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Learning to Ride

If you love horses and are looking for a pastime that will keep you fit in the great outdoors, horse riding is for you. It’s a rewarding and exciting sport that can be enjoyed by all ages. However, finding somewhere to ride, especially for the first time, can be a bit daunting. But don’t worry - we can help you find somewhere to learn safely and effectively where you can be sure that all necessary standards have been met.

As a charity, the overarching purpose of all that we do is to improve the lives of horses. We want a world where every horse is properly protected and cared for. To further this aim, we have set up our Approved establishment scheme - if you choose a school or livery yard that is a member it will give you complete peace of mind.

Each of the establishments on our Approved List has been inspected by a highly experienced representative of The British Horse Society, who will have looked carefully at the level of instruction available to clients, the on-site facilities and equipment, and the standards of safety, horse care and management.

The scheme includes more than 600 riding establishments across the UK and Ireland, so wherever you live, there will be somewhere that you can experience riding close at hand.

Choosing a British Horse Society Approved Riding School means that you can be assured that it is safe and well run, so you can just relax and enjoy the ride.

But you can also make sure the riding school suits you personally by paying a visit. Are the riding areas properly enclosed and safe, are the stables in good condition? Do the horses seem happy and friendly?

What to look for in a riding school

  • The right type of horse or pony – the school needs to have a variety of horses to cater for the type of rider they specialise in teaching. For a beginner, the horses and ponies need to be steady and experienced
  • The right equipment – tack should be in good condition and clean
  • Safe riding areas for lessons – properly enclosed with a safe surface and well maintained
  • Friendly atmosphere, patient and knowledgeable instructors offering a good standard of instruction. Ask about the qualifications of the instructors and which instructors teach beginner riders.
  • Even if you do not know much about horses, you will be able to judge if they are nervous and highly strung, or quiet and relaxed. Watching a lesson is another excellent guide to the standard of school
  • Discover more about what to expect at a British Horse Society Approved Riding School.

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