Starting to Ride: Beginner and Novice

This page will tell you what you need to know about starting to ride at Hallingbury Hall.  Please call (01279 730348) or email us ( if you have any questions once you have read it.

Our priorities

Our priorities are to provide you with a safe, friendly, fun environment and to ensure the well-being of our horses.

About you

Children must be at least 7 years old (except designated Fledgling lessons during school holidays) and accompanied by a parent or responsible adult.

For adult complete beginners we have a weight limit of 11 stone 7 lbs (73 kgs) and a limit of 13 stone (82 kgs) for more experienced riders.

It is important that you let us know if you have any disability or relevant medical condition.  We will always do our best to accommodate them.

Getting started

You can book your lesson by telephone (01279 730348) or via email (

Prior to booking we will need information about your horse-riding experience, together with your height and weight to make sure you are paired with a suitable horse or pony.  It is really important for your safety and the well-being of our horses that the information you give us is accurate.

We limit numbers on all our lessons and, due to high demand, cannot guarantee availability.  It is therefore best to book well in advance to avoid disappointment.

We recommend an initial private assessment lesson if you have ridden before so we can ensure you are put with a group of similar ability.  If you have never ridden before we will allocate you to a small beginners’ group, with someone to lead you if appropriate.

We accept cash or credit cards and ask for payment at time of booking.

Please let us know in good time if you need to cancel or rearrange your lesson.  We will charge the full lesson fee if you give us less than 24 hours’ notice.

What to wear

Specialist riding clothing isn’t necessary when you are getting started, although it will make great Christmas and birthday presents as you become more experienced.

We suggest that you wear comfortable clothes – preferably not jeans or trousers with a seam!  It is really important for safety to have shoes with a heel – not trainers!  Riding gloves are inexpensive and highly recommended.  We have a small stock available to buy.

A riding hat to current British Safety standards is an essential piece of safety equipment and we insist that one is worn at all times while mounted.  We have a selection of hats that we can loan without charge for your first few lessons.

Our horses and ponies

We have a lovely selection of well-schooled horses and ponies. They are exceptionally well cared for and never work for more than one and a half hours a day.  We will do our best to match you with one that is most suitable for you.  We will try to accommodate particular requests but cannot guarantee that you will be able to ride your choice.

The day of the lesson

Please try to arrive at least 15 minutes before your booked lesson time.  You will get to meet your instructor and your horse/pony.  If it’s your first lesson, we will also need to you to complete and sign a rider registration form.  You are welcome to come early to help groom and tack up, to watch a lesson or just to soak up the atmosphere.  Please bear in mind though that horses can be easily scared.  It is therefore really important to check with our staff before getting close to any of the horses or ponies or going into their stable.

The lesson

Your lesson will be with one of our experienced, knowledgeable team of instructors.  Please listen to them carefully and follow their directions.

We have excellent facilities, including an indoor and two outdoor riding arenas.  You will usually ride in our indoor school, which has a viewing gallery for your friends and family.


We will take all reasonable steps to ensure your safety.  However, horse riding involves risk and all horses may react unpredictably.  You will be asked in your rider registration form to acknowledge that you agree to ride at your own risk.