If your child is new to riding, Kingston Riding Centre can offer a number of different options which can introduce your child to the joy of riding in a safe but fun manner.
For very young children we can offer Pony Rides into Richmond Park. These can be for 30 or 45 minutes and your child will ride one of our smaller shetland ponies. The bridle of the pony is held by one of our instructors at all times and the ride can either be fun or more instructional depending upon age and previous experience. The ideal age for Pony Rides to start is two and a half.
The next stage on from Pony Rides is Lead Rein Lessons. These are more formal lessons held in the outdoor arena under close bridle contact with the instructor and your child will start to learn very quicky how to control the horse. They will learn how to start and stop and also how to use the reins and their feet to steer the horse in the desired direction. They will also learn how to balance in the saddle through fun exercises such as riding backwards, walking without stirrups and “round-the-world” where they turn round in the saddle whilst the pony is stationary. The ideal age for Lead Rein lessons to start is five.
The next stage up from Lead Rein Lessons is Flat Lessons. These will generally start out on a lunge line, where the rider and pony are some distance from the instructor but connected by the lunge lead. This allows a greater degree of control for the rider through the various gaits and canter can be introduced at this stage depending upon the child’s abilities and confidence. This is based upon an assessment with one of our senior instructors.
THE MORE ABLE RIDER
For children who have ridden at other stables and are able to walk/trot/canter confidently we can offer group lessons, where there are up to six riders in the group. This teaches riders good riding school discipline and prepares the young riders for eventually riding out in groups on hacks. Group Lessons also offer the junior rider a chance to socialise with other riders of a similar age and riding ability. Group lessons often cover dressage schooling techniques and jumping
We also proud to be a Center Member for the Pony Club. This institution has been the start point for a number of our London 2012 Olympians and further details can be found on the Pony Club page on our website.
We can also offer the more able and confident junior rider options such as jumping lessons all year round and Private Hacks out into Richmond Park during the Summer months.
STABLE MANAGEMENT COURSES
We have half hour Stable Management courses for older children which covers important areas such as care of the horse, equipment and stable and is a positive way of highlighting other areas of responsible riding
HELPERS COURSES AND HELPING AT KINGSTON RIDING CENTRE
We run Helpers Courses for junior riders aged 10 and over and these cover key elements of Stable Management and yard safety and once completed will allow the junior rider to become a registered Helper at Kingston Riding Centre.
The aim of Helpers on the yard is to enable young people to gain expereince and confidence around horses, whilst helping the staff in the running of a lively and busy yard. Helpers are allocated a colour grade according to their cuurrent skills, abilities and confidence level in undertaking the various tasks that are required around the yard. This ensures that Helpers will not be asked to perform a task beyond theor current capabilities and experience. Helpers are continually assessed and monitored by the yard staff so that they can move up through the various levels.
We are grateful for the commitment shown by each and every Helper at Kingston Riding Centre and the Helper System is designed so that people of all abilities and skill are able to come to the yard and help.