Where you began riding? Me, Whiteleaf...

Nikki26

Active Member
Joined
18 October 2012
Messages
29
I learnt at Greenacres in Biggin Hill, Kent from early 1990s to 1999. Favourites were Squirrel, Charlie, Penny, Toby, Honey, Promise... Then the yard shut down (has since reopened) so went to Chelsfield Riding School in Orpington. Loved it, and spent all my Saturdays helping out for free rides, then worked weekends there for a bit. Favourites there were Dougal, Dillon, Jessie, Lady, Thomas, Rhonwen, Merlin, Teddy... Only left when parents finally consented and found me a horse to share! :)
I learnt at Chesfield too and used to help out on Sundays. I remember all of those horses although my favourites were Rhonwen and Jessie.
 

Silvermiyazawa

Well-Known Member
Joined
7 July 2005
Messages
346
Woodacres, Old Edlington. Amazing there has been no one else in 28 pages. The highlight of any school holiday was the "day ride", hide and seek on the ponies in the wood in the afternoon.
 

DipseyDeb

Well-Known Member
Joined
24 January 2008
Messages
3,648
Location
Essex
Dear Park Stables in Blandford, Dorset. My favourite was a little chestnut called Copper. This was about 1977 but I can still remember it as if it was yesterday. It's still up and running now (I googled it) :)
 

Bradsmum

Well-Known Member
Joined
2 May 2011
Messages
999
Location
Made it to Wales
At the age of 4 I rode at White Owl Farm in Reigate on a little grey pony called Taffy. 4 years ago I bumped into Taffy's owners sister whilst I went to view a horse at White Owl! I later went to Mrs Thompson's in Newdigate where my favourite was Little Joe, Star and Blanco who my friend Nikki later bought. Great days.
 
Joined
28 October 2013
Messages
1,583
We're VERY lucky :) I started riding at home, 9 years ago, when I was four - our Mother & Father bought my little sister & I a pony for us to share, Lilly, and taught us to ride themselves. We still have the little pony, she's now 24, and my little sister now rides her, she's still an amazing spring chicken! We now have four more, used to be six, but the gelding was VERY naughty so had to go. I have my angel of a mare, Sunny, my Mother & Father have two lovely grey mares, Maria & Nasheeta & we have Hanna, our 36 y/o veteran/ companion mare, and of course Lilly! :)
 
Joined
3 May 2011
Messages
14
I had my first ever lesson at Blewbury stables in Oxfordshire run by Jane (Who I'm sure still runs it !!!), it cost too much so my mum sent to to Oday hill (called stonehill I think ?) In Abingdon, the riding lessons were awful, I even remember riding a lame horse where I rode for years until eventually going to another riding school in Cholsey, can't remember the name though, I rode there for around a year before going back to Blewbury. Years later I bought my own horses.

The place was nice although a bit shoddy.

I really miss old riding stables.
I rode at blewbury, Jane does still own it! And I also went to the one in cholsey, it was called East end farm riding school, a lady called Kate used to run it! ☺️
 

MissMistletoe

Well-Known Member
Joined
17 September 2007
Messages
853
Oh gosh I went to Bridle Path lodge when I was a kid on Holiday at Lyme Regis - late 80's I guess. Spooky was my fave! I also used to ride Bobby but he scared me a little!

I also know most of the riding schools in Epping forest, used to livery a horse at the place which was Chrystal Brook years ago. . I learnt to ride at Aldersbrook. I can still name all the horses and ponies they had over about a 10 year period! The first one I rode was Laddie but my favorite was Thumper. I also rode a lot at Alderbrough Hall - again I could still name most of the horses I think. My fave was Star. Also Rode at Suzannes as an Adult until Julian sold up - which was very sad in my opinion he had some really good horses.
How lovely!

Spooky was such a sweet little pony, but sadly I think he was involved in an accident and passed.
I learnt to canter on him :)
 

concorde

Well-Known Member
Joined
6 November 2008
Messages
154
I rode at Trent Park , North London in the early 70's
I remember whole hours lessons without stirrups with Keith Beaven. I can still do rising trot with no stirrups easily !
My favourite horses were Atlas and Magic. I have just googled Trent park and pleased to see it is still going strong
So many old favourites on this thread have become housing estates.
 

