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You might not associate the very urban capital city with such a peaceful and rural pastime as horse riding, but the popularity of this activity has never really gone away, even in one of the most built-up areas in the country.

 

Whether you already have a horse, or are considering getting one, we’ve put together a guide to owning a horse in London. This covers learning to ride your horse, and also how to fully equip yourself for owning a horse.

Learning to ride

Children and adults alike love to learn to ride horses and to have the chance to be around them, and being in London doesn’t mean they have to go without getting the opportunity to try it.

 

Finding the right riding school is a matter of location, yes, but also of track record, safety and convenience. With that in mind, we’ve gathered some of the very best and most popular riding schools in London so you can find the right one for you.

 

These schools have been chosen by parents and pundits alike, so there’s something for absolutely everyone.

Lee Valley Riding Centre

As part of the Lee Valley, camping and caravan site’s activities offer, horse riding is available at their own special riding centre. Absolute beginners are catered for, and there are 12-week courses you can take here as well as private lessons. Equipment can be borrowed from the centre too, so you don’t have to invest in an expensive kit before you know that you or your child are going to carry on horse riding in the future.

Hyde Park Stables

No matter how old you are, or how much experience you already have, Hyde Park Stables, can help you to improve your riding. The riding school has its own arena in Hyde Park itself, and offers lessons in a group or privately. It’s a particular favourite with less experienced riders because of its self-contained space and well-trained horses.

Stag Lodge Stables

The beautiful Richmond Park isn’t only home to some famous deer, it’s also the best place to find one of London’s most popular riding schools. Stag Lodge Stables is on the edge of the park near Wimbledon Common and is a historic business that’s been up and running since the 17th Century. If you’re not sure whether you want to commit to a course of lessons, you can take a taster session to see how you feel about it. The smallest riders can even try out a Shetland pony, which will make the photos extra cute.

Mudchute Equestrian Centre

Bad weather can’t stop you from riding when you’re at the Mudchute Equestrian Centre. There’s an all-weather riding arena that’s also floodlit so you can ride even on dark winter mornings. There are also lessons for all ages and abilities, with well-behaved horses and ponies ready to make lessons as easy as possible.

Wimbledon Village Stables

Wimbledon is a great place to learn to ride because it has an impressive amount of green space considering it’s part of London. At Wimbledon Village Stables you can enjoy all this beautiful scenery while learning from some award-winning instructors, with courses for anyone aged 8 and up.

Kingston Riding Centre

Another historic riding school that’s been going for more than 70 years, Kingston Riding Centre has an excellent track record for safety and customer satisfaction. It’s also approved by the British Horse Society.

Ridgway Stables

You don’t need to be a member to learn how to ride at Ridgway Stables, which is quite rare when it comes to riding centres. It specialises in helping nervous or first-time riders to improve their skills and confidence too.

Ross Nye Stables

Ross Nye Stables is Central London’s most historic riding school, having been formed in 1965 and still offering a wide range of lessons today. At their base at Lonfrey Farm they teach horse and pony riding.

South Medburn Equestrian Centre

Choose between indoor and outdoor riding at the South Medburn Equestrian Centre, with their extensive facilities. And if you don’t want to stick to the centre’s own arenas, you can try their cross country course and 105 acre estate.

Pink Willow Equestrian Centre

 

The Pink Willow Equestrian Centre is open to riders of all ages, and has its own yard where you can hone your skills. It’s not only riding you can learn, but general horse care, which helps you to get used to the animals and perhaps think about getting your own in the future. Even if you’re not in the market for your own horse, it’s a great opportunity to spend some time with them.

Buying or hiring a horse box

Once you’ve got the bug for riding, and are even considering investing in a horse or pony of your own, you can experience the sheer joy of taking them to beautiful places to go riding whenever you like.

 

This means learning to tow a horse box, something we can help you with here at Specialised HGV Training. But first you have to get a horse box, so here are some places you can try if you’re based in London.

County Horse Box Hire

Based outside London in Surrey, County Horse Box Hire will rent out horse boxes whenever you need them in the capital. Hire also includes insurance and breakdown cover.

Thorpe Horse Boxes

With a range of horse boxes available from their base in Essex, Thorpe Horse Boxes sell new and used models. New horseboxes can be customised to the owners’ specifications.

Horse Deals

Horse Deals is a listings site where you’ll find pre-owned horse boxes for sale, as well as lots of other items you might need when you first get a horse. Browsing this helpful site before you get a horse is highly recommended and particularly useful if you’re on a budget and want to pick up secondhand items.

Getting the right licence

Getting a horse and a horse box is only the beginning of what you need when it comes to horse ownership in London (or anywhere else for that matter). You also need to make sure that when you’re transporting your horse by road, you’re fully covered for the legalities of driving them around. This means adding an extra class to your horsebox or trailer licence, and you might need a Cat B+E or a Cat C1+E depending on your particular circumstances.

 

Get in touch with one of our friendly team today and we can talk you through your needs, as well as how to get the right licence as quickly and as cheaply as possible.

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