Growing up around horses, I have always wanted my son to learn about these beautiful animals and when I heard that Newham Riding School was reopening for lessons from the 3rd of April 2021 – we decided to go check it out.
The Docklands Equestrian Centre is located in a retail park in East London and is home to Newham Riding School a BHS affiliated and ABRS approved school which offers lessons to riders that are both disabled and able bodied. Lessons start from age 5 but children can come on a Saturday and Sunday between 1pm and 3pm for pony rides which cost £1 per lap of the arena.
On arrival, we parked on site (there is some parking available) and went on to purchase our tickets from the main reception (opposite the main arena). We went for 2 laps to start with as I was not sure whether my son would be scared of the horses. This cost us £2. Riders are expected to wear long trousers and gloves as well as face masks. Young Riders must also be accompanied by an adult as they do their walk around the arena. Riding boots and hats are provided by the centre at no additional cost and a variety of sizes and fits can be found.
Once we were fitted with our hat and boots (we went for a long pair) we joined the queue and eagerly awaited our turn. The pony rides are not only on ponies – they have a variety of different horses that get involved and the volunteers were all very friendly, well-organised and generally a pleasure to be around – engaging with us and my son from the start. We were introduced to our horse and shown the correct way to mount and dismount.
Our first horse was quite large and we used the step to climb on. Holding on tight we did our two laps and the kid was keen to try some more – so we purchased another 5 tickets and joined the queue again to wait for another horse to become available. This time we were lucky to get to ride Eddy the pony who was adorable.
The whole experience was enjoyable and we will be returning again soon. Once this young Londoner turns five we will join the waiting list and begin our group lessons.
Newham Riding School offer all different types of lessons from beginner to advanced for all ages. Prices range from £10 [children] and £15 [adult] for half hour group lesson. They also hold Private Lessons which are more expensive. However, the times are more flexible and may prove more convenient. For availability and to book please call 0207 473 4951. Pony Rides run from 1pm to 3pm on Saturday and Sunday and are on a first come first served basis. For more information please visit the website: docklandsequestriancentre.com