Haphazardhacker

Well-Known Member
Joined
2 June 2013
Messages
740
Location
Buckinghamshire
I learnt to ride at a stables that must have been somewhere near Alnwick, Northumberland. Can't remember much as I was tiny at the time, but I can remember a really long track there, with many pot holes. My first ride was Barbie, the most beautiful roan :)

After a break I then picked riding back up at Sharna Riding Stables in Buckinghamshire. Loved, loved, loved that place! My fav was Mr Tash, I can also remember Jake, Alpha (plus foal!), Foxy Lady (the bane of my life, taught me to tack a fly kicker up!), Whisper .... some massive bay horse that hardly fit in it's stable, and a chestnut with an amazing long mane who used to go for anyone who walked past his stable but was an angel for his disabled owner!
I learnt to ride at Shana in the 90s. First rode Pidgeon when I was 7 then had regular saturday morning lessons and then joined their "Pony Club" which was an hours lesson followed by an hours lecture, learnt so much on horsecare, then would spend the whole day there as a pony helper. Would spend the summer holidays up there too, such happy memories. I remember Mr Tash he was everyones favourite :). Also remember Pidgeon , Gemma,Chunky, Tango , Polo, Puzzle , Double Puzzle, Ziggy, Mandy, Tosca,Navigator, Limerick, Shana,Murray, Sadie (my friend bought her), Kirsten, Noddy,Charlotte and many many more. I remember when in 1996 some ******** let the horses out (most lived out during the week in fields up the road a little) and Tango and Chunky collided with a car and were killed, still upsets me now thinking about it.
I had Cathy as an instructer at first then has Wendy for years. Also remember Meta (lovely Scandanavian (i think) lady) who had a lovely dressage horse. Diane who ran the shop and obviously Jo, who I think is still in the area as pretty sure I heard she was still driving horses recently. As learnt to drive after a nasty accident.

Loved that place and it makes me a bit sad that riding schools arent the norm these days it seems or as commonplace as they used to be.
 
Joined
5 December 2014
Messages
14
Location
Cornwall
Playmates Children's Riding School in Cheltenham back in the 90's. Think I rode Minstrel (cheeky bay gelding) a few times. I do remember there being a bay called Spider, who no one liked, and Marmaduke who was chestnut.
 

xgemmax

Well-Known Member
Joined
5 November 2012
Messages
966
Location
Kent
I started riding when I was about 10 at Callum Park riding school near Sittingbourne, kent, anyone else ride there? I was there from around 2002-2007/8 roughly?

Rode Stanley in my first lesson and remember a few of the others - Bill, Jack, Rosie, Charlie (little shetland) Bonne, Bonnie, Lollypop, Cinderella, Blue, Henry, Hermes, etc!
 

Pippity

Well-Known Member
Joined
3 February 2013
Messages
2,657
Location
Warrington
I started at Bowfield Country Club near Paisley, from around 1984-86. I have fond memories of two little greys, Bosun and Major, and not-so-fond memories of a bay roan called Rupert who used to bite a lot! Bowfield's the only school I've ridden at where they insisted on rinsing off a pony's bit after it had been ridden, and it's really stuck with me. Bits get rinsed after every ride, and get a weekly scrub with toothbrush and toothpaste!

After that, we moved down to Warrington and I rode Bramble and Pinx at Mrs. Madden's, and Sparky, Cloud, Meg and Roddy at Croft. (Cloud was my absolute favourite, but seemed to spend more time lame than sound.)
 

spannahw

Well-Known Member
Joined
26 July 2006
Messages
75
I learnt to ride in the grounds of Stowe School - fabulous :D I cannot remember the lady's name who ran it, but 'Sylvia' rings a bell.
I too learned at a little stables at Stowe and rode in the grounds of the school. Wonder if it was the same place? I was about 4, but would have been '77 so a tad after you. I think it was a brother and sister who ran it - Mary and Theo(?) at that time. Often think of it - riding over the bridges and past the busts!
 

