Horse riding lessons are a great way for riders of any age, skill, or ability to get started with the sport. There are many excellent riding schools in Essex as well as throughout the UK.
Some horse riding schools are geared towards children and beginners, while others can help even the most seasoned rider improve. We’ve written a guide on how to choose a horse riding school you can check out. These are the most important factors to keep in mind:
- Facilities and offerings
- Equipment and gear
- License and Accreditation through the British Horse Society or the Association of British Riding Schools
Keeping these things in mind, we’ve rounded up nine of the best horse riding schools in Essex for you to check out.
9 Top Horse Riding Schools in Essex
Aldborough has been teaching riders of all skill levels for over 60 years. They offer group and private lessons for both adults and children. They have extensive indoor and outdoor training grounds and also help train students for their British Horse Society (BHS) exams.
Location: Aldborough Road North, Ilford, Essex
What’s unique about them: Young riders can participate in the Pony Club and access interactive lectures and events about horse care, showing, and riding.
2. Barrow Farm
For over 45 years, Barrow Farm has empowered people with disabilities and special needs to participate in riding. Through horse riding, participants can increase physical movement and coordination, learn new skills, practice concentration and patience, and develop coping skills.
Location: Highwood, Chelmsford, Essex
What’s unique about them: Barrow Farm operates with a network of enthusiastic and amazing volunteers, dedicated to supporting other people through horse riding.
Set on 72 acres of land, Chelmsford Equestrian Centre offers and extensive area for riders of all levels. Their lessons and programs cover everything from beginners with no experience to those who are preparing for dressage and show jumping competitions.
Location: Charlton Farm, Beehive Lane, Chelmsford, Essex
What’s unique about them: Chelmsford offers a Loan-A-Pony scheme for riders who love working with and caring for horses and want one to call their own.
Eastminster is a family-run riding school that’s been open since 1947. They have lessons for all ages and skill levels, both for small groups and individuals.
Location: Hooks Hall Farm, The Chase, Upper Rainham Road, Romford, Essex
What’s unique about them? Eastminster has a vibrant social calendar with dinner dances, quiz nights, barbeques, and discos!
One of the newer riding schools in the area (established 2004), Fletchers is a wonderful all-around riding school. They offer lessons for anyone ages five and up, with a large indoor and outdoor areas. In addition, Fletchers has access to 7km of off-road hacking around the farm in the Essex countryside.
Location: Rams Farm Road, Fordham, Colchester, Essex
What’s unique about them? There’s a lot going on here! From Pony Club to hacking and coffee mornings to holiday events—there’s always something to check out.
Foxhounds offers riding lessons for all ages in addition to a livery yard for personal use. They also have a fully equipped tack shop for you to pick up anything you need.
Location: Baker Street, Orsett, Essex
What’s unique about them? Foxhoud Riding School is part of the Pony Club and runs summer camps and own-a-pony weeks for children.
High Beech offers lessons for specific skills and experiences. For example, they have jumping or lunge lessons, flat lessons for beginners, and a “taster” session for those completely new to horse riding.
Location: Pynest Green Lane, Waltham Abbey, Essex
What’s unique about them: High Beech hosts 2-hour Pony Party’s to celebrate your child’s birthday! It’s a great way to learn how to care for horses, get some photo opportunities, and enjoy some cake.
Equicoat had the opportunity to speak with Gloria Taylor, the proprietor of High Beech Riding School.
1. How long has your riding school been active and what made you setup the school?
High Beech Riding School has been running for 53 years and the reason Gloria Taylor started it was her total passion for horses.
2. How many horses do you have and how many people pass through your school each week?
We currently only have 21 horses which is 10 less than our normal numbers since Covid. We have lost several horses over the last 4 years and as of yet have been unable to replace them due to cost and suitability, so the business has had to downsize a little, but we still see a good 250 customers mixture of children and adults through our door on average over the course of a week.
3. What is the hardest part about running a riding school?
It is all hard! But the biggest struggle we find is recruiting dedicated qualified staff.
4. What inspired you to start riding?
Gloria was born with a love of horses with no reason. Her parents didn’t ride, and it was a long time before they were able to afford a riding lesson for her.
5. What do you enjoy most about your job?
Being with the horses and seeing the pleasure they bring children and adults alike.
6. What would you suggest to help someone who is nervous of horses but still wants to learn to ride?
We have nervous people who are desperate to engage that come and take part in a hands-on activity prior to riding such as a grooming session or simply to feed the horses some carrots. From there a relationship is often born and the next steps can be taken for a slow walk-out or a led beginner lesson to help build confidence.
Runningwell has lessons for beginners to advanced riders who are looking to participate in dressage and show jumping events. They have indoor and outdoor space as well as off-road hacking, horse walking, and lunge area.
Location: Warren Road, Rettendon, Chelmsford, Essex
What’s unique about them: Runningwell offers Vita Floor therapy for your horse. It’s a vibrating floor system that is shown to aid in equine muscle development and help prevent injury.
Shopland Hall is a family run centre that’s operated in Essex since 1992. They have group, semi-private, and private lessons for adults and children as well as full and assisted livery services.
Location: Shopland Road, Rochford, Essex
What’s unique about them: Shopland Hall has a large caravan site and some glamping yurts available for your next holiday getaway.
As you can see, each horse riding school has something special to offer. We encourage you to check them out or have a visit to see what’s the best fit.
And if you’re looking to spruce up your wardrobe and get a new horse riding coat before going horse riding, check out the Equicoat. It’s designed to keep your warm and dry in any weather—the best option for horse riding in the Essex countryside!Related Categories: Journal