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Why can't I find a riding school to take me??!!

(11 Posts)
Longleggedlovely Wed 12-Feb-14 15:15:38

I love riding, I adore it and I'm really missing it! I'm 29 and only started riding 4 years ago, then about 15 months ago I moved house and I'm too far away now to go regularly to the school I previously went too.

Ironically I moved from a large city to the country and can't find anywhere to take me. The issue seems to be my size and it's really getting me down. I'm approx 5'11" and weigh 14 stone. I'm beginning to get a complex, why do no schools have horses big enough for me? At my old school I had a choice of about 4 either working liveries or schoolies, I'm so so desperate to get riding again!

Does anyone know any good riding schools west of Glasgow? Paisley, Dumbarton, Greenock etc?

carabos Thu 13-Feb-14 17:12:02

Most riding schools will have a weight limit of 13 stone. You have to remember that the saddle and other tack plus your clothing will add a considerable extra amount of deadweight to your 14 stone.

Riding schools are businesses. Big horses cost more to keep and if there isn't the demand from bigger riders men then they won't buy in bigger horses. Given that you are now in a more rural area, paradoxically the riding school may well have a narrower market than a city one, simply because more people locally are in a position to keep their own horses.

5OBalesofHay Thu 13-Feb-14 21:05:16

Are you really well balanced and light in the saddle? If so, you probably weigh a bit less if you see what I mean. But most schools would allow a stone for tack and at least a stone for novice general noviceness, plus the workload of riding school horses. Most schools have a cut off around 14 stone.

Littlebigbum Fri 14-Feb-14 08:40:16

Just keep trying maybe a wkend away https://www.facebook.com/cumbrianheavyhorses?fref=ts
Haven't been there but plan to. You do have opposition.

kittykarate Sun 16-Feb-14 17:46:28

It seems like most riding schools tend to buy small to medium horses, and keep very few 'larges' as they are expensive to feed and difficult to use in all lessons.

I've been on a Cumbrian Heavy Horses holiday! The beasts were lovely, the facility was good, but I thought the organization was a bit random at times. I rode a lovely 17h shire called Prince who has sadly since died (nothing to do with me!)

mercibucket Sun 16-Feb-14 17:49:26

what is the cut off weight? you could lose a stone in a month and voila (if 13 stone is the limit)

ParsleyTheLioness Sun 16-Feb-14 17:50:34

Love the idea of Cumbrian Heavy Horses...<too fat to ride>....

Littlebigbum Sun 16-Feb-14 18:54:55

there is a place in Iceland that has a weight limit of 23 stone 'could be 26'.
Think Cambrian Heavy horse is 14 stone and I so want to go there and ride on a beach

kittykarate Mon 17-Feb-14 10:59:12

There's another stable near Cumbrian Heavy Horses that does beach rides on the same beach www.murthwaitegreen.co.uk/ they are really nice people and my riding holidays there were a pleasure (everything promised was delivered unlike with Heavy Horses)

CalamityKate Mon 17-Feb-14 11:15:01

When I taught at a riding school we had several big horses, including a 17hh Shire cross who was despite his size well schooled enough that an experienced 12 year old could quite easily get walk/canter transitions out of him. Big horses aren't just for big people. The kids used to love riding him!

Similarly I'm pretty sure he cost less to feed/keep than some of the finer horses. I'm surprised to hear big horses are so rare in RSs.

SlowlorisIncognito Mon 17-Feb-14 21:58:31

You have to bear in mind that riding school horses are in a lot of work compared to many privately owned horses. This means schools are often strict with their weight limits. A horse may be capable of carrying say 16 stone for 1 hour a week, but the riding school may have a lower cut off, because they don't want the horse carrying 16 stone all the time.

Also, unfortunately, people tend to under-estimate their weight, which may cause riding schools to be a bit stricter with their weight limit.

In my experience, the vast majority of riding schools are aimed mostly at children/teenagers- they do also cater to adults, but the majority of their clients will be teenage/pre teen girls, who are not that likely to weigh 14 stone. Therefore, the majority of the horses they keep will be aimed at this market, rather than heavier adults. If your old school had working liveries, this may explain why there were larger horses for you to ride.

Try to look for riding schools that specialise in adult beginners- these may be more likely to have some larger horses. Otherwise, if you are confident enough, what about looking for a share horse?

Also, try looking for places that also do trecking- these may be more likely to get adult customers, and may have horses capable of carrying you.

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