fabscd

Well-Known Member
Joined
3 March 2005
Messages
305
My first ever proper riding lesson was on a grey pony called Obleo at Linda Cannon's place, White Lane Farm in Albury, after that i learned to ride at Wix Hill in Horsely in Surrey. Still have very fond memories of being there and all the ponies. I went back just over a year ago because i have friends who livery there. It's the same but different! Very smart these days! I also keep my horses near White Lane Farm so ride past it every couple of weeks.
 

asmp

Well-Known Member
Joined
13 March 2010
Messages
2,770
I learnt to ride on ex-racing ponies in Brunei, Borneo. They were right little s*ds. I used to spend most time on the floor and my sister complains to this day that she always ended up riding my one back because I'd fallen off again. Rode on miles of beaches though (unless pony decided to roll in the sea!)
 

Emby

Well-Known Member
Joined
15 June 2011
Messages
75
I was hoping someone would mention the riding school I started at in the early to mid 70's. I don't have a clue what it was called and the land where it stood is now a huge housing estate. It was in Ipswich, the Rushmere/kesgrave area and we used to ride over Rushmere Heath.
I started off on a lovely iron grey pony called Smokie then 'progressed' to a grumpy chestut mare called Gypsy. My friend used to ride a grey called Cola and I remember a big coloured cob called Tara.
 

Deltaflyer

Well-Known Member
Joined
1 September 2014
Messages
776
I rode at Trent Park , North London in the early 70's
I remember whole hours lessons without stirrups with Keith Beaven. I can still do rising trot with no stirrups easily !
My favourite horses were Atlas and Magic. I have just googled Trent park and pleased to see it is still going strong
So many old favourites on this thread have become housing estates.
I had a jumping lesson at Trent park once (I used to ride at Holly Hill and Gillian's where I worked for a while) and I rode Atlas.

I learnt to ride at Shana in the 90s. First rode Pidgeon when I was 7 then had regular saturday morning lessons and then joined their "Pony Club" which was an hours lesson followed by an hours lecture, learnt so much on horsecare, then would spend the whole day there as a pony helper. Would spend the summer holidays up there too, such happy memories. I remember Mr Tash he was everyones favourite :). Also remember Pidgeon , Gemma,Chunky, Tango , Polo, Puzzle , Double Puzzle, Ziggy, Mandy, Tosca,Navigator, Limerick, Shana,Murray, Sadie (my friend bought her), Kirsten, Noddy,Charlotte and many many more. I remember when in 1996 some ******** let the horses out (most lived out during the week in fields up the road a little) and Tango and Chunky collided with a car and were killed, still upsets me now thinking about it.
I had Cathy as an instructer at first then has Wendy for years. Also remember Meta (lovely Scandanavian (i think) lady) who had a lovely dressage horse. Diane who ran the shop and obviously Jo, who I think is still in the area as pretty sure I heard she was still driving horses recently. As learnt to drive after a nasty accident.

Loved that place and it makes me a bit sad that riding schools arent the norm these days it seems or as commonplace as they used to be.
When I first moved to Bucks from North London I kept my pony Moon at Shana for a while. I remember Shana, Navigator, Fella, Naja and Jana the two Haffies - mother and daughter, Nutmeg and Barclay and I often used to ride Cleo and Willow.
 
Last edited:

Pen

Well-Known Member
Joined
28 June 2010
Messages
257
First proper riding school I went to was Mary Ridpath's at Marsworth in Bucks. Lessons were 15 shillings an hour(75p). I can remember and picture the ponies I rode - Shadow, Splash, Honey and Horrace a dock tailed cob. Mary who died aged 94 in 2008, had a lovely gey gelding Chep who she bought from Chepstow sales. Funny how important things stick in the memory while other much more recent events are a complete blank!
 
Joined
8 June 2015
Messages
2
Pant Y Sais is where I first rode, first pony I rode was Rosie, tiny little Palomino..then think I moved onto Marcus, a chestnut gelding. I've also got a picture of myself on Cloud, and a fond memory of playing chase me Charlie whilst riding her and jumping two holes from the top of the wing whilst in trot lol
 

mytwofriends

Well-Known Member
Joined
11 June 2010
Messages
1,381
Location
SW
Abbots Lea RS in Willsbridge, near Keynsham (close to Bristol). My first mount was a fluffy pony called Nobby. That was around 1973 and an hour's lesson cost 99p.

