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DD is DESPERATE to have horse riding lessons. I am clueless where to begin!

21 replies

scouseontheinside · 20/06/2014 12:21

DD (6) has been begging, BEGGING for riding lessons. As an expensive and risky hobby, DH and I have so far held off. But she's been asking since last year, so we think we'll start her over the summer holidays. We told her earlier this evening, and she's still awake - absolutely crazed with excitement! Grin

Now, neither of us know anything about where to start. First off, safety is paramount. We would rather pay more for safe, quality instruction - what sort of qualifications do I look for? Would be usually get her a few private lessons to start off with? Is it best to go for a place that focuses mainly on children, or a mix of adults/kids/more serious riders...

Will they have equipment to rent, so we can see if she sticks with it before we fork out $$$? How do I tell if a place is taking good care of their horses and rider? (Aside from the glaringly obvious of course!)

Any other advice would be very welcome!

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BlueChampagne · 20/06/2014 12:57

Look for riding schools approved by BHS (British Horse Society) or ABRS (Association of British Riding Schools). They should have appropriately qualified instructors and safeguarding children certification.

www.bhs.org.uk/
www.abrs-info.org/

BlueChampagne · 20/06/2014 12:59

If you say whereabouts you are, I'm sure someone on here will have a recommendation for you!

scouseontheinside · 20/06/2014 13:14

Argh forgot to say we are in NZ! Other side of the world! Is there such a thing as international qualifications?

I've been poking around tonight, and it appears there some different styles of riding as well? Is one preferable over the other?

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ThePrisonerOfAzkaban · 20/06/2014 13:18

Don't do it, very expensive hobby, she'll be wanting a pony next


(P.s. best hobby ever!!!!)

Donki · 20/06/2014 13:20

Contact your local branch of the New Zealand Pony Club Association.
They should know which riding schools near you are good , and be able to give you advice.

scouseontheinside · 20/06/2014 13:25

Ah Donki cheers! Will call in the morning.

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BaldricksWife · 20/06/2014 14:08

Crazed with excitement- that is fabulous! Yes it is an expensive hobby but I have yet to regret a single penny. I hope your daughter enjoys it- sorry I can't help with RS!

mrslaughan · 20/06/2014 21:48

Where in Nz are you, don't live there but have friends children who ride there, but Auckland.....could find out where if you want?

scouseontheinside · 21/06/2014 13:48

We're outer Auckland suburbs mrslaughan!

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mrslaughan · 22/06/2014 00:24

ok - will research and come back!

BlueChampagne · 25/06/2014 16:54

Apologies for assuming you were in UK! Good luck.

mrslaughan · 25/06/2014 21:19

My friends daughter and also my niece do lessons at auckland equestrian centre

Ilovemydogandmydoglovesme · 25/06/2014 21:50

We've got a riding school in our village which the dc's have been asking about. I've just found their website and there's no mention of BHS and I couldn't find a mention of them on the BHS website either. Should I avoid?

scouseontheinside · 26/06/2014 14:01

Thanks mrslaughan! Will have a look for their website. I think we'll go to 2-3 places and see which one seems the best fit.

DD has talked of nothing else since we said she can have lessons!

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SlowlorisIncognito · 26/06/2014 14:09

ilove Have you checked the abrs website as well? If it's not mentioned on either I would be cautious. If they are not a member of either association you have no guarantee of qualified instruction or quality of lessons.

Legally, riding schools only have to be liscenced by the council. However this mostly just looks at welfare of the horses and minimum safety requirements. Some people do disagree with the bhs, so might choose not to be registered with them, but with an unregistered school you are taking more of a risk imo.

If you decide to go ask to watch a lesson in advance and ask who would be teaching your children and escorting them out on hacks. Ideally you would want to take someone horsey with you to help check things out.

Ilovemydogandmydoglovesme · 27/06/2014 22:32

Thanks Slowlor, I've just checked their website as well and it doesn't come up as a school in my area on there either. I could still go and have a look though. I could take my sister, she's very horsey and knowledgeable.

scouseontheinside · 28/06/2014 10:57

Thanks for the advice everyone! We're picked out 3 places, and will have a lesson at each of them over the holidays before signing up for a term of lessons.

First one is tomorrow, DD can hardly wait! Her excitement is contagious Grin

I'm sure I'll be back to ask for more advice as we progress along. Thanks everyone!

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SignoraStronza · 28/06/2014 11:00

Fork out for decent back protection and a hat. I know loads of horsey people - without exception, all of them have a horse related back fracture.

PitchSlapped · 28/06/2014 11:07

You should definitely buy her own hat as soon you know she wants to carry on. Stables normally let you borrow one but if they are dropped or involved in a fall they should be replaced so its safer to have your own. I dont wear a body protector but always wore one as a child with poor balance

britnay · 30/06/2014 11:06

How did it go?! :)

scouseontheinside · 02/07/2014 07:23

She loved it britnay! She's spoken of nothing else since Grin! We will still trial the other stables, but definitely had a good vibe from this one.

Thanks pitch will look at investing in a decent hat.

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