Frequently Asked Questions

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Frequently Asked Questions 2017-10-05T15:09:00+00:00
No, but we have limited availability for Non-Members and becoming a Member will guarantee that you can ride.
There is usually availability for Non-Members on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday or Friday. At weekends, all the horses are reserved for our Members, but occasionally there are cancellations and these may be offered to Non-Members who are experienced riders (levels 4-6).  Our ride and lesson times are 09.00, 10.15, 11.30 and 14.00. Weekend cancellations for Non-Members are more likely during holiday periods i.e. December, April, July/August.
If you haven’t ridden with us before, we will ask you to tell us about your riding experience by using the assessment guide. In the interests of safety, we usually consider it necessary to recommend either a private or a semi-private lesson for people riding with us for the first time, particularly if they are a bit rusty or perhaps a little nervous. We can then work out a suitable lesson programme for you or, if you are an experienced rider, advise you on which horses you are likely to enjoy riding.
Every lesson takes place on Wimbledon Common, allowing riders to absorb the wonderful scenery even while they are learning. Beginners and novice riders are taught on the tracks, usually with a mounted Instructor, either leading them or riding beside them if they are able to ride off the lead rein.

Experienced riders enjoy a short hack to one of the two all-weather schooling arenas in the heart of the Common, offering the ideal opportunity to warm up for the lesson and bond with their horse. The ride home is a perfect way to cool down and relax after the workout. Riding in the open also offers fantastic opportunities to experience what real riding is all about – and the varied work makes for much happier and more content horses.

If you’re a complete beginner, or if you have lost your confidence, we recommend learning the basics on our horse riding simulator. The life sized simulator replicates a perfectly trained and is a very safe and effective way to learn to ride.   Your Instructor will guide you through the walk, trot and canter paces and ensure you understand how to increase, decrease pace and steer the horse and will also learn about general horse behaviour which is invaluable in helping you to understand these wonderful animals.  We recommend at least two half hour sessions or a one hour session to start until the rising trot has been mastered.  Simulator lessons are available 7 days a week including weekday evenings.
Our semi-private lessons, which are very popular with couples, are the perfect solution but they are only available to riders level 2 and above.
Yes, as the riding courses take place on weekdays they are open to Non-Members (see Riding Courses). Our wide selection ranges from courses for Beginners to courses for Advanced riders and from Dressage instruction to preparation for British Horse Society Stages One and Two. We also hold a variety of horse care workshops and evening courses (see Horse Care Courses) which Non-Members are welcome to take part in, subject to availability.
Our one hour rides and lessons take place on Wimbledon Common and our two hour rides venture into Richmond Park. The group hacks are for experienced riders only, riding levels 4-6 on our Riding Levels chart. There are usually fewer than four riders in a group.
We will always aim to provide a mount commensurate with the rider’s ability to help ensure complete safety. We have a fabulous selection of horses and ponies from which to choose and, if you have a particular favourite, we will do our best to let you ride him or her. However, it is a good idea to experience different types of horses and, who knows, your perfect partner could be in the stable next door.
We will always try and accommodate the wishes of Non-Members, but our Members will have priority in booking specific instructors.  However, all our instructors are experienced and will be able to provide a safe and enjoyable experience.
If you would like to book a ride with us, or if you are thinking of becoming a Member, you can check availability by either telephoning the office (020 8946 8579) during our office hours which are Monday 10.00 to 12.00 and Tuesday to Sunday 08.45 to 12.30 and 13.45 to 15.00 or e-mailing the Ride Enquiry Form.

When we have confirmed availability we will require the full payment for the ride in advance as confirmation of the booking.

Please note that regardless of the reason, 48 hours’ notice for cancelling rides is required otherwise the full fee is payable. Regrettably there is no exception for illness.

We have a weight limit of 14 stone/89 kilos. We ask you to advise the office if you have any health issues that may affect your riding.  Minimum age is eight years.
We recommend that clients invest in at least the basic riding wear, which will enable them to ride in comfort. While riding hats can be initially borrowed from us, once you have decided to ride regularly at WVS, it is important to have your own hat professionally fitted to ensure maximum protection. Footwear needs to be of a sturdy construction with a smooth sole and small heel to prevent your foot slipping through the stirrup. We are able to lend hats, boots and chaps to those who do not yet have their own. For those without jodhpurs, full-length stretchy trousers are an adequate substitute, with long thick socks for extra protection.

