Riding at Valley Farm
Class/Group Lessons Small 1 hour class lessons take place most days, after school, evenings and weekends for both children and adults, in our Indoor School or outside in good weather. At weekends the class lessons usually start off gently in the morning, and progress in difficulty throughout the day.
- Weight Limit
- Please note that in the interests of animal welfare, our weight limit for horse riding is 14 stone, or 89 kgs. It is embarassing for us and for you to have to ask you to stand on the scales when you arrive, so please weigh yourself at home in your riding gear before booking.
- Larger people may be interested in carriage driving lessons, horse agility, or stable management and horse care lessons.
- Lessons at Valley Farm are either for one hour or half an hour, this includes mounting and dismounting time. We offer lessons for all standards of rider across a wide range of equestrian disciplines. We have a team of dedicated enthusiastic teaching staff, all with slightly different teaching styles, so you are sure to find a lesson to suit your needs.
- Special Needs
- If you have any special needs which will require a specialist horse or equipment, please let us know at the time of booking. We have specialist tack and well trained horses, in order to help most people to be able to enjoy horses. You can find more information about what we offer for those with disabilities here.
- Tiny Tots
- Young children, aged from two up to about six, can join our special half hour fun classes led by mum or dad on Saturday and Sunday mornings. For those who have never ridden, a 20 minute one to one lead rein lesson can be arranged to help get into the swing of things. The under 3's can ride on one of our miniature ponies. We also have a tots club on Wednesday mornings during termtime. (For more info see our TOTS PONY CLUB page)
Private Lessons Private, one to one, lessons can be arranged as you wish for any level of ability, and covering any topics that you would like. There is usually more time for private lessons during the week, but they can be fitted in at weekends provided sufficient notice is given. These can be for half an hour or 1 hour. Shared Private Lessons This can be a helpful option if a family, or group of friends would like to have lessons or hack out together. You can book for half an hour or one hour for groups of between 2 and 6 riders. Lunge Lessons One to one lunge lessons can be very helpful for anybody requiring to improve their balance or confidence, as it allows the rider to concentrate on their position and the movement of the horse without having to worry about steering or controlling their horse. We have a number of horses and ponies suitable for adults and children. At Valley Farm we also have the advantage of different types of saddles. You may find for example that if you are having difficulty learning to canter, that a lesson with the vaulting handles, and a bareback pad allows you to feel and follow the motion of the horse more easily, and the handles make it much easier to hold on, than with a normal saddle. A western saddle can also be helpful, as it gives more support, and also has a saddle horn on the front which can be held in one hand. Usually half an hour at a time is sufficient, as it can be quite tiring. Hacks/Trecks/Trail rides
Organised rides out (hacks, trecks, trail rides or what ever you like to call a ride out of the arena) along our farm tracks and woodland trails can be booked for private individuals or groups, or by joining a class, providing the standards of the riders are known and the riders safety can be assured. Hacks are not recommended for complete novices. Hacks usually last for one hour, and do not include any road work. Stable Management and Horse Care For those wanting to learn about caring for horses we have several options. Anybody under 25 can join the Pony Club, and then join in with our regular pony club stable management lessons. See our Pony Club page for more details. This way as your knowledge increases, you can take tests if you wish to. Adults can join our fun horse care sessions or if you are wishing to gain qualifications you can enrol on one of our BHS courses. See our Training Page for more details. Riding Courses We offer progressive riding courses for adults Tueday-Friday during school term times. There is a special offer discount for those pre paying for a course, or you can join in at the usual rates for a 'one off' provided there is space in the group. All courses offer a variety of options aimed at helping those who have not ridden for a while to get back into riding, and those who have recently started, to progress at their own speed. (please see our TAKE BACK THE REINS page for more details) Riding for Boys The Pony Club is for boys and girls. In fact most of the top male riders in the country started in the Pony Club. We offer a number of activities which appeal to boys. See our boys page for more details.
- Other Lessons
- For riders wishing to try something a little different, lessons can be arranged in a number of other equestrian disciplines:
- Vaulting or lunge lessons are excellent for riders wanting to gain confidence in canter. Good fun, and a great way of keeping fit. See our VAULTING page for more details.
- Western lessons are ideal for those who like a slightly slower pace, or who want to brush up on their skills before going on a ranch holiday. Please see our WESTERN RIDING page.
- Side saddle lessons are available for those who would like to try their hand at something a little different. See our SIDE SADDLE page for more information anout this elegant style of riding.
- Horseball is a fast and exciting sport, for the more adventurous rider. Lessons in the basics are available. Our HORSEBALL page gives you more information about this great game.
- Polocrosse Lessons in the basics are available, to start you off, or give you the chance to have a go at this skilled game.
- Carriage Driving, and Agricultural Horse driving Do you enjoy horses, but do not wish to ride? See our Carriage Driving page for more information about carriage driving lessons in singles or pairs, carriage rides, or training your own pony for driving.
We are OFSTED registered VC374742 and childcare vouchers are accepted for most lessons, activity days and holidays.
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