AD – We are working with Great British Racing who arranged for the riding lesson. I am being compensated for my time.

First horse riding lesson – Something very special happened last week. Monkey went for a horse riding lesson. To say he was excited about going is an understatement. He has always wanted to go on a horse but all we had managed was little stroll on a donkey on a day out. So when the opportunity came up to give it a go with  Great British Racing we of course said yes.

I was surprised that the stud we went to was quite as close to us. Especially since it was on a road that I drive up and down frequently but had never noticed it. We arrived at Vale Stud Horsham a little early and had a little look at some of the horses. Both boys were super impressed to find horses in their namesakes. It was a small personal stud perfect for our first ride out. Hats were provided and although Kipper needed a little encouragement to put it on, they looked super cute in them!

Next we met the horses they were going to ride. Monkey was paired with a horse called Scooby Doo and it was love at first sight. Kipper on the other hand point blanked refused to go on. So we took him around the sand school leading his chestnut mare by a long blue rope. Although he is a big three year old he is still little so not wanting to force the point we let him make the decisions. Riding is something that Monkey has fallen in love with there’s hopefully a good chance he will have the opportunity again.

Monkey  really took it is like a duck takes to water. Following the instructor to the the letter within fifteen minutes he was trotting around the sand school reins in hand not holding onto the saddle. Apparently for someone that has never even sat on a horse before he is a natural. I am sure it is something to do with his no fear attitude.

It wasn’t long until they decided he could go outside. Just watching him ride out of the ring and up to the field I had a sneaking suspicion that a pony will probably be on the Father Christmas list this year.

As a parent there is something very magical watching your child discover something new that they love.

We had a fantastic riding experience with Vale Stud Horsham and I have no doubt we will be back. It has really ignited his love of horses. A love which we are looking forward to nurturing when we go to Fontwell Race Course at the end of the Summer. As part of Great British Racing’s ‘Under 18s Race Free’ initiative, it is one of 60 racecourses throughout Great Britain where under 18s are admitted free of charge to the vast majority of fixtures throughout the year, when accompanied by a paying adult.

Over the summer holidays there are more than 200 fixtures up and down the country, including 50 special family days with additional activities put on for families and young people. To find out more about ‘Under 18s Race Free’ and find a family race day near you go to Monkey is looking forward to picking up some tips and techniques for his next lesson! I definitely think we have started something!

Have your children ever been horse riding? I would love to hear about it in the comments below. Or if you have any advice it would be gratefully received.


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  1. Awe what a lovely experience. I tried riding once but didn’t enjoy it

  2. Rachel Craig

    Wonderful Opportunity, and it is only with the Opportunity that an individual can consider if this is something they would like to continue with.

    Great, as starting young can mean :- Lifetime Opportunity. We have heard via the media that Princess Charlotte has been horse riding :- She has the Opportunity as has family members with horses, etc.

    Luckily my sister had the opportunity of horse riding in childhood, not from a young age. Though perhaps from about age ten. As a family friend owned a horse, she enjoyed horse riding, as well as Caring for the horse.

    My friend learnt to horse ride as an adult.

    Ideally everyone would get the Opportunity. Maybe there is a need for more Opportunities to be given / offered / available.

    The Royal family have horses. The younger Royals are Ambassadors for Sports. They are Campaigning in Regards for openness / acceptance / support :- Such as Talking Therapies in regards to Mental Health. Perhaps they could / should encouraged Animal Therapy :- Perhaps introductions to horses. I believe it has been said that horses can have a Calming effect on a human. Horse riding Opportunities could also be encouraged via the Royal family :- The Princess Royal ( Princess Anne) has horses, her daughter Zara is a horse rider. As the Public fund the Royal family, perhaps the Royal family can express / show appreciation / Respect for subjects / public by Encoraging Good Health and Wellbeing through their actions. Being involved in encouraging schemes such as Opportunities For ALL :- Animal Therapy, introductions to horses. Horse riding, etc, etc. They could help put the Great back into Britain, by offering and encouraging others to offer Opportunities. These actions could assist / help in Individuals Reaching their Potential.

  3. Those are really cool photos. My kids love riding the horse at least once a year when we go to the summer capital. These are great experiences for little kids when they interact with animals.

  4. He seems to have taken it in a stride. Great to see him making good progress!

  5. Lyanna Soria

    Great job! He looks so adorable and that smile is so precious. I would probably be nervous yet excited at the same time riding a horse.

  6. Sincerely Jackline

    I can really imagine how you feel about monkey with that moment. It’s fun learning something we love what more seeing your little ones learning new things.

  7. Kuntala Bhattacharya

    Wow, your kid looks adorable atop the horse, very smart he is. Good you are teaching him to ride, I think kids should be encouraged to some sport from childhood.

  8. Your boy looks like a natural in the saddle! It’s so good to teach children how to ride horses and be around them from a young age. I am always scared to get on a horse, even when it is led by someone else.

  9. How exciting! Haha! I can feel they are having a super great time. Especially the little one. So adorable.

  10. Rhonda Albom

    My youngest daughter used to take riding lessons and she absolutely loved it. She was 14 at the time and was always on one of two horses.

  11. Rebecca Nisbet

    my daughter keeps going on about horse riding lessons, they always seem quite expensive though

  12. Fiona jk42

    Learning to ride is great for kids as it is not only good exercise, but also teaches them about good posture, how to interact with a much larger animal and develops self-confidence.

  13. So great experience going on he’s first horse ride x

  14. Arun Dahiya

    Must be a proud moment for you all. Wow, he looks like he has been riding regularly. And Scooby Doo is really a good looking horse.

  15. I love horse riding, i wish my parents pushed me to do it when i was a kid. Amazing sport.

  16. Oh wow, I’m so happy fo r MOnkey that you got this opportunity! Horseback riding is fantastic. I’ve been riding at an adaptive riding school for two years and love it. Then again, I can totally understand Kipper felt a little reluctant.

  17. Margaret Gallagher

    Hes a natural – looks like he was impressed too !

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