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Riding in London

18 replies

SocialGrace · 05/04/2013 09:41

Does anyone have experience of the 2 stables in Hyde Park? 5 year old DD would like to have lessons. Or are we better off going further out?

Thanks Smile

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horsemadmom · 05/04/2013 12:03

I think that you are better off going out a bit. The lessons at Hyde Park are incredibly expensive. Try Trent Park (5 mins walk from Oakwood tube). Highly recommend it.

SocialGrace · 05/04/2013 13:25

Thanks Horsemadmom; I think I might have been there years ago; it might work, but would probably take us 1 hour 20 to get there...

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LastMangoInParis · 05/04/2013 21:14

I agree with horsemadmom!
Trent Park is good, I think there are also some decent stables in Richmond?
But it's definitely worth making the journey outside central London for something closer to a proper riding experience than you'll get in Hyde Park.
And I do have direct experience of Hyde Park stables - nothing against them, particularly, but IMO it's better for everyone concerned if horses are kept outside central London and have a bit more variety in their lives than a plod around the very limited tracks in Hyde Park. Also better for DCs if you want them to experience anything like real riding, and to progress with it in any meaningful way.
Oh, and you'll probably find the yards outside central London less stinky.

SocialGrace · 06/04/2013 19:40

Thanks Lastmango. I tried the Richmond on a few years go myself, but was a bit put off by the proximity of the A3!

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Twattybollocks · 06/04/2013 21:58

I used to work at one of them. They were a shitty employer but the horses were as well looked after as reasonably possible in central London.
I was in no way qualified other than I could ride a horse, was fit and well and had Plenty of common sense. 3 days after starting work there I was taking rides out in the park with complete novices on ride and lead.
I had no idea what I was doing but thank god i managed not to get anyone killed. One little girl did fall off and break her arm but that was a rogue squirrel that spooked the pony and she slid off the side.

SocialGrace · 08/04/2013 12:27

Thanks TB; you think that they were both like that, or was one worse than the other?

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Twattybollocks · 08/04/2013 12:56

I couldn't comment on the other one, things may have changed also since I was thee, its a good 18 years now!

mrslaughan · 08/04/2013 14:56

You could always enquire and the instructors qualifications

Twattybollocks · 08/04/2013 18:49

Tbh if it's the same bloke who owns it as when I was there he would lie anyway. They didnt have a first aider or even a basic first aid kit, I fell off and was injured and couldn't work, I was sacked the next day. They were bhs associated at the time too!

LastMangoInParis · 08/04/2013 21:46

'Riding' in Hyde park is really more about being a 'horseback tourist' than learning skills, understanding horses etc. - and even if you have those skills, you can't use them with Hyde Park stables horses, which are programmed to plod across Bayswater Road(?), etc.

If you can make it to Bayswater area, it's not that far to the M40, I'd recommend that you make a day out of it and whizz up the M40 to the Chilterns or Oxfordshire where there are some great schools, cheaper and much, much better riding country.

Try checking BHS web site which has a list of approved instructors and schools nationwide. I really, really would not recommend Hyde Park as a place to ride unless you're a tourist wanting a one off lollop through the park as you're overtaken by roller bladers, elderly dogs, slebs and their Bugaboos, etc. (and I guess you could munch on a hotdog as you go... Grin )

Pixel · 08/04/2013 22:00

unless you're a tourist wanting a one off lollop through the park

Sounds heavenly actually, as long as I can have an ice-cream instead of a hot-dog. Grin

Millais · 08/04/2013 22:52

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SocialGrace · 09/04/2013 17:43

Thanks all; will look into the Oxon options; any that are recommended? Will also look at Teddington.

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frostyfingers · 11/04/2013 15:11
frostyfingers · 11/04/2013 15:13

Oops, hadn't finished....

They come via a horsey friend in Surrey who has knowledge of them all and her DC rides regularly at one and is v happy. It may be too far, and I've no personal knowledge but it might be worth contacting them....

EasterHoliday · 11/04/2013 15:29

Wouldn't go near the Hyde Park stables.

Kingston Riding Centre has very high standards & good facilities. Not keen on Wimbledon Village as you ahve to walk through heavy traffic to get to the common / the arena.
Stag Lodge in Richmond Park is right on the A3 but you don't have to cross over to the Common - go in Richmond Park instead (much nicer I think) and they have their own tiny arena which is fine for learning. IF you are VERY lucky and find she takes beginners, there's a wonderful woman called Minette Rice Edwards who lives in the Ham House stables - runs a livery yard but also does lessons. A finer teacher you will be hard pressed to find, and the yard is GORGEOUS - an absolute idyll in London.
All of the above will be expensive, but not necessarily more than any of the ones in the Chilterns which will be a long journey - for a 5 year old, you're only looking at a half hour lesson so what a fag to drive an hour each way for that.
any of the Kingston / Wimbledon / Ham yards will have good links to the Wimbledon Pony Club as well which is nice for when she's a bit older.

LastMangoInParis · 11/04/2013 17:53

(Tentative) Oxon recommendation: Waterstock House (now known as Waterstock Dressage). I only say tentative as I haven't been there for a many years (because I've not been in that part of the country for a while - I'm now thinking of popping along to try a lunge lesson in the summer...)
20 min lead rein lessons are £20, the facilities and the whole set up are beautiful. Standards were exceptional 20+ years ago (and almost certainly still are), hacking in that area is fantastic, there are (still) lots of horse owners, stables, networks, etc. around there (this I do know from current experience), and the area's generally good for lovely pubs, walks, etc.

WRT Minette Rice Edwards - I LOVE that woman! Have only seen her work in Your Horse, but find her inspired and inspirational. Smile

SocialGrace · 25/04/2013 15:44

Thanks so much, everyone, this is amazingly helpful Smile

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