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ah. DD wants to learn how to ride. where on earth do I start?

(38 Posts)
TaggieCampbellBlack Sun 07-Apr-13 19:49:33

She's 15 and has aspergers. She's been doing a one day a week course at local race-horse rescue (a wonderful, lovely place).

Anyway. We are not a horsey family. All I know of horses comes from Jilly Cooper. I have no idea where to start. From what google tells me there is a stable who does lessons about 20 minutes away. Do I just ring them?

How much do lessons cist?
Does she need a hat and jhodpurs?

We're in north wilts if anyone has any advice.


Galena Sun 07-Apr-13 20:01:28

I'm in a similar position at the moment...

DD is 4 with mild CP, and I'm looking at horse riding at the moment to help with her physio. I've found a local school and contacted them. On the website it says child (younger than 10) individual lessons are £15 for half an hour. (Under 16 is £20 and adult £25 for individual lessons) This seemed good prices to me, but I don't really know.

It says that, as long as she is comfortable in jeans, they have boots, helmets, waterproofs and gloves for a small charge. I guess there's no point us shelling out loads for kit unless we need to!

I'd ring the local stable (and a few others if you can find some) and talk to them - see what they think! I emailed this school and they replied saying yes, they thought they'd manage to teach DD, and to phone up to arrange a lesson. smile

MyCatsRule Sun 07-Apr-13 20:10:29

My dd aged 10 has AS and she absolutely loves riding. She has group lessons and generally the instructors are clear in their instructions and there is some repetition from week to week, so she copes fine. She has learned so much from riding and gained so much confidence.
Regarding 'kit' your dd can hire a hat but we bought one quite early on. Jeans or leggings are fine to start with, but again we got jodhpurs which weren't too expensive and v comfortable. Dd also has a body protector - probably not necessary yet, but I am a worrier and it makes me feel better! Wellies are fine - any footwear just needs to have a heel.
I hope she enjoys it! smile

MyCatsRule Sun 07-Apr-13 20:11:01

Oops forgot we pay £12 for half hour group lesson.

TaggieCampbellBlack Sun 07-Apr-13 20:13:27

Does age matter if it is a group?

TaggieCampbellBlack Sun 07-Apr-13 20:14:27

I mean if she's 15 and other learners are 6?

UnChartered Sun 07-Apr-13 20:16:05

DD (also ASD) is signed up with the RDA - worth contacting them for a taster session?

she only has to have suitable boots and warm clothing, the rest is provided (hat/hi-vis) her lesson costs £4 shock a week

TaggieCampbellBlack Sun 07-Apr-13 20:17:32

She isn't statemented and no DLA. What do RDA need?

UnChartered Sun 07-Apr-13 20:23:23

RDA need a DX - as long as there is a disability (i know how sweeping that is, but don't know how else to phrase it)

they will have to match your DD with a horse/pony and prefer age grouping where appropriate, and there may be a waiting list, but your DDs experience will set her in good stead (arf)

TaggieCampbellBlack Sun 07-Apr-13 20:29:58

Will do some phoning around.

mrslaughan Sun 07-Apr-13 20:44:23

DS has dyspraxia, mostly does private lessons....but has also done group. I think more important than age, is matching experience and riding ability, so that everyone is working at around the same level. S has ridden with teenagers that are at the same level, and it has worked well.

If you daughter hasn't ridden at all, I imagine she would be at a lead rein class to start with.

If you ring around local riding schools, I would ask if they have experience teaching children with learning difficulties, I think you could be surprised how many do.

Pixel Sun 07-Apr-13 21:01:10

Our local RDA only operates in term time so I can't take ds myself which is a shame. He used to go with his school but now he's in year 8 he doesn't any more. I think the RDA centres must vary quite a lot.

UnChartered Sun 07-Apr-13 21:05:42

the way i understand it is, there aren't RDA centres as such, but people who run riding schools apply to be RDA schools, they have to be approved but then fit it alongside their own riding school lessons.

some have only outside facilities so won't in the colder months, but i know of at least one that has full undercover facilities and operates all year round

TaggieCampbellBlack Sun 07-Apr-13 21:09:14

It doesn't need to be RDA. DD would probably prefer it wasn't.

I'll ring around.

Pixel Sun 07-Apr-13 21:11:24

My friend is a freelance instructor and teaches some of the older kids from Ds's school so there are other alternatives.

UnChartered Sun 07-Apr-13 21:11:38

sorry yes, that was me getting carried away blush wasn't trying to indoctrinate you into the ways of the RDA Taggie


TaggieCampbellBlack Sun 07-Apr-13 21:16:23

Not at all Un. If I could get her lessons for £4 rather than £20 along with a bit of AS understanding, that'd be bloody perfect.

TaggieCampbellBlack Sun 07-Apr-13 21:17:44

I aactually hadn't thought about RDA.
I shall ponder on it.

Galena Sun 07-Apr-13 21:46:57

We're on the waiting list for RDA, but have been told they have a long waiting list and no idea how long it'll be. sad

50BalesOfHay Mon 08-Apr-13 01:05:53

MyCatsRule wellies aren't fine to ride in. For one thing they are too wide and grippy and feet can easily get stuck. The other thing is that it is very difficult to get the leg postion and aids right in wellies, the poor horse gets kicked because wellies don't allow enough feel. Any decent riding school will hire boots for about 50p a lesson. I'd think twice about a school that allowed them

Galena Mon 08-Apr-13 11:14:28

Well DD is booked in for a 'farm ride' on Thursday. This school doesn't start proper lessons until the age of 5ish, so what they offer for the younger ones is 'Foot-escorted' half hour sessions around the farm to get them used to being on a horse. They have said that DD's walking boots with a heel will be ok (They would allow wellies at this stage, but have boots for hire once the child is going more often).

CalamityKate Mon 08-Apr-13 11:22:39

We used to prefer riders to wear shoes with a small heel (think boys school shoes) rather than wellies. But after a hat, proper boots are the next most important bit of gear. We used to lend hats out FOC but not boots - we'd tell people to borrow hats for as long as they liked but to please buy boots ASAP.

We'd accept wellies in the short term on tiny tots who were still being led but definitely not for "proper" riding.

Galena Mon 08-Apr-13 11:36:33

Calamity, sorry, I'm going to sound dense now... What are riding boots like? How different are they from, say, walking boots? Do you know of places to buy them fairly cheaply?

Thing is, we want DD to do quite a bit of riding because we need to build up her core muscles before an op at the end of the year. So if they're far better than what she's got, I'd prefer to buy something sooner rather than later (Once I know if she likes it...). It sounds like she'll be being led for a year or so though...

CalamityKate Mon 08-Apr-13 11:48:52

Riding boots are either long or short (in which case they're called jodhpur boots) and they have a small heel and fairly smooth soles.

You can also get yard boots or muck boots which are supposed to be ok to ride in but I don't like them; their soles are too thick and grippy for my liking and the laces or Velcro fastenings get in the way.

Cheapest place for jodhpur boots is probably online. Buy them a bit big to allow for thick socks/growth.

Galena Mon 08-Apr-13 12:40:18

Thanks smile Will see how she gets on. smile

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