Riding School Query - Should I stay?

*M*

New Member
Dec 30, 2020
6
1
3
Hi All,

Happy Saturday, my first post!

I am in my mid 30's and during lockdown decided to start riding. This is a completely new skill for me though I am fairly athletic.
My aunt has a horse and during the summer I really enjoyed spending time with her mucking out, turning the horse out etc which spurred me on to get lessons. I wished I'd done it years ago! There is nothing quite like it and it's certainly something I would like to continue :)

I live in Sutton, Surrey (SM1) which is pretty close to London and I don't think there are many places for me to learn.
My riding school were brilliant when I first started as I clearly explained I had no experiences with horses. I've so far learnt to get on, dismount, and was on a lunge lead. Now I can change direction etc and have been learning rising trot.

Now to my query - My RS is quite small and busy so I don't get to take my horse out, don't adjust my own stirrups/gait, take horse back etc and there seems to be no opportunity to learn about how to care for the horses. The RS only has an outdoor area so when it rains it really is quite boggy for the horse! Depending on which horse you some really try to avoid the boggy parts.
Should the care/ other bits be part of the RS learning?
They are a nice bunch but it's just so busy it almost feels rushed sometimes.

No option for group lessons (maybe due to Covid?) so it's just me but I'd love to have a group lesson and get some friends with the same hobby :)

I had tried to go to another RS but they seemed pretty busy too with lessons only during the week and during the middle of the day (I work full time so not an option for me though the RS was lovely and much bigger than my own!)

Any suggestions for RS Banstead/Croydon/Warlingham/Sutton way?

Thanks :)
 

Trewsers

Well-Known Member
Oct 13, 2004
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On an island
Hello and welcome. I have no clue on riding establishments in your part of the country, hopefully someone else on here might. I too started to take lessons in my early thirties and found myself completely addicted! The place I chose was always busy and because I was running a business myself I didn't have time during the day so it had to be after work. I think most places are super busy - I think they have to be to make it pay these days. I was the opposite of yourself though and enjoyed one to one lessons wherever possible - mainly because my OH was also learning so I already had a horsey friend lol
I wanted to do a bit more myself too before and after lessons, but they were always so busy I felt a bit of a nuisance hanging around! I did offer to help muck out etc and they let me do a bit of that now and again which was nice. And then led on to them letting me untack and pop rugs on etc. Perhaps you could ask them for a combination lesson - as in a little bit of riding and a bit of instruction on tack etc and grooming? Maybe explain how keen you are to learn about those things and not just the ridden aspect?
 
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*M*

New Member
Dec 30, 2020
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Hiya,

Lucky you've got the OH as a horsey friend :)
Maybe when things get a bit more back to normal they will be a bit more willing to do this? I've not seen anyone else doing this at the RS but worth an ask!

Hopefully someone else on here can suggest another riding school in the area :)
 

carthorse

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Staff member
Jan 6, 2006
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I don't know that area so I can't recommend anywhere. Maybe have a look on the BHS site and see if that shows any, it should also give you a reasonable standard of facility, horses and teachers

I think that at the moment group lessons aren't allowed and they'll be trying to minimise the time people are around so less chance to help either side of the ride. Is the handling etc something you could work on with your aunt's horse though? Or could you see if anywhere is running stable management courses once lockdown eases? I never expected it to be part of a lesson and indeed when I rode at schools I would have been pretty annoyed if my lesson time included me tacking and untacking etc.

If you'd like to make some horsey friends why not contact your local riding club and ask if they'd like someone to help as a steward, fence judge etc and explain you want to meet horsey people in the area?
 

Jessey

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Dec 20, 2004
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Hi welcome to NR ? It’s all a bit different from back when I learnt, but I’d chat to your RI and see what she says, they may not encourage it if most of their clients are young but they may do for an adult, it could also be an insurance issue letting anyone do anything alone with the horses but may be able to do it instead of a ridden lesson. Covid is stopping group lessons at the moment, hopefully that’s something to look forward to in the near future though ? but bear in mind you could be in a group of young riders so the friendships may not be quiet what you’re hoping for.
 

