riding around Hyde Park? I was surprised to know that there is a riding school too. I always knew there were pony rides.
They offer adults and children horse riding lessons, groups and private horse rides and there are even children parties that can be held there. Your child and friends could receive a 1 hour riding lesson and catering could be included too. Yes, it is a tad pricey but hey, it would be a party to remember!
Stag Lodge Pony Rides – Now why I never looked into this before, I do not know. Richmond Park is my favourite place in the world. Stag Lodge has children as young as 3 riding on Shetland ponies. How adorable is that! And they also have young ones until the age of 16 who want to be more accomplished riders and take part in jumping and dressage.
It is one of the largest Pony Clubs in England offering Pony Week courses during half term and holidays and Pony Club on the weekend. They also help children who don’t have a pony of their own to be able to learn how to take care of horses. I know mine would love to do this.
Deen City Farm offers riding lessons to children from the age of 4. There are lead rein sessions to experience riding on a pony too. This would be ideal for a one off. They have an Own a Pony Day where you can experience first hand what it is to own a pony. Perfect for someone wanting a pony and not knowing what to expect. I guess it is pretty hard work with mucking out, feeding and grooming.
As the name suggests, there is also a Farm so children can get up close and personal with other animals too.
Vauxhall City Farm – One may not think of a farm in the heart of London but Vauxhall City Farm caters to riding needs without you having to leave the city. They teach children aged 4+ and have classes for the disabled too. Love that it is inclusive. They also have days where you can own a pony – love this idea.
As you know horses are probably a lot of work. A horse needs feeding and grooming. And I reckon that feeding a horse is not necessarily giving it a sugar lump or an apple as we read in stories. It would involve special horse feed from suppliers.
If you own a horse, you’ve got to be prepared to muck out it’s stall too. I’m sure my children would be okay with a one off at owning a horse but not doing it dedicatedly.
Do you take your children riding? I would love it if you shared your stories with me.