The owner would hang out of the window barking friendly orders to the staff, fag hanging out of her mouth. Other ponies there were Gina, Marcel, Fury, Taggy, Sooty, Warwick and Lady (who was huge at 14.2).

Happy memories!
 

Tnavas

Well-Known Member
Joined
1 October 2005
Messages
8,480
Location
New Zealand but from UK
Radnage House Riding School late sixties/seventies. It was run by Pat Smallwood and we even had Gill Watson as an instructor.

Oh, for the good old days!!!!
I rode there too, on Venture, my favourite. Did my Stage IV and BHSI Stablemanager from there.

My first few lessons were at Cherry Meadows in Chesham, the Lodge Farm (Merlin was my favourite, followed by Elfin) at Little Chalfonts, then Brawlings Farm. I had my own horse by then.

Was so much fun being at the school, worked my butt off every weekend but never got the promised lesson.
 
Joined
12 August 2015
Messages
3
Hi. My name is Dennie and I attended Wright's Riding Academy with 2 of my sisters (Debbie and Darissa) in the mid 60's. We were young children from the USA. It's wonderful to read about your experiences. I remember Daniel Wilson exactly as described. Did anyone know instructor Irene? She rode a hunter. Does anyone remember the horse's name? Jackie was a teen and rode a moped in those days. She was wonderful to me. Someone described her as 'scared.' I wonder why. Is the academy still there?
 
Last edited:

laura_nash

Well-Known Member
Joined
17 July 2008
Messages
2,022
Location
Ireland
I first started riding at the Ilkley Riding Centre, near Ben Rhydding. I used to take the bus from Leeds, I had to change (at Otley I think?) so it took some time to get there. The only horse I remember there was Lorna, because my parents bought her for me as my first pony. I kept her at Adel Wood Equestrian Centre, run by Kim. I have loads of great memories from that stables. Kim kept a chipmunk in the office, and I remember arriving at the stables for a lesson and finally tracking her down sunbathing on the roof!
 

horsebenny

Well-Known Member
Joined
24 April 2012
Messages
201
I learnt when I was very small somewhere near Burgess Hill but I can't remember what it was called - when I was 7 we moved to Lincolnshire and I was bought a pony and basically had no formal lessons til I was in my late teens when my little sister started and we went to Mill Farm in Fotherby and we're taught by the wonderful Mrs Campion. Abi (my sister) rode Apple and then Robin and I rode Raven and then Jerry. Later I moved to Sussex and was taught at Burstow Park by the equally wonderful Sylvia Hart.
 

AmieeT

Well-Known Member
Joined
16 December 2013
Messages
4,330
Location
Over the rainbow 🌈
I started riding at the yard I'm at now, which isn't even really a livery yard let alone riding school. But a friend gave me about 3 half hour lessons when I first started loaning Red and I've been meaning to have some proper ones since (If anyone can recommend a RS in Bristol, I might actually get around to it... :S)
Nice thread revival!:D

I started at Leyland Court in Bristol, having nagged my mum for lessons after seeing the horses that lived over the playing fields near where I lived in Fishponds. First pony I rode there was an ancient, one-eyed black pony called Charlie (I think), also rode Scrumpy (my fave), Torkus, April, Campari, Rondini, Skittles (only did walk and trot, fast trot and really flat out trot!), Dougal the Fjord, and Kizzy. That bloody mare buried me more times than I care to remember! The cross-country course was terrifying.

I also used to ride at White Cat, can't remember much about it now, except if a pony stopped, you had to whistle to make it wee-and they usually did!
Haha yes I remember that all too well :D And it sounded so strange as everyone in the ride whistled at different pitches!
Was this a standard White Cat thing? I was very amused when my YO whistled at Red to make him pee one day, Red was kept on livery there. Have never personally met Paula, but I hear wonderful things about her :)
 
Joined
12 August 2015
Messages
3
Hi. My name is Dennie and I attended Wright's Riding Academy with 2 of my sisters (Debbie and Darissa) in the mid 60's. We were young children from the USA. Jackie was a teen and rode a moped in those days. She was wonderful to me. Someone described her as ''scared.' I wonder why
That should have read 'scarey' and not 'scared.'
 
Top