The Association of British Riding Schools (ABRS) has just published its new, free, easy-reference guide to ABRS approved riding schools, to make it easy for riders to find a quality riding establishment in their area.

The guide lists, by county, more than 350 centres in the UK and abroad, which cater for all riding abilities from advanced riders wishing to hone specific skills to beginners of all ages.

ABRS chairman, Duncan Brown is keen to challenge the misconception that riding schools cater solely for beginners, and wants to encourage more experienced riders to use the resources available in ABRS-approved centres.

“There are ABRS-approved riding schools around the country catering for every standard of rider,” explains Mr Brown. “Good schools have a great depth of knowledge available to their clients, but unfortunately few centres are being used to the full as an ongoing resource.

“With highly experienced instructors available, who in some cases have trained horses and riders up to international level, no rider should dismiss the value of continuing their training at a riding school.”

Every school featured in the guide has been inspected and approved by one of the association’s experienced inspectors and centres are periodically re-inspected to ensure standards are maintained.

There are many benefits of riding at an approved establishment, according to Mr Brown, who emphasises that the care of horse and rider are fundamental at any ABRS-approved establishment.

“An ongoing research project into riding accidents is showing evidence that riding at an approved school will reduce the chance of injury by up to 50%. However, anyone who rides is becoming a willing participant in a risk sport and sooner or later every rider will be faced with an unexpected reaction. This is what makes riding such a challenging and fascinating hobby,” he says.

With increasing numbers of young professionals taking up the sport, Duncan believes the future of the industry is not as bleak as some might say.

“Over recent years riding schools have become increasingly professional in the service they offer to clients and there are some shining examples of riding schools who are doing extremely well, after investing in their facilities for the riding public,” concludes Mr Brown.

The ABRS guide includes the address and contact details for every approved establishment, plus website and email addresses where available.

For your free copy write to: ABRS, members guide, Queen’s Chambers, Queen Street, Penzance, Cornwall TR18 4BH, enclosing an SAE or email: office@abrs.org