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Thread: Learning to ride as an adult

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Near Loddon, Norfolk

    Default Learning to ride as an adult

    Evening all

    I was wondering what kind of experiences those of us more mature riders had had with riding schools and lessons.

    I started again a year ago after 15 yrs out the saddle. I was living in Surrey at the time and started lessons and hacking from a yard a friend rode at. It did wonders for my confidence and was back cantering (even on scary hacks!) and jumping again. I realised after about 6 months that there was only 1 horse i could really ride at the yard as they were really geared to kids, and much as I loved him, he really didn't enjoy working in the school (he would tend to trip over his dinner plate sized feet) and I would never get anywhere with 'learning' more so I switched to another local yard which was a much slicker (but not nearly as friendly operation). Had some really good lessons, but suddenly they stopped because they didn't have enough horses and couldn't fit me in on Saturday (only day I could ride) and their group clients took priority.

    Anyway, we recently moved to Suffolk/Norfolk borders areas and have started at a new yard. They seem to have a choice of horses for me to ride (including a lovely v flash looking chestnut gelding they have just acquired. I rode him last week and have a lesson on him tomorrow- I am in love!! ) The only drawback is that I really want to start jumping and they are limited with the horses (rather than ponies) that I could jump; their school also seems small to be jumping in on a big horse! I have spoken to my instructor (who is fantastic) and she was going to have a think about who would be best for me to start jumping lessons on. I will see if maybe I can get to jump this new boy. My goal is to be jumping a small course of (very!) small fences by the autumn.

    I guess I was just wondering if anyone else had had problems finding a yard where they could get proper lessons on suitable horses (and not be stuck in a group lesson of 11 year olds who totally show you up!). I also enjoy getting to the yard early to tack up and stay on to untack/make huge fuss of horse afterwards and I do find sometimes some of the younger girls on the yard look at me like I am crackers!!! I am still every bit as much the pony nut I was 15 years ago- probably more so!!

    Tea and biccies (or even a glass of wine as its Friday!) to those who made it to the end!


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2009



    You know, if you lived in Lincolnshire you would be so welcome where I ride! I ride on an adults only group lesson or a private with my friend, and there are plenty of horses and cobs to carry an adult as well as a pretty large outdoor school anf standard sized indoor. But its a small stables and very friendly and you are encouraged to get involved - tack up, groom, turn out after lesson, no matter how old you are, most of the adults stay behind to untack and turn out the horses together. Sounds like you just need to find the right stables, though I agree its not always easy to find, I stumbled accross my RS by chance about 6 or 7 years ago. But Ive been at plenty of schools like the one you are describing! I suggest you move here to Lincolnshire

    I used to ride on a weekend lesson, big disaster because I was also stuck with ten year olds who were much better than myself, and it only tended to be the ponies and cobs used on those lessons. I was so pleased to discover the adults only lesson on a Monday or Tuesday evening an it also meant I got to start riding the horses more. Does your school do lessons for just adults during the week? weekends as you can imagine tend to be when the children hang about, whereas weekdays tend to be quieter, you might just come into luck so it is worth asking about . Dont let age be a barrier to enjoying yourself, plenty of adults want to ride and help look after the horses, its not unusual to do so and you shouldnt have to feel like you can't! Find an RS that makes you happy and that is right for you!

  3. #3


    I am in the North East and started learning (from scratch, not returning) at 43. I have been in two riding schools, one of which is still functioning and is ABRS, not BHS approved. Plenty of horses and ponies to suit me - but you might not think that standard is high enough of course. Latterly before closure of second school was competing in unaff eventing on RS hired horses. And I bought one happy days x

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2010


    Well learning to ride as a child and as a adult, both are different. Basically children can easily learn the technique and can ride with more power if he is fearless baby. But adults are so much afraid from the horse and can't take control on the balance and the horse.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2009


    Yes, I think it is more difficult for adults to find the right riding school - but it isnt more difficult to learn to ride as an adult. The army has always taught adults to ride.
    As you have found , finding the right school is hard because it is harder for an adult to find good tuition and you need a school with suitable horses and a vacancy to take lessons at weekend.
    No school is perfect and no horse is ever perfect either. The good news is that learning to ride is not like being at Primary school - you are not limited to one school but can shop around - go for occasional specialist lessons and educate yourself. There are many effective ways of learning to ride a horse and different styles of riding and as adult learners we can persevere until we find the one that suits us best.

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