Giddy Up! London’s Best Horse Riding Lessons For Kids
Got a kid with a bit of a horse fetish? Think horse riding lessons were only for those who live deep in the country?
Fancy mucking out but don’t know how or where to do it?
Well, prepare to have your mind blown: London, actually, does do horses if you look hard enough.
From riding lessons, pony clubs, equestrian centres, stable management, horse care, to actual mucking out, you can find it all here.
The Best Places To Go For Horse Riding Lessons For Kids
Kingston Riding Centre has an impressive 70 year old history and is approved by the British Horse Society & the Pony Club.
For children from the age of two and a half, they offer pony rides into Richmond Park for 30 or 45 minutes on one of their Shetland Ponies.
Don’t worry too much if your little equestrian is new to all of this – the pony bridle is held by an instructor at all times and the ride will be either more of a fun session or instructional, depending upon your child’s age and previous experience.
There is a Mini Pony Club on Friday evening and on Sunday afternoons the Centre runs the Pony Club for the next stage up.
For older or more confident kids, the Riding Centre offers Rein Sessions for children from five years.
These are more formal lessons held in an outdoor arena under close bridle contact with an instructor in order to teach your child how to control the horse, learn to stop and start, and how to use the reins and their feet to steer the horse.
They will also learn to balance in the saddle, walking without stirrups and turning round in the saddle while the pony stays still.
The lessons progress to Flat Lessons where kids are taught lunge lessons where the pony is held on a lunge line at a distance from the instructor.
Once children are able to ride off the lunge they will progress to canter at the discretion of senior instructors.
For kids who are able to walk, trot, or canter confidently, the Centre offers group lessons of up to six children. These often cover dressage schooling techniques and jumping.
Over school holidays, the Riding Centre offers an intriguingly named Own A Pony Camp for ages 6-10 years.
Also based in Richmond Park, the Stag Lodge Stables caters for kids from 3 to 16 years, offering everything from one-off lessons to full courses, from total beginners to advanced levels, as well as regular competitions.
Over half term and school holidays, Stag Lodge runs Pony Week for kids from 5 to 12 years from 10 am to 3 pm every Tuesday through Friday (as well as single day options) and holds Pony Club meetings nearly every weekend year round.
One of the largest Pony Club centres in England, the Stables have been Pony Club Quiz champions and have been runners up ad placed in the National Pony Club Championships several times.
They offer outings for Pony Club members to big equestrian events throughout the year, such as the Badminton Horse Trials in May, the Royal Windsor Horse Show and the London International Horse Show at Olympia.
Set just a few minutes walk from Hype Park, the Ross Nye Stables were established in 1965 by an ex-cattle station worker from Australia.
The Stables offers a Pony Club to help encourage children to learn how to take care of the horses, become proficient in practical and theoretical issues and to pass the Pony Club Achievement Tests.
If your kids ride with Ross Nye Stables on the weekend, they will be able to spend a couple of hours or a whole day at the stables.
Membership of the Pony Club entitles them to be part of the Stables discount scheme which means you can by lessons at reduced prices, take part in Pony Club activity days and spend extra time at the Stables during half term and holidays.
Alongside a Pony Club and riding lessons for children, the Wormwood Scrubs Pony Centre offers pony birthday parties for kids aged between 4 and 12 years old.
These are held on Sundays between 11 am and 12:15 pm and consists of a riding session, grooming of ponies or donkeys and games.
The Pony Centre has been involved with Riding for the Disabled for nearly 30 years, providing riders with physical disabilities and riders with social needs the opportunity to learn to ride and to take in the benefit of the therapeutic element associated with horses and ponies.
Pony and horse riding lessons are available to children from 7 to 16 years on Saturdays or Tuesday and Thursday afternoons, while there is a Pony Kindergarten held for 3 to 6 year olds on the last Saturday of the month.
This Centre is one for northern or central Londoners, just a short walk away from Mill East Tube station.
Set in 34 acres of its own green belt land, it overlooks the Totteridge Valley and is located on the Mill Hill/Finchley border.
The Centre is open to kids from 4 years old and lessons are run in groups or individually (after an initial assessment lesson).
For those not quite old enough yet, there are 15 minute Tiny Tot rides for 3 year olds.
Happily, there’s also a cafe onsite.
There are Pony Days scheduled for school holidays from Tuesday to Friday and Demi-Days for kids aged 4 to 6 years old which are shorter sessions.
Demi-Days are where children learn to groom ponies, have a group riding session and learn the basics of equine care. From kids aged 7 onwards, there are longer days for those kids ready for more hands-on action.
The Centre also runs kids birthday parties for 90 minutes where the party-goers can groom ponies and ride a selection of friendly ponies.
As a special gift for the birthday girl or boy, the Centre offers a voucher for a 30 minutes private lesson.
More Horse Riding Places To Try
- Wimbledon Village Stables, SW19
- Dulwich Riding School, SE21
- Aldersbrook Riding School, E12
- Ealing Riding School, W5
- Shetland Pony Club, Cobham, KT11
- High Breech Riding School, EN9
- George Mead Stables, DA16
Where do you think has the best horse riding lessons for kids?