The comprehensive guide for Cheshire riding school beginners
With over one million children currently learning how to ride in the UK, horse riding has become an increasingly popular and healthy hobby for children of all ages and abilities. Learning new skills, the art of discipline and getting regular exercise in an outdoor environment, horse riding is one of very few family orientated sports left which also allow genders to compete against each other.
As the definitive guide of riding schools in Cheshire, hopefully Fun Ferret can address any questions you may have if you are looking into horse riding lessons for your children. Inside our "Looking for a Cheshire riding school?", we will cover all your essential questions such as how you can find the right riding schools in Cheshire, starting out with horse riding lesions and most importantly, how much do horse riding lessons in Cheshire cost.
Ready? Let’s begin...
Finding and choosing the right Cheshire riding school
At the bottom of this article we have a map and full list of riding schools that you can use to search for the right riding school for you.
Many Cheshire riding schools offer riding lessons to children as young as four years old in the form of ‘Pony Clubs’ – which offer an excellent platform to allow youngsters to interact with horses, learn grooming techniques and gradually improve by completing riding stages. Some riding schools offer private one-to-one tuition or as part of a small group which are perfect for beginner riders or similar abilities on a 30 minute or hourly basis.
Learning to ride certainly offers a high-risk of danger or injuries so it is extremely important to take a look at each listing, and then select a riding school that is proven in safety to reduce risk, improve skills faster and more importantly – your child enjoys their riding lessons. Instead of selecting your nearest riding school, you should consider the following when finding a Cheshire riding school...
Do Your Research
Just like any hobby or weekly club activity, horse riding costs money so it is important you do your research before committing to one riding school. Don’t be afraid to research online to check out online reviews or forums for other customers opinions. I know the internet can sometimes not be the most reliable place so look to ask the local equestrian vet or perhaps family and friends who share similar interests.
Visit a riding school
Most Cheshire riding schools will encourage potential customers to take a look around. Don’t be afraid to take a look at the horses or observe one-to-one tuition or group riding lessons of similar abilities or age to gauge a feeling of what that particular riding school can offer.
Starting out with Horse Riding Lessons in Cheshire
Just like starting out in any new sport, you will have to learn the correct fundamentals of both horses and riding. When starting out with horse riding lessons, beginners of any age or ability can expect a horse which is aged, semi-retired and disciplined, prepared and ready to go!
What will I need to bring or wear on my first riding lesson?
Other than the horse, the equipment is equally the most important thing! Before any riding school will let you anywhere near the horses, they will need to approve you have the correct riding helmet, boots with a minimum heel of two inches and comfortable riding apparel you don’t mind getting muddy..lets face it, as pretty as it is, Cheshire has been known to have the odd bit of rain!
What does the horse wear?
Instructors at your chosen riding school should thoroughly go through what the horse is wearing in much detail before the lesson even begins. A beginner of any age can expect to see a bridle that will be on the horse’s head, a saddle on the back, and a saddle pad underneath to saddle to protect the horses back.
What to expect on your first riding lesson?
Along with being introduced to the horse, you will also be introduced to the fundamentals or horse riding which are valuable skills you will keep at any ability of horse riding. You can expect to learn;
Mounting – After your instructor as checked the girth and saddle pad, your instructor will show you the correct and safest way to mound and dismount your horse.
Balance and Control – Next, you will need to learn how to balance and control your horse correctly. Once you are comfortable in the saddle, you will learn how to ‘post’ – which is the motion that allows you to get off of the horse's’ back and move in a controlled pace whilst the horse is slowly trotting.
Stopping and Steering – Once you have mastered balance and control, you will be taught the essentials on how to stop and steer the horse in a safe and controlled pace.
The Aids – After learning how to stop and steer your horse safely, you will then learn how to walk, trot and halt your horse as safe as possible.
The benefits of choosing a Cheshire riding school
It doesn’t matter if you are from West Cheshire or East Cheshire; there are no fewer than 16 active Cheshire riding schools within driving distance with a thriving junior or youth section and each of them are listed here on Fun Ferret which is why we are the definitive list of riding schools.
Why choose a Cheshire riding school?
Well Cheshire has large quantity of beautiful trails which allow you to explore the beautiful backdrop of the stunning Cheshire countryside. The 22 mile Delamere Forest loop will allow you explore some of the most remote, hidden parts of Cheshire by exploring Primrosehill Wood and Beeston Castle along your route. The 10 mile Middlewood Way route offers a safer, traffic free ride suite to the less experienced riders where you can soak in the scenery from Whitegate Way as you travel through Winsford to Cuddington.
For a full list of horse riding trails available within Cheshire, check out Visit Cheshire
Along with taking in the outdoor scenery, regular horse riding lessons also present a great way to exercise, especially different parts of the body which you cannot replicate in any other type of workout. Regular horse riding lessons offers the following health benefits;
- Core Strength
- Improved Posture
- Increased Muscle Tone & Flexibility
- Balance & Coordination
- Mental Exercise
- Stable Strength
Different Horse Riding Styles to choose from
Originating from the UK, Hunt Seating riding is one of two classic forms of forward seat horse riding style disciplines seen all over the world. Historically, the term ‘Hunt Seating’ is based on the tradition of fox hunting. As a beginner, you are likely to experience Hunt Seating riding as it consists of both flat riding techniques such as the walk, trot and canter, along with fence jumping. Typically as your skills evolve, riders can enter Hunt Seat competitions where riders and horses are judged in flat and jumping categories.
Originating from France which loosely translates into ‘Training’ – Dressage is another classic forward seat riding style that beginners are likely to learn from their first lessons. Dressage is the much disciplined skill learning riding and training a horse in manner that develops obedience, flexibility, and balance. Although any breed of horse can be used in dressage, warmbloods are often the breed of choice.
Although the primary purpose of the Saddle Seat discipline is to show, saddle seat riders also enjoy trail riding which makes this riding style an obvious choice for beginners or riders of a younger age. The purpose of Saddle Seat style riding style is to show off the horse's extravagant gaits, particularly the trot. As you experience Saddle Seat competitions, you will also experience fashion plays a huge role when judging in competitions.
Although a somewhat more advanced riding technique, show jumping is often the most popular riding styles beginners aspire to train in and is often incorporated into other riding styles such as Hunt Seat riding. This riding style also features in the Olympics. Although some shows are limited exclusively to jumpers, sometimes jumper classes are offered in conjunction with other English-style events, and sometimes show jumping is but one division of very large, all-breed competitions that include a very wide variety of disciplines.
How much do horse riding lessons in Cheshire cost?
With private, individual and group lessons for both children and adults, there isn’t a set fee every Cheshire riding school will have, regardless of if you are a complete beginner or a more experienced rider. However, for beginners who have an interest in horse riding, some Cheshire riding schools do offer a beginners riding lesson for children which can vary from £13 - £25. Other riding schools will also offer ‘Pony Days’ which will typically take place during weekend or school holidays which offer a great introduction to horse riding, which again may have varied prices.
We would recomend you visit the websites of some of the riding schools to get a better idea of price, facilities (eg indoor and outdoor arenas), typical horse sizes and ages they accomodate.
You can find every Cheshire riding school listed here on FunFerret. You can use our interactive map to view any riding schools listed near you, or you can click on each listings for more information. If you are a Cheshire riding school that isn’t currently listed on FunFerret, don’t worry, it’s completely free to list your business on our website. Send us an email at [email protected]