Horse & Hound’s Hannah Lemieux bucked up the courage to give stunt riding a try at the Centre of Horseback Combat and Stampede Stunt Company at Gaddesdon Estate in Hemel Hempstead. If you’re looking for a new challenge for 2015, follow in Hannah’s footsteps — but take a look at her top tips before you go to get the most out of your lesson.

Hannah’s 9 top tips for first-time stunt riders

1. Try and maintain a confident mindset and push your boundaries — you will get so much more out of the session this way.

2. Make sure you wear something comfortable that doesn’t restrict movement. I would advise against jeans.

3. Practise as much as you feel necessary on the wooden horse before moving onto a horse and ask if you are unsure.

4. I would advise first timers to do a warm-up to prevent too much stiffness the next day.

5. Concentrate during any demonstrations shown to you. The movements are often broken down into sections and are important when it comes to your turn.

6. Be honest about both your riding and your athletic ability — it will help ascertain what you want to achieve from the session.

7. Ask for a break if you feel you are getting tired — although you will be offered one half way through.

8. Try not to worry about looking or feeling a bit silly — it’s all about having some fun…

9. …but you will gain some presentation points if you try to keep your toes pointed and shoulders back.

Keen to give stunt riding a go yourself?

Zana and Karl were fantastic trainers and anyone looking for a fun, unique but also more challenging experience should definitely give stunt riding a go — it was certainly unforgettable.

They offer sessions from jousting and horseback archery to trick and stunt riding lessons and confidence days. An ‘Introduction to trick riding’ session is £95 for a half day (3hrs). Thereafter, private lessons start from £50.

Email: stampedestunts@yahoo.co.uk or telephone: 01442 462715
Visit: www.horsebackcombat.co.uk

Don’t miss our feature about trying stunt riding for the first time in the 1 January issue of Horse & Hound magazine