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Inspired by the Olympics? Start your Equestrian story today.

Have you been following the Olympics, watching the victories of Charlotte Dujardin and Oliver Townend and wondering where you can start your equestrian journey? The BHS has a range of options and advice for riders of all levels whether you’re looking to progress your professional equestrian career, start your first lesson, or looking for recreational riding with friends. Horse riding is a great way to stay fit, experience the quintessential charm of the British countryside and make friendships – both animal and human! – that will last a lifetime. Remember there is no age limit; it’s never too early or too late to start.

BHS Approved Centre

Your first step is to find somewhere local to learn to ride which you can do using our BHS Approved Centre search function. BHS Approved Centres go the extra mile to ensure the highest levels of safety; staff hold qualifications to evidence their knowledge and coaching ability and take pride in the welfare of the horses they care for. Can't find a ride in your local area? Speak to a BHS Regional Manager.

What do I wear?

The BHS has put together a detailed guide on everything you should have in your horse riding wardrobe. It’s important to make sure your kit is well maintained to avoid any potential risks. If you’re still unsure then the BHS Safety team are always available and happy to give some friendly advice. Contact them on: 02476840516 or email

Your First Lesson

So, the day has finally arrived for your first lesson! Don’t feel the pressure to know everything right away – your horse is getting to know you just as much as you are getting to know them. During your first lesson, your horse may be brought to the arena for you, but you can also tell staff at the riding school to show you how to approach your horse and lead them yourself. Initial lessons will likely consist of instruction on riding positions and feeling the movement of your horse, as well as being led around an indoor or outdoor arena on a lead rein. Don’t hesitate to ask questions and remember, most importantly, to have fun! Horse riding can be a bumpy road but a rewarding experience that will have you galloping on the beach in no time.

British Riding Clubs

Half the fun of horse riding is the opportunity to join the equestrian community and build lifelong relationships – you will soon discover that riding is a way of life. There is no better way to get involved than by joining British Riding Clubs (BRC) in your area. BRC clubs and centres support all riders, whether you’re a dedicated competitor or looking for a leisurely ride with friends. They offer a range of events and training across 480 clubs and centres based in the UK.

BHS Career Pathways

BHS qualifications are world-leading, offering participants the chance to progress their career with horses and learn practical, real-world skills within a structured platform. There’s something for everyone whether you want to gain qualifications to springboard your equestrian career, or fancy taking a shot at our Challenge Awards where you can learn more about horses and improve your skills for personal achievement. Find out more about available qualifications.