Horses in central London

Suechoccy

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Yes April was lemon and white, there was Gambol with the swollen hind fetlocks, Heather and Emma(?) big bay mares, Pally chestnut Arab-ish, Rajah bay, Merrilyn chestnut, Warwick bay, Quaver palomino, Kia black cob, plus others whose names I can't remember. Sounds like we were there riding about the same time! I rode one evening a week and remember there was a guy in our class and he spent a lot of time working in Singapore or Hong Kong.
 

Jo_x

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The Riding Club London offer lessons at Hyde Park barracks on the household cavalry horses, as do the civil service riding club (if you aren't CS I believe you can still join if you have a civil service friend). Civil service lessons are substantially cheaper.

There are also civilian riders who exercise the household cavalry horses in Hyde Park in the early mornings.
 

Winifleur

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Enfield/Trent park has loads of stables and is a short train ride out of London. No stables in Edmonton anymore and hasn't been for around 30 years.
 

daffy44

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I grew up in Hampstead, North London. When I was very small there used to be donkey rides by the Whitestone Pond. Every time we went past I threw a tantrum until my mum allowed me to have a go, I am sure this is where my addiction started.
Also every so often my sister and I would be woken up very early in the morning by horse hooves on the road, the cavalry used to come by on hundreds (in my 5 year old brain) of beautiful horses.
For a pony mad London-bound child these were magical events.
I was also a pony mad child living in London with non horsey parents, going to see the donkeys on Hampstead Heath was one of my biggest ever treats, and yes, I remember watching the cavalry horses going through the Whitestone Pond early in the mornings, a truely beautiful sight!

Then I rode as a child at College Farm just by the North Circular and got to ride on the Heath and through the Whitestone Pond myself, it was fabulous! Then I rode in Mill Hill, there were quite a few yards their within a short distance of each other, it was wonderful.
 

Northern Hare

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The Riding Club London offer lessons at Hyde Park barracks on the household cavalry horses, as do the civil service riding club (if you aren't CS I believe you can still join if you have a civil service friend). Civil service lessons are substantially cheaper.

There are also civilian riders who exercise the household cavalry horses in Hyde Park in the early mornings.
You beat me to it - I was going to mention the Civil Service Riding Club! I used to ride there as a non-CS member (late '90s) - when the horses were stabled at The Royal Mews - which was amazing. We had lessons in the Indoor School there and could hack out round the front of the Palace and up Constitution Hill, across Hyde Park Corner and into the Park.

In the summer we had outside jumping lessons on the Park outside Kensington Palace - also wonderful- and which involved a hack along Kensington Gore (I think). A few times when we were doing roadwork exercise, we'd find convoluted routes around Westminster and Waterloo - across the bridges - and some times ride and lead!

We always had to ride out in a smart hacking jacket and tie and horses had to be immaculate. Riding up Rotten Row was some times a challenge - and you weren't supposed to go faster than a "hand canter" which was open to debate. The horses were also used for the RDA based at The Mews, so that was why the horses were also stabled there. Looking back, it was totally amazing!
 

Jo_x

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You beat me to it - I was going to mention the Civil Service Riding Club! I used to ride there as a non-CS member (late '90s) - when the horses were stabled at The Royal Mews - which was amazing. We had lessons in the Indoor School there and could hack out round the front of the Palace and up Constitution Hill, across Hyde Park Corner and into the Park.

In the summer we had outside jumping lessons on the Park outside Kensington Palace - also wonderful- and which involved a hack along Kensington Gore (I think). A few times when we were doing roadwork exercise, we'd find convoluted routes around Westminster and Waterloo - across the bridges - and some times ride and lead!

We always had to ride out in a smart hacking jacket and tie and horses had to be immaculate. Riding up Rotten Row was some times a challenge - and you weren't supposed to go faster than a "hand canter" which was open to debate. The horses were also used for the RDA based at The Mews, so that was why the horses were also stabled there. Looking back, it was totally amazing!
That sounds incredible! And in some ways similar to riding for the cavalry now - early morning hacking in smart jacket and stock/tie, not much control going up rotten row. Buses passing you a few feet away on Park Lane. Totally surreal!
 

Sleighfarer

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Yes April was lemon and white, there was Gambol with the swollen hind fetlocks, Heather and Emma(?) big bay mares, Pally chestnut Arab-ish, Rajah bay, Merrilyn chestnut, Warwick bay, Quaver palomino, Kia black cob, plus others whose names I can't remember. Sounds like we were there riding about the same time! I rode one evening a week and remember there was a guy in our class and he spent a lot of time working in Singapore or Hong Kong.
I rode on a Tuesday. Tonjah was the little chestnut I was thinking of. I remember Quaver - I've got a photo of her somewhere. She was in foal but nobody notice until the foal appeared one night lol.
 
