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Find a Riding School

How to find the right riding school for you

Whether you’re looking to enter the riding industry for the first time as a novice or just want to go back to an old hobby it is of vital importance that you choose the right riding school to do this. 

Many people with little or no equine experience are tempted to have lessons at the cheapest riding school; however this is rarely the best option.  Like anything; to some extent you will get what you pay for.  This doesn’t mean that expertise is going to be pricy, but look around and ask instructors what rate they charge and how highly qualified they are (a basic requirement would be BHS stages 1, 2 & 3).  Don’t be afraid to ask to watch a lesson before participating and ask to see some of the horses that you may be riding.  You will feel much more comfortable if you know the horse you’re riding and what sort of conditions they are kept in – you don’t want to end up somewhere that doesn’t care for its horses to a high standard. 

Another important point to mention is class sizes - it would be inappropriate to be taught in a class with a large number of people if you are a novice or low in confidence (a private one-to-one lesson may suit you better).  Private lessons can often be more expensive but the benefits will be evident immediately and the skills you gain will help you to participate more in a group lesson later on. 

Riding schools often have more than one teacher, but it is important that the same person will be available to teach you each lesson in order for you to develop a good relationship with your instructor and to have a good understanding of one another.  In addition, different riding schools and different instructors won’t always adopt the same approach to teaching and different styles suit different age groups.  The teaching style for a novice 6 year old would need to be different to that of an experienced 16 year old and you need to check that the instructor you have chosen is suitable for your ability.

Safety is always an important issue and when it comes to horses there can be many risks.  You want to know that you and the horse that you’re riding are safe.  To check that the riding school complies with the latest health and safety regulations and that the instructors are qualified simply ask if they are BHS approved.  It pays to do some research, as every rider is different and each riding school offers slightly different services.  Look around, and find the right riding school for you!

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