Written on: 20/07/2014 by LadyViolette (1 review written)
Both my son and I have been riding at Ryders Farm for 8 months, him in tiny tots and me in weekly group lessons.
There is a large number of horses so you aren't stuck riding the same horse every week, which will improve your riding by being able to adapt to different horses, some are more forward, some a bit lazier, some just want to follow the rest and are more of a challenge to get them to listen to you.
With tiny tots parents get to lead their children in their lesson, although if you don't want to do this then just mention it at the office when you book in and they will get someone to lead the pony for you.
These lessons are only half an hour so the youngsters don't get bored from being in there too long, they learn the very basics of riding; how to hold the reins, walking, sitting/rising trot, changing the rein. Once they've got this they can graduate up to a beginners class, riding on their own.
I always enjoy my lessons and feel challenged but supported in what we are asked to do. I have also had some private lessons, which I have got a lot out of too.
The lessons aren't 'cheap', but this is true of any riding school, and I have heard of people paying a lot more for much less.
At the beginning of each lesson you go and collect your horse/pony from their stable and take them back at the end, depending on whether the horse is in any more lessons that day you may be asked to take off the bridle and loosen the girth, or untack completely (help is available from the yard staff if you are unsure about how to do this), so you also learn about basic track and tacking up/untacking.
Before we started our lessons we went to one of the weekly taster sessions (£5) that enable you to have a go before paying the full price for a lesson, and if you've ridden before then the instructors can assess your ability and advise you on which of the groups you suit.
Through the summer they run monthly dressage and jumping competitions, each with different classes for different levels, which you can compete in on your own horse or one of their horses. There are also "Own a Pony" days, Pony Club and special classes such as Beginners Jumping.
The on site cafe is great, my son and husband have their tea there every week while I'm in my lesson.
There is also the Farm shop, with very friendly staff where you can buy meats, veg, cakes, etc. We pop in regularly and got our turkey there last Christmas, which was fantastic.
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