PePo

Well-Known Member
Jun 4, 2014
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Hello!

Welcome to NR :)

Would near Gatwick be too far? If not, try Lomond Classical Riding Centre. I've heard great things about them and they definitely do group lessons (including classical in-hand work) in non Covid times and I think run clinics and events too..
 
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Skib

Well-Known Member
Dec 21, 2003
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If you do as suggested and look at the BHS list of recognised schools in your area, you will see a list of schools near you.

The only one I know about (and have hacked from) is Wildwoods near Epsom Downs which is also an exam centre.

Good schools usually have a waiting list for evening and w.e. lessons, so once Covid is less rampant, why not go and visit a few and watch some lessons and may be join a waiting list.
Should the care/ other bits be part of the RS learning?

The school where I started, regarded riding lessons as riding lessons. A lesson in which you ride usually costs more as the horse is working. RSs dont seem to regard it as work for the horse if a client is learning how to groom it!
I paid for a couple of stable management lessons at my first RS to teach me to groom, pick up the feet, and later did their BHS stable management evening course, parts 1 and 2.
At normal riding lessons one had the choice of getting out ones horse and putting it away, untacking and rugging it. I always did that. I did anything that was offered, providing someone showed me how first. Our local RSs mostly welcome any additional help that is offered before or after one's lesson.

It is up to you whether you spend any money on lessons other than riding. My OH never did. I spent the money and time because I had watched David Attenborough on TV and learned a bit about animal behaviour. I was also interested in behaviourism in general through a uni friend.

But my experience is that it is for an adult to arrange their own riding education. You can chop and change riding schools to find the right teacher and the right horse. And it is a good idea to do what you enjoy. I went for lots of different hacks out in Surrey in my early years of riding and I really enjoyed it.
 

*M*

New Member
Dec 30, 2020
6
1
3
Hi welcome to NR ? It’s all a bit different from back when I learnt, but I’d chat to your RI and see what she says, they may not encourage it if most of their clients are young but they may do for an adult, it could also be an insurance issue letting anyone do anything alone with the horses but may be able to do it instead of a ridden lesson. Covid is stopping group lessons at the moment, hopefully that’s something to look forward to in the near future though ? but bear in mind you could be in a group of young riders so the friendships may not be quiet what you’re hoping for.
Hi Jessey, thanks I will speak to my RI and hopefully she can help- didn't think about the insurance element!
 
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*M*

New Member
Dec 30, 2020
6
1
3
Hello!

Welcome to NR :)

Would near Gatwick be too far? If not, try Lomond Classical Riding Centre. I've heard great things about them and they definitely do group lessons (including classical in-hand work) in non Covid times and I think run clinics and events too..
Hi Pepo - defo not too far, will take a look and see if I can get a class. It's always good to have a recommendation from someone :)
 

*M*

New Member
Dec 30, 2020
6
1
3
I don't know that area so I can't recommend anywhere. Maybe have a look on the BHS site and see if that shows any, it should also give you a reasonable standard of facility, horses and teachers

I think that at the moment group lessons aren't allowed and they'll be trying to minimise the time people are around so less chance to help either side of the ride. Is the handling etc something you could work on with your aunt's horse though? Or could you see if anywhere is running stable management courses once lockdown eases? I never expected it to be part of a lesson and indeed when I rode at schools I would have been pretty annoyed if my lesson time included me tacking and untacking etc.

If you'd like to make some horsey friends why not contact your local riding club and ask if they'd like someone to help as a steward, fence judge etc and explain you want to meet horsey people in the area?
 

