Horse Riding is a timeless sport, much loved by many men and women across Britain, throughout the centuries. As much as horses are adored as family pets or used for work, horse riding is also a great way to exercise and keep fit. Leoni and I were hugely excited to be invited down to Ellenwhorne Equestrian Centre in East Sussex to take part in our own horse riding experience.
The Equestrian centre was located down a beautiful country lane near Hastings, with a picturesque scenery of green fields as we pulled into the stable car park. We walked round to reception and were met by the friendly and enthusiastic staff at the centre, including Casper the dog who gave us the warmest welcome! We were introduced to our instructor for our private lesson and set out to meet the lucky ponies we would be riding.
First of all we met BJ, a beautiful skewbald cob who Leoni would be riding. He was a ‘BFG’ of the horse world and was very friendly, we thought it’d be a good idea to get him on our side before we mounted. Next, we went and got our hats fitted with the instructor ensuring that these sat correctly on our heads and weren’t going to wobble all over the place. She then went off to get Badger, the horse I was going to be riding (well maybe more of a pony, he was a bit small but still adorable!)
Our lesson was going to take place in the spacious indoor school and after mounting our steeds we set off around the track. Starting with the basics, our instructor ran through how to control, steer, stop and move forward on our horses. Learning it was one thing, but making our horses (who had a mind of their own) do it was a different story! We then learnt some steering exercises including figure of 8’s across the school and serpentine’s.
Time to pick up the speed a bit now as we moved on to trotting. We had to master the rising trot so we were in rhythm with our horses. As I have some previous riding experience, I was allowed to canter around the school; Badger however took a bit more persuading to move his legs a little faster, bless him! We had a great private lesson, and the horses were just the teachers we needed to develop our riding skills. They definitely deserved a massive pat and some carrots in their dinners. The horses were then untacked and taken back to their stables.
We want to say thank you again to Ellenwhorne Equestian Centre for letting us have so much fun and getting to meet some of your lovely horses! If you’ve always fancied a day playing ponies, you can purchase a one hour lesson here or a half day pony riding experience for the kids.