Frequently asked questions
How old do you need to be to start riding?
The minimum age you can ride with us is four years old.
When are you open?
We are open 7 days a week, usually from 9am-5pm, but times can vary, depending on the season.
In the summer months, we can offer lessons and activities later, as the daylight allows us to.
I’m new to riding – how will it work?
Riders generally start on a 1 hour lesson on a lead rein, and progress to a more advanced group when we feel they are competent and happy trotting in the school without a lead rein – the timescale for this depends on the individual rider.
Due to their popularity, there is a waiting list for regular places on some beginner’s lessons.
What information do you need about me?
We ask all clients to register some details with us when learning to ride.
We ask everyone to provide details of any previous experience and we need to know your height and weight so that we can match you to an appropriate horse or pony.
What does HH mean?
HH or H stands for "hands high" or "hands."
What is the maximum weight a rider can be?
Our upper weight limit is 14 stones (88.9 kilograms).
Do I need insurance?
Riding is a risk sport – you may wish to take out personal accident insurance.
What should I wear?
Trousers (tracksuit bottoms are fine), and shoes with a small heel (no skirts or opened toed shoes please!)
For safety reasons, trainers and wellies are not suitable. As you improve, you will find that purpose designed riding boots and jodhpurs/breeches will help you to progress.
Please remember this is an outdoor activity and you may need to wear waterproof clothing.
Use of a Riding Hat is compulsory. We provide loan hats to the latest safety standard for all riders. If you bring your own it must meet current safety standards – please check with us for details.
Can I smoke?
Smoking is not permitted anywhere in the yard.
Can I just come and watch?
You are welcome to come and see what a riding lesson involves, but we don’t encourage an audience – riders are here to enjoy learning, not put on a show to visitors.
Can I feed the horses?
We ask that you do not feed the horses without prior consent. Our horses are like athletes, all on a carefully balanced diet to keep them fit and healthy, so feeding them treats doesn’t help, however much they might try to persuade you!
How do I get a job working with horses?
We can help tell you how to go about getting the necessary qualifications and we regularly take on volunteers and work placements.
It isn’t an easy job - be prepared to put in the time and effort for a very rewarding career!
We are proud to announce that we have the facility to offer Young Equestrian Leader Awards (YELA). This is a fantastic opportunity to gain an industry recognised qualification.
Can I choose which horse or pony I ride?
We will take your preferences into account, but we will put you on the horse that will be best for you, bearing in mind your experience and ability.
Just like people, each horse is different, so you will progress best if you ride a different horse from time to time.
Do you have manure for my garden?
We have horse manure available for you to collect. Access to the muck heap is limited, as it is close to our riding school arena, so you please contact us in advance about collecting manure to organise the best time to visit!
Can I hire a horse and ride in the Park?
Yes, we regularly take clients on hacks around the 275 acre park. We only take out rides under our supervision - for your and our horses’ safety.
Do you host competitions?
Client’s competitions are held regularly. These are held in a spirit of fun and allow you to try your hand at competing at show-jumping, dressage, or (for kids) gymkhana games. We also hold regular competitions for our Pony Club members.
Can I just come for the day and learn more about horses first?
Our Own a Pony day courses enable children to learn to ride, groom, feed and care for a pony.
We occasionally run day courses for adults and have stable management courses available too.
For more information on either of these courses, please contact us.
What is your cancellation policy?
We require at least 48 hours cancellation notice prior to your scheduled arrival, otherwise you may be charged a cancellation fee of 50% of your total amount of bookings.
How long do lessons last?
Lessons can vary from ½ hour to 1 hour depending on requirements.
Do you do both group and private lessons?
Yes! We have both options available.
Are there catering facilities or food available on site?
We are unable to offer food or any catering facilities, however there is a Courtyard cafe and Garden Centre cafe available within the Park - both are situated nearby.