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How to Choose the Best Riding School

Horse riding is a popular activity in the UK, with around three million people riding for pleasure at least once a month, according to a 2019 poll carried out by the British Equestrian Trade Association. The average frequency of riding is three times a week, while 27 million Brits have an interest in the equestrian industry.

For people new to horse riding, there's a lot of decision-making when it comes to the best riding school. Whether you're an adult or a child, it's important to achieve what you're hoping for from your lessons. Choosing a riding school to suit your needs can ensure your exciting new adventure is a success, whether you're five or 55 years old.

Horse Riding

© Olexandr Panchenko / Shutterstock.com

It's important to ask yourself several key questions, such as what you want to achieve out of your lessons. Are you learning just for fun and to build confidence, or are you aiming to compete? Do you wish to progress into other areas of riding, such as show jumping? Are you considering buying your own horse and making a bigger commitment to riding?

 

Health benefits

Even if you're riding just for fun, apart from enjoying the bond you will develop with your horse, there are numerous health benefits. Although the horse is doing much of the work, riding still burns calories. Trotting gently for 30 minutes can burn off around 360 calories, according to the British Equestrian Federation.

Horse riding will improve your flexibility in general and tone up your leg muscles in particular. It will also improve your co-ordination, as it involves using rein pressure, leg pressure and the position of your body to control your horse's speed and direction.

As well as improving your physical health, horse riding can also help your mental well-being. Horses are intelligent animals who seem to react to people's emotions. Evidence has been unearthed dating from 600 BC that suggests the ancient Greeks recognised how therapeutic riding could be.

Today, the medical profession uses equine therapy to treat conditions such as depression and to help people on the autism spectrum, for example. It's widely accepted that horse riding can help to reduce people's stress levels and boost their emotional well-being.

 

Facilities

When deciding what you want out of your riding lessons, take into account that facilities can vary greatly. Some riding schools have just a single outdoor area and focus 100% on lessons, while others have an indoor arena, club house, social events, examinations and more.

You may wish to go for a basic riding school to learn how to ride and then progress to entering competitions, or getting more involved in the social scene, through another school.

It's best to check that the riding school you choose is licensed. Some are approved by both the British Horse Society and the Association of British Riding Schools. Find out from your local council, which should have a public register of the licensed riding schools in the district.

 

Reviews

You can also find out what other people are saying about your local riding schools. Look for online reviews, or on social media, to find out what other customers think. It's also recommended that you visit a riding school in person before you book a course of lessons. This enables you to understand their teaching style and to get a feel for the place.

Also take into account the travelling distance from your home. While you may like the look of a riding school that's 30 minutes' drive away, travelling there and back can add an extra hour to the lesson. If you're going a couple of times a week, it can soon add up.

 

Age difference

Finally, the experts recommend teaching adults and children separately. Each group has different needs and children should be able to learn safely, while also having good fun to keep them interested. It's recommended to learn at a riding school where there are other people of a similar age.

For children, it helps to have events that they can enjoy, such as in-house competitions, or a learning scheme with rewards (including certificates or trophies) to mark their progress.

Whether you're riding for fun, or competitively, Coruba's range of high quality animal matting is ideal for stables and riding schools. Our rubber horse matting will provide great comfort for our equine friends, while assuring your safety. Give us a call on 01702 811 609 for more information.



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