Site last updated April 23, 2014
Children’s Riding Lessons
Why choose Wimbledon Village Stables for your child? As a parent it is very important that you make the right choice of riding school for your child. Wimbledon Village Stables is recognised as a leading London Riding Centre. We are a British Horse Society approved riding establishment, We are therefore required to operate to their high standards and in doing so have received two Certificates of Excellence. We are also approved by the Association of British Riding Schools.
Our fully trained instructors ensure that the children are encouraged to learn in a safe and friendly environment, whilst maintaining an element of fun, in order to build confidence. All of our instructors enjoy teaching and benefit from on-going training and development both in house and externally. They are all trained and qualified in first aid and have attended child awareness and protection courses. We aim to ensure that the children maintain continuity and familiarity with their Instructors and that they feel part of the WVS family. In the early stages children are always taken out on a one to one basis with a fully trained instructor either leading on foot or riding alongside them. This level of personal attention is reflected in the pricing.
We have a lovely selection of ponies carefully chosen for their quiet temperaments and their experience in developing the skills of junior riders. They each have their own individual personalities and children really enjoy getting to know them all.
All of our lessons take place on Wimbledon Common, about 250 metres from the Stables. With safety a priority, all children are kept firmly on the lead rein until they are strong, balanced and confident enough to ride independently. Older children who are more experienced riders can take lessons in the schooling rings on the Common where they can perfect their riding skills and progress to dressage and jumping. We ride in all weathers, however, in extreme conditions, such as thunderstorms, we may offer pony care sessions at the Stables as an alternative to riding.
What WVS offers:
Lead Rein Lessons (Riding Levels 1 – 2) From the age of 6 years children can take 1 hr lead rein lessons where the instructor will lead the pony and guide the child through the early stages of learning to ride. As they get older and their ability improves they can further develop their skills in walk and trot and, when they have sufficient balance, they can learn to canter.
Ride and Lead Lessons (Riding Levels 2 – 3) When children are riding with balance, co-ordination and confidence they can enjoy lessons with their Instructor leading their pony whilst riding beside them. This enables them to ride at an increased pace and venture further into the Common. When their instructor has assessed that they are strong and self-assured enough to control their pony independently they can ride off the leading rein and still enjoy the benefit of one to one instruction as their instructor rides alongside them.
Class Lessons (Riding Levels 4 – 5) Older children who are able to ride confidently at all paces in the schooling rings and on the tracks, can take part in class lessons with children of a similar riding ability. The lessons take place either in the schooling ring on the Common or alternatively they can have a training ride around the tracks on the Common. The classes usually consist of less than 4 riders which ensures that they receive dedicated attention from their Instructor.
Progress Awards We are very keen to encourage all our child riders to learn and improve their skills not only in riding but in all aspects of pony care. To assist this process, we have designed a series of Progress Awards, which are free for Members, towards which the children can work. The Awards also provide parents with an excellent way of monitoring their child’s improvement. The series of 8 carefully structured Awards are designed to make riding fun and encourage children to learn more about riding and ponies. They can be taken by children as young as five years old. Children are awarded a certificate and badge as each stage is passed.
Children’s Holiday Courses Our Children’s Holiday Courses are restricted to only 12 children and are hugely popular and therefore you are advised to book early. The Holiday Courses are aimed at children under the age of 10 with a riding level of 1, 2 or 3 including complete beginners. The three day courses run from Wednesday to Friday from 1.45-4.15. The children enjoy a riding lesson every day and also play fun pony games and quizzes. Most of all they relish helping to look after the ponies and, under close supervision; they are able to help with things such as grooming and feeding. On the last day of the course they are awarded a Certificate and a beautiful and coveted Wimbledon Village Stables Rosette.
If you would like you child to take part in one of our Holiday Courses please either e-mail or telephone the office to check availability. £130 Members, £170 Non-Members.
Wimbledon Village Stables has devised a Junior Membership scheme so that we can give priority to children who would like to ride with us regularly. Junior Members are guaranteed a time slot every week for a lesson and this enables us to ensure that children are always riding with others of a similar level of ability and experience and that they are able to develop their skills within their group with the benefit of having the same instructor.
Members also have the opportunity to take part in some of the extra events and activities that we organise for our riders such as our Members’ Horse Show, Sponsored Horse Ride, 2 hour rides and Dressage competitions. See the ‘What’s On’ page of our website for further information on all the events we have coming up at the Stables.
If a Junior members would like to take any extra rides then they can take advantage of the special discounted rates offered to Members and this also applies to the Children’s Holiday Courses. They can also take the Junior Progress Awards free of charge.
How to join We do not currently have any Junior Memberships available. If you interested in your child becoming a Member you can go on the waiting list by completing and returning the Junior Membership Enquiry Form.
Although we give priority to Members at all times we welcome children from the age of six years old to ride with us at Wimbledon Village Stables. We offer lead rein lessons, ride and lead and for older more experienced children, class lessons and hacks. There is usually availability to ride on weekdays but weekends tend to be fully booked by our Junior members. We occasionally have cancellations at weekends during holiday periods so it is worth getting in touch if you are visiting us from abroad or staying at home for the holidays.
How to book a ride for a non-member To make a booking please check availability by e-mailing or telephoning the office. Before we can take your booking we will need to know your child’s height, weight and riding experience (see Riding Levels). We take payment at the time of booking and accept most credit/debit cards. Refunds are only offered if 48 hours’ notice of cancellation is given.
GENERAL RULES Riding Wear: Pony riding is an outdoor activity and we ride in all weathers. We recommend that parents invest in at least the basic riding wear (riding hat, boots, jodhphurs, gloves) which will enable their child to ride in comfort in all weather conditions. A current BSI approved hat and boots with a heel must be worn and we are able to lend hats, boots and chaps free of charge to children who do not yet have their own. Please look at our SHOP page for details of all the nearest places that sell riding clothes and equipment. You can also buy our special WVS clothing (sweatshirts, t-shirts, jackets, etc) on-line from Emblazon.
Punctuality: In order to ensure that all rides leave promptly, children should arrive at least 15 minutes before the time of their ride. Anyone who arrives late will miss his/her ride and may not be offered an alternative.
Cancellations: Please note, for whatever reason, 48 hours’ notice is required when cancelling or rescheduling rides, otherwise the full fee is payable. Regrettably there is no exception for illness.
Safety: Whilst riding is recognised as a risk sport you can be assured that we take your child’s safety very seriously. We have an exemplary safety record but it is important to also be aware that ponies are sensitive animals that can behave unpredictably at times. Children must at all times follow all guidelines and instructions that we give in order to enjoy the maximum benefit from being in this wonderful pony environment.
- Junior Riding Levels
Never ridden or very little experience
Able to ride independently, rise to trot, learning canter
Able to walk, trot and canter but rusty or lacking experience
Confident in all paces in arena and on tracks
Experienced and proficient horse rider
- Junior M'ship Charges
Riding Levels 1-3
£210 per month includes weekly one hour private lesson
Riding Levels 4-5
£180 per month includes weekly one hour group lesson
Pay annually for Junior Membership and receive one month free!
Joining fee applicable on all memberships equivalent to one month’s subscription.
One months notice required to cancel any membership.
- Jr Non Member Prices
1 hour private lead rein lesson: £65
1 hour private ride & lead: £85
1 hour group lesson (Lev 4-5): £60
SATURDAY AND SUNDAY
1 hour lead rein lesson: N/A
1 hour ride and lead: N/A
1 hour lesson (Lev 4-5): N/A