Centres all over the country are reporting a good start to the season and bookings for the summer months are filling up fast. If you wish to ride during your holidays, please contact the riding centre of your choice as soon as possible to avoid disappointment. Very few centres can accommodate riders who turn up on the off chance, especially during the height of the summer.
Horses and staff can only accommodate a set number of riders per week and care has to be taken not to ask horses to work over their allocated hours to prevent injury. Horses need time off to recover during the busy season and some centres will have set rest days when no riding is available or will stagger the available horses to let each horse or pony have a days rest. Centres also adhere to a strict weight limit to prevent back injuries and centres will ask you for an honest weight when booking. Horses and ponies have a maximum amount of weight they can be asked to carry but this also takes into account the weight of the saddle and any other piece of tack or equipment they carry. Riders should wear lightweight clothing with long sleeves to protect arms and legs from insects and scrapes, with suitable footwear, preferably a boot with a small heel – no shorts and no trainers. Some centres provide toe stoppers for riders with less than ideal footwear or can lend a suitable pair of boots if you don’t have anything you can use. If in doubt, speak to the centre staff in advance and make sure you can still ride. Riding hats will be provided to the current standard and it is advisable to wear lightweight gloves to prevent chaffing and to remove all jewellery to prevent injury. Wet weather clothing or warm clothing may be required depending on how the weather is behaving. You don’t need the latest gear to ride but you do want to be comfortable.