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When should a child start?

Seven years is the ideal age. Children below seven are allowed to ride small ponies under supervision. It is only after seven, however, that they are able to concentrate a great deal more. The confidence and maturity from this age onwards makes learning to ride a lot easier.

Horse-riding is very popular and we have very few drop-outs.

How dangerous is this sport?

The sport has its risks. Parents should appreciate that. Safety is a primary concern at our stable. All our instructors hold British Horse Society certificates. The safety standards that these exams demand are a model for training programmes elsewhere.

Horses quickly sense the inexperience of the rider. The naughty ones will then try to act difficult.

What sort of horse would you recommend for a child?

A quiet, reliable one which knows its job and, though young, has a few miles on the clock. The child's keenness to progress in riding should also influence the choice of horse.

How would you rate horse riding over other fun activities like roller-blading?

For starters, with horse riding you are dealing with another mind. You have only your legs to look after while roller-blading. Horse riding is great fun and has many pluses for the young rider . It helps establish a rapport with a creature that is both, sensitive and affectionate. This bond brings with it a healthy sense of responsibility. Teaches valuable lessons in humility. Horse riding is a great leveller. The child benefits from the fresh air and the outdoors.

"I feel rather sorry for kids who have not had the opportunity to build a bond with any animal

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