We ride out in all weathers so it a good idea to have some warm, waterproof clothing for cold and wet days. Please take a look at our SHOP page for details of all the nearest shops that sell riding clothes. You can also buy our very reasonably priced special WVS clothing (sweatshirts, t-shirts, jackets, etc) on-line from Emblazon.

If you have not been to us before, please arrive at least 20 minutes before your Introductory Session to enable one of our team to welcome you, assist in completing a new Rider Registration form and fit you with a hat and boots if necessary.  (In the interest of the horse’s welfare it is essential that you are completely honest about your weight and for your safety, please assess your riding ability accurately).

Otherwise, it is a good idea generally to plan to arrive at least 10 minutes before your riding time as we do follow a punctual timetable. If you arrive late you will miss your ride and may not be offered an alternative. Please note that mounting and dismounting is included in the duration time of each service as quoted on our Price List.

As horse riding is an outdoor activity we continue to ride in all weathers and so it is a good idea to invest in some warm and/or waterproof clothing, as appropriate. During extreme weather conditions when it may be unsafe or uncomfortable to ride outside, we supply interesting, practical on-the ground sessions as an alternative.
While horse riding is recognised as a risk sport, you can be assured that we take your safety very seriously. We have an exemplary safety record but it is also important to be aware that horses are large, sensitive animals that can behave unpredictably at any time.
  1. I understand that riding at any standard has inherent risk and that all horses may react unpredictably on occasions.
  2. I may fall off and could be injured.  I accept that risk.
  3. I understand that instructions are given for my safety and I agree to follow instructions given to me by staff and instructors at the riding school.
  4. I reserve the right not ride a horse allocated to me and may request a change of instructor.
  5. I understand that wearing an appropriate  riding hat and body protector may reduce the severity of an injury should an accident happen and agree that I will always wear a riding hat that meets current British Standard whilst riding, leading and grooming horses at the riding school.  I understand it is my choice whether or not to wear a body protector.
  6. I understand that the riding school will make decisions based on information I give them and agree to always be honest and volunteer information about:
  7. My abilities and riding experience
  8. Any previous riding accidents
  9. Any medical condition(s) which may affect my ability to ride
  1. I understand that children are at particular risk around horses and agree that I will keep children that I am responsible for, under close supervision when they are not being instructed by the riding school.
  2. I understand that the riding school may refuse my request to ride for safety or operational reasons.
  3. I understand that competing carries enhanced risk over and above the general riding and agree that if I choose to participate in any competition or events, it is up to me to ensure that I have the experience and ability to ride the course including any jumps which may form part of it.  If I am in any doubt, I will use my judgement and experience and not enter.
Visitors are welcome to come and look around the stables but there are periods when there are few horses in the yard as all our rides and lessons take place on the Wimbledon Common. We are open from 09.30 to 15.30 Tuesday to Sunday. We try to discourage visitors between 12.45 and 13.45 as this is the time that the horses (and Instructors!) rest for lunch.

We suggest that you phone us first so that we can make sure that someone is here to show you around, particularly if you would like to talk to a member of staff to learn more about us. Please note there is no parking at the Stables.

No but there are so many pubs, cafés, restaurants and bars very close to the stables, that you will find it hard to choose which one to go to!
Yes we have a w.c./changing room that you can use.
Yes, it is very easy. We are about a five to 10 minute walk from Wimbledon Mainline and underground stations and we are on bus routes 93, 200 and 493. See Our Location
There is no parking at the stables.  The nearest pay and displays are in Lancaster Gardens, Marryat Road, The Green and The Grange.  (Note pay and display on Wimbledon High Street is maximum one hour).  The nearest free parking is a short walk across the Common on The Causeway, West Place, Westside or Chester Road.
Anyone who loves riding will appreciate a Wimbledon Village Stables’ Horse Riding Gift Voucher. We can supply vouchers for a variety of horse riding activities including: Membership of WVS (Gold, Silver or Associate- subject to availability), Non-Member rides and lessons on weekdays only, Private riding lessons on weekdays only,  Weekday short courses including ‘Learn to Ride in a Day’, Workshops and Evening horse care courses.

Vouchers are valid for six months from the date of purchase.