JOINING a riding school isn’t just about learning to horse ride. Young ones learn vital skills for life by caring for the animals, getting stuck in with the work of the stables and enjoying the camaraderie of fellow horse riders – just like in the Spirt Riding Free episodes!
If you think your horse-mad little one might benefit from learning to ride, the best place to start is by finding a good riding school. Not sure where to start? Check out our UK Mums TV handy guide and some links to more information on the web.
As always we’d love to hear your hints, tips and tricks, so feel free to get in touch on social media and tell us what you think!
DOS AND DON’TS OF FINDING A RIDING SCHOOL:
- Look for an approved riding school for peace of mind that the school upholds high standards in both safety and horse care. Try searching the lists of schools on the British Horse Riding School (BHS) or Association of British Riding Schools (ABRS) websites (the ABRS has also adopted the British Equestrian Federation Safeguarding and Child Protection policy).
- Make sure lessons are age appropriate. Some schools will take children as young as three, but more usually five or six is the ideal time to start. Schools have different lesson styles and activities, so ‘shop around’ until you find one that suits you and your child.
- Try a school that recommends a one to one session to start with so that your child gets used to the basics such as posture and getting on and off the horse.
- Worry about your child galloping off into the sunset on an out of control steed! Horses are chosen to match your child’s size and ability and most lessons take place in an enclosed shed or stable for extra safety.
- Forget that very young children might take a while to build up the strength to ride, so give them time and don’t write off tasks such as helping around the stables, as this can keep their interest going until they are strong enough for longer and more varied lessons.
- Spend lots of money on expensive equipment until your child has tried it out. Many schools will allow a trial session before committing to a whole course of lessons, during which equipment will be provided.
We found this and lots more helpful information on Netmums, you can read the full article here.
Don’t forget you can enter our fantastic Spirt Riding Free competition to bring more horsey fun home for your little one – enter now here!