*M*

New Member
Dec 30, 2020
6
1
3
Didn't know about riding clubs (very green here :p) will have a quick google and see if I can find one.
I did take a look at the BHS site but was hoping someone might be able to recommend one - always prefer a good recommendation.
I think I will just have to try few out :)
 

diplomaticandtactful

Well-Known Member
Apr 25, 2003
12,676
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I used to be in that area and don't remember there being anything much there. I was coming back to riding after riding mainly racehorses, so didn't fit in well with the riding schools which were riding very long etc. In the end I found a horse to share and that worked better for me. the only one i know of is Three Greys, near Brighton, my friend at Sussex Horse Rescue used to place some of her cobs with them, particularly the ones that needed a routine and work. they are at Three Greys Riding School, Rockrose Farm, Clayton Hill, Pyecombe, BN45 7FF and they looked after their horses well.
 
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Moss.fellpony

New Member
Jan 4, 2021
10
2
3
Hi All,

Happy Saturday, my first post!

I am in my mid 30's and during lockdown decided to start riding. This is a completely new skill for me though I am fairly athletic.
My aunt has a horse and during the summer I really enjoyed spending time with her mucking out, turning the horse out etc which spurred me on to get lessons. I wished I'd done it years ago! There is nothing quite like it and it's certainly something I would like to continue :)

I live in Sutton, Surrey (SM1) which is pretty close to London and I don't think there are many places for me to learn.
My riding school were brilliant when I first started as I clearly explained I had no experiences with horses. I've so far learnt to get on, dismount, and was on a lunge lead. Now I can change direction etc and have been learning rising trot.

Now to my query - My RS is quite small and busy so I don't get to take my horse out, don't adjust my own stirrups/gait, take horse back etc and there seems to be no opportunity to learn about how to care for the horses. The RS only has an outdoor area so when it rains it really is quite boggy for the horse! Depending on which horse you some really try to avoid the boggy parts.
Should the care/ other bits be part of the RS learning?
They are a nice bunch but it's just so busy it almost feels rushed sometimes.

No option for group lessons (maybe due to Covid?) so it's just me but I'd love to have a group lesson and get some friends with the same hobby :)

I had tried to go to another RS but they seemed pretty busy too with lessons only during the week and during the middle of the day (I work full time so not an option for me though the RS was lovely and much bigger than my own!)

Any suggestions for RS Banstead/Croydon/Warlingham/Sutton way?

Thanks :)

Hi All,

Happy Saturday, my first post!

I am in my mid 30's and during lockdown decided to start riding. This is a completely new skill for me though I am fairly athletic.
My aunt has a horse and during the summer I really enjoyed spending time with her mucking out, turning the horse out etc which spurred me on to get lessons. I wished I'd done it years ago! There is nothing quite like it and it's certainly something I would like to continue :)

I live in Sutton, Surrey (SM1) which is pretty close to London and I don't think there are many places for me to learn.
My riding school were brilliant when I first started as I clearly explained I had no experiences with horses. I've so far learnt to get on, dismount, and was on a lunge lead. Now I can change direction etc and have been learning rising trot.

Now to my query - My RS is quite small and busy so I don't get to take my horse out, don't adjust my own stirrups/gait, take horse back etc and there seems to be no opportunity to learn about how to care for the horses. The RS only has an outdoor area so when it rains it really is quite boggy for the horse! Depending on which horse you some really try to avoid the boggy parts.
Should the care/ other bits be part of the RS learning?
They are a nice bunch but it's just so busy it almost feels rushed sometimes.

No option for group lessons (maybe due to Covid?) so it's just me but I'd love to have a group lesson and get some friends with the same hobby :)

I had tried to go to another RS but they seemed pretty busy too with lessons only during the week and during the middle of the day (I work full time so not an option for me though the RS was lovely and much bigger than my own!)

Any suggestions for RS Banstead/Croydon/Warlingham/Sutton way?

Thanks :)
Hey,
I use to go to a riding school but not in that area. I think it's normal to not do any horse care at a school. I have been to several and not done any care work apart from untacking. They sometimes have pony clubs where you can do work you could ask about that? I'm not sure about the bog as there was an indoor arena but when I go out on hack's I go through bog. It's a good idea to be cautious to be careful of their legs if it gets too boggy. They should be aware of the risks and will know better than me as I havent seen what it looks like. They wouldn't use it if it was dangerous so it should be fine.
Hope this helps a bit ?
 
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