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Dulwich Riding School started in Palace Road, Tulse Hill SW2 in 1962. it was at the back of a very large house. It moved to Dulwich Common in 1963 where it became a serious place to learn to ride. A variety of horses and ponies were used in the early days and it managed to produce over a dozen BHSAI instructors and four Pony Club A test candidates; no mean task as it had no indoor school in the early days .Riders rode out a lot in the sixties and seventies and used the riding track in the park. There was also much road work as the outdoor school was often flooded . It is still thriving although the quality of the of the horses and ponies has changed; mostly now common bred cobs . It success is due to a good location and high catchment. In the old days there was always a PC show in Norbury Park SW16 where at five South London riding schools produced riders: Sheila Shaw, Belmont, Willowtree, South London and Dulwich with a also a handful of mews kept privately owned as well. The South London branch of the Pony Club was active and had a variety of quality ponies for members to ride supplied by all the aforementioned schools . Very happy days,
 

Pinkvboots

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Hertfordshire
Yes April was lemon and white, there was Gambol with the swollen hind fetlocks, Heather and Emma(?) big bay mares, Pally chestnut Arab-ish, Rajah bay, Merrilyn chestnut, Warwick bay, Quaver palomino, Kia black cob, plus others whose names I can't remember. Sounds like we were there riding about the same time! I rode one evening a week and remember there was a guy in our class and he spent a lot of time working in Singapore or Hong Kong.
Yes it was April and I remember Quaver as well they were stabled at pipers farm in high beech, Kate and her mum had them there on livery, I think Kia was kates horse he was the black cob I think, she is an equine vet now.
 

Suechoccy

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I was at pipers farm in high beach with a girl whose mum took some of the school horses when it closed I know one was a chestnut called merilyn, they also had a black cob and a lemon and white mare but I can't remember there names
April was the lemon and white, Kia the black cob.
 

eahotson

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I used to keep my horse in London and ride it all over the place. (One of my rides took me along Regents Street, Piccadilly Circus, Trafalgar Square, The Mall, Park Lane, Hyde Park Corner and in to Hyde Park).
There were a large number of different places that horses were kept and I have actually created a list of them as many of them have now sadly disappeared.
Which part of London do you live in?
Wow!
 

Dynamo

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22 January 2017
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Lee Valley stables at Hackney marshes, just ten minutes from zone 1. I kept a pony there for a year before moving out of London. Outdoor school, indoor school, well-kept paddocks, competitions, and nice safe riding around tracks on the marshes. It was a really well-run yard when I was there and I believe it's still going. I had a pony on a part-loan sharing arrangement there before I bought my own... quite a few had that sort of arrangement and it was a good way of easing back in to things before making a big commitment. I used to ride through the car-park of the Hackney ice-rink, over a footbridge to cross the canal, past a scrap yard, and in to a local park. Happy days and I would give anything to wind back the clock.
 

J&S

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I was living in London in the mid 60's and needed a horsey fix! I rode an ex racer in Richmond Park, she was kept at Mr White's at Roehampton Gate. This yard is still there I believe. I also rode an ex eventer type on Wimbledon Common, this was not a success, he must have bucked me off more times that I can remember (but he also did this to all the grooms!). The common was just not big enough for him! One day I rode him over Robin Hood roundabout to Richmond, I cannot imagine thinking about doing this now!! The scrap metal merchants local to me down at the World's End some how got a polo pony in exchange for something, this was also kept at Mr Whites so a friend and I used to ride together in the park. Yes, "hand canter" only, no galloping allowed......... ex racer got chased by a whippet one time and we definitely broke the rules!
 

PeterNatt

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I can also remember the Donkeys at Whitestone Pond. They were kept off the Finchley Road with the junction with Willesden Lane. One sight to be remembered was Mr Churnock who road a large grey horse around the streets of North London to get to Hampstead Heath (Extension) and jump the park benches). He used to drive a great big American convertible car. He bought his lady friend a horse called Mishca and they then used to ride out together. In those days 1970's there were over 1,000 horses kept in the North London area and sadly most the yards have closed down. We used to have Monday evening show jumping at Belmont and used to hack there in the dark! Lots of fond memories.
 

cindars

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Grew up in South London used to ride at stables in Streatham and Brixton my sister worked at Hilcote stables (Wimbledon village) I remember the horse sales at the Elephant and Castle.
 

Northern Hare

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What is a hand canter?
Well, it was open to debate, but essentially it was a working canter.

Until I rode in Hyde Park, I thought it was completely flat, but Rotten Row is on an upwards slope from Hyde Park Corner up to Royal Albert Hall. On a couple of occasions we were heading at high speed fast approaching Royal Albert Hall, with Rotten Row running out! Heart in mouth time!

I’d forgotten that at the Mews we had a remote control thingy that we could use that turned the traffic lights on Hyde Park Corner to red to allow us to ride across onto the Park safely.
 

ILuvCowparsely

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5 April 2010
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Newbie here who has long been lurking!

I'm fascinated by people's stories of horsey central London. Despite growing up pony-mad here, and learning to ride here, the only stables I knew of in centre of the city were the ones at Hyde Park.

I never knew about these word of mouth yards I've read about in the threads here - we're talking Kennington, Clapham etc. I know there's one in Bermondsey that is really hidden away...

Does anyone have any information on these places, or know anyone who keeps their horses there? I'm really keen to find out more as I aim to buy a horse of my own at some point in the future (not really any time soon, though - trying to find a share first!). Failing that, I'm just looking for some interesting riding opportunities in the city.

Thanks for your time :)
I used to work at Stag Lodge Stables Robin Hood Gate.
 

PeterNatt

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I can remember riding the donkeys on Hampstead Heath by Whitestone Pond. They were kept in a small yard just off the Finchley Road and Cricklewood Lane (Hermitage Road). I attended Horseman's Sunday at Hyde Park again in September 2018 last year. It was very well attended. The other yard in Barthurst Mews (Hyde Park Riding Stables) closed down last year 2018 just leaving Ross Nye's stables.
 
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