If your child is keen to get in the saddle but you're struggling to find riding schools who cater for tiny tots, have a look at our list of centres who take children under five
1. Stag Lodge Stables, London
Pony Park Lessons for three to six-year-olds. 30-minute lesson – £25 weekday/£30 weekends.
A pony park lesson is a 30-minute lead-rein lesson in Richmond Park. These are lead-rein sessions, with a trained instructor leading one of the school’s Shetland ponies. The lessons include walking and trotting, and may also include on-pony games such as ’round the world’, but will not include cantering.
Telephone: 020 8974 6066
2. Freshfields Equestrian Centre, Shropshire
Lead round sessions. Four-years-old and above. 30-minute lesson for £25.
During lead rein sessions riders have their own personal helper as well as an instructor to help them start riding.
Telephone: 01630 652495
3. Feather Bed Stables & Riding School, Stratford-Upon-Avon, Warwickshire
Two-years-old and above. Tots Ride – 15-20 minutes for £15. Sunday Morning Tots session – 30 minutes for £20. Kids Club for £35.
The school teaches young children how to handle and care for ponies. The kids’ club allows children to be involved in grooming, tacking up and caring for their pony before and after they ride.
Telephone: 07974 374854
4. East Devon Riding Academy, Branscombe, Devon
One-to-four-year-olds. Pony Playgroup for £6.95 and individual 15-minute lesson for £14.95.
Pony playgroup is a parent and toddler group offering a varied programme of indoor and outdoor games, activities and experiences. It is suitable for children who are walking, up to four years of age. Two small ponies are available to groom and ride in an individual lesson.
Telephone: 07771 903220
5. Checkendon Equestrian Centre, Reading
Two-years-old and above. Walk in the Woods — 30 minutes for £24. Individual lessons from four-years-old — 35 minutes for £23.
The half an hour walk in the woods includes children being introduced to their pony and taught how to mount and hold the reins. Depending on ability, children can walk on or off the lead rein through the woodland.
Telephone: 01491 680225
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6. Learn with Smartie, Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire
Eighteen months and above. Tiny tots are taught on a one-to-one basis for 10 minutes. £13 plus helmet hire.
During a lesson the child is introduced to one of the ponies and progresses to sitting in the saddle before going for a gentle walk around the arena.
Telephone: 07866 602074
7. Quarrington Stables, Sleaford, Lincolnshire
Four-years-old and above. Pony days – 9-4pm for £45. Group lesson for an hour for £20.
Pony days start at 9am and include a break for drinks in the morning and a packed lunch/picnic at lunchtime in the paddock, which includes some fun games.
Telephone: 07884 231361