There’s no doubt about it—the UK is full of amazing places to go horse riding. And, on top of that, there are tons of excellent, high-quality horse riding schools where you can learn!
We’ve covered the best riding schools in Kent and Essex already, and now we’re tackling the big city. Yes, that’s right—London has some great horse riding schools for riders of all ages and skill levels. Just because you live in the city doesn’t mean you can’t get out in nature and enjoy this awesome sport.
If you haven’t yet, check out our guide on how to choose the best riding school first. Some things you want to look for include:
- Facilities and offerings—i.e., types of classes.
- Equipment and gear—both what they offer, and what you should bring yourself, like an all-weather riding coat like our Equicoat that’s made to keep you warm and dry
- Cost and price structure
- License and accreditation
But without further preamble, here are the 7 top horse riding schools in London, UK for you to check out.
7 Horse Riding Schools in London
With multiple awards under their belt, Wimbledon Village Stables is a well-known riding school that offers classes for riders of all ages. It’s a great way to get out of the city and enjoy the countryside around Wimbledon and in Richmond Park.
Location: 24 a/b High Street, Wimbledon
What’s unique about them: This riding school has an EQUICISE, which is a top-or-the-line simulator equivalent to riding a 15 2 horse. It’s a great way to train and practice skills for all levels.
Wimbledon Village Stables sat down with us and gave us some insight into their riding school.
1. How long has your riding school been active and what made you set up the school?
Wimbledon Village Stables opened in August 1980. It is a real family business, which I run with my sister in law, Caroline Stevenson, while three of our children work at the stables from time to time. We wanted to create a wonderful environment where clients can enjoy riding and, most importantly, where the best possible care is given to all the horses and ponies.
2. How many horses do you have and how many people pass through your school each week?
We have 28 horses altogether. We rotate them throughout the year between the stable yard in Wimbledon and a country yard in Claygate where they enjoy regular turnout in the fields. We have around 250 Members who typically ride with us at least once a week.
3. What is the hardest part about running a riding school?
It’s a big family so, from time to time, we experience changes such as staff leaving; we love our team, but sometimes a member of staff choses to move away or decides to seek a change in lifestyle. Clients also can move, start families or respond to other developments in their lives and we always miss them, as we do when it is time for one of our wonderful horses to retire, or an owner moves; it is always sad to say goodbye to good friends.
4. What inspired you to start riding?
I have loved horses from a very young age and was fortunate to be able to start taking riding lessons at the age of eight. From the very beginning I was hooked! I owned my first horse when I was 16 years old and, over the years that followed, I have been lucky to be able to compete successfully in show jumping, eventing and dressage disciplines.
5. What do you enjoy most about your job?
Happy horses and smiling happy riders! It is wonderful to see the pleasure that horse riding brings to our riders and I am fortunate to be in the saddle too, sharing the experience with our clients. Horses are incredible animals and the connection between horse and rider is hard to describe adequately. Horse riding can make you happy and feel positive, while also lowering your stress hormones – it naturally stimulates the production of serotonin, generating a sense of well-being. It is also good for fitness and balance. Horse riders are typically a social crowd and it’s great to see the friendships, often lifelong ones, that develop between our Members, prompted initially by a shared love of horses, often with people they would otherwise have been unlikely to meet.
6. What would you suggest to help someone who is nervous of horses but still wants to learn to ride?
A good start is spending time on the ground getting to know horses. At Wimbledon Village Stables, we have a fantastic horse simulator which is a wonderful way to introduce people to horse riding in a completely safe environment. It gives the feel of walking, trotting and cantering on a life sized horse and makes new riders feel more confident when they get on a real horse for the first time.
There’s nothing quite like an urban farm! Vauxhall is surrounded by high-rise buildings but still maintains it’s natural charm. Their purpose is to support children and disadvantaged people by working and interacting with the farm animals. They also offer a riding school; due to the urban location, it’s a small outdoor area and best suited for beginners.
*Note that at the time of writing, the riding school is temporarily closed, though there are plans to re-open. Please visit the website to confirm.
Location: 165 Tyers St., London
What’s unique about them: Vauxhall is primarily an educational facility, welcoming schools, and youth groups to the space to learn more about caring for animals.
The pony centre is a registered charity with a focus on supporting those with special needs, though all are welcome to attend classes. They also have a horse simulator experience for those who want to build skill and confidence in the safety of a classroom.
Location: Adjacent to Wormwood Scrubs, off Scrubs Lane (W12 0TY)
What’s unique about them: The pony centre takes both volunteers and interns or apprentices to help their mission and care for horses. It’s a great place to grow your skill while supporting a meaningful charity!
This horse riding school offers the full range of lessons and opportunities. You can be a beginner or as young as three years old, all the way up to BHS-accredited horse care and stable management courses.
Location: Robin Hood Gate, Richmond Park, London
What’s unique about them? Stag Lodge stables also offers both full and part livery service for your horse, depending on your needs.
Owned and operated by a registered charity, Newham Riding School & Association, this location offers riding lessons to local children, both disabled and able-bodied. There are group, private, and shared-private lessons to choose from.
Location: 2 Clapsgate Lane, Beckton
What’s unique about them? Volunteers who are 12 and older can earn points to put towards their next stet of riding lessons.
As a family-run establishment for over 30 years, the London Equestrian Centre has worked with riders of all skill levels and abilities. They own 34 acres of land, providing an excellent outdoor area to learn in.
Location: Lullington Garth, Woodside Park, Finchley, London
What’s unique about them: There’s an on-site café, Gee Gee’s, where you can get a hot drink and snack before or after your lessons.
A horse riding school with a powerful mission: “to use horses to raise the education, life skills, wellbeing, and aspirations of young people from disadvantaged communities within Lambeth.” They do this through horse riding lessons, trips and outings away from the city, volunteering, and youth work.
Location: 51 Millbrook Road, London
What’s unique about them: Staff and volunteers at Ebony provide group and one-on-one mentorship and support to help young people work through their challenges and build important life skills.
Horse riding is for everyone who wants to participate. And there’s a school out there that’s the perfect fit for you! These seven London horse riding schools show the diversity of programs and lessons available.
Take some time to consider your options, talk to each school, and get familiar with what they offer. Then, get out there and ride!
Before you do, though, make sure you have the right gear to be successful. Contact us for any questions about the Equicoat and if it’s right for you.Related Categories: Journal