Here at Stag Lodge Stables we offer a huge variety of horse riding experiences in both Richmond Park and Wimbledon Common (both of which are literally right on our doorstep), along with structured lessons for those who want to ride on a regular basis. Of course, if you’re new to horse riding and would like to see how you take to it, you can join us for a one-off ‘taster’ session, and see how you get on (but trust us, you’ll be hooked…).
Whether you are looking for a sedate amble around the beautiful Wimbledon Common, or fancy a faster group hack through the bracken-filled expanse of Richmond Park (the largest open green space inside the M25) then we can cater for you. We offer one-to-one individual and group rides for adults from our Stag Lodge site at Robin Hood Roundabout on the A3, as well as lessons in our Stag Lodge 2 purpose-built, multi-arena site just down the road. In these Arena-based sessions we’ll help you to gain skill, knowledge and confidence, improve your posture and technique and develop horsmanship levels you possibly don’t even know you possess. We have more than 25 instructors and 70+ horses that we will allocate according to your ability and experience, making it a fun, safe and thoroughly enjoyable encounter.
Horse riding is not only fun, it’s a great workout for both body and soul – physically boosting the cardiovascular system and mentally easing stresses on the mind. You might think that the rider is not doing much exercise, but an hour’s ride can burn similar calories to a 30-minute jog or cycle ride – as much as 400-500 calories!
Who’d have thought it…a hobby that is not only totally relaxing and de-stressing but during which you also burn calories, lose weight, get fit and have fun. Beats the gym any day!
Why not pop in and see why horse riding for adults at Stag Lodge Stables is in such demand?
Horse riders of all levels can benefit from Lunge Lessons, but for the beginner it is the natural progression from a Pony Park Lesson or one of our popular 30/60-minute one-to-one lead-rein lessons.
Our Lunge Lessons take place in one of the six Arenas we have at Stag Lodge 2, where we offer a safe and enjoyable way to introduce the beginner to the art of horse riding. Lunge Lessons help to improve posture, balance, rhythm and will highlight problem areas and points of weakness. Even our most experienced horse riders occasionally use lunge lessons as a way to perfect their skills since they can be tremendously beneficial for all levels of rider.
A Lunge Lesson is one-to-one, with the Instructor in the Arena holding the lunge lead and in control of the horse while the rider performs a variety of exercises. Lunge Lesson courses run over a number of days or weeks. Typically, most novice riders will need anywhere from five to 10 Lunge Lessons at Stag Lodge Stables before they are ready to be ‘unclipped’ and go solo.
Lunge Lessons will help you:
- Learn to balance and follow your horse’s movement in walk, sitting and rising trot.
- Learn to maintain ‘position right’ and ‘position left, in order to remain upright and straight on the circle.
- Learn to develop feel for the horse swinging through his back correctly.
- Learn to feel the horse’s rhythm and how to use your momentum to maintain regularity in the rhythm.
- Learn how to use your body to ride resistant-free transitions.
- Learn how to regulate your breathing to promote relaxation in your horse and to maintain your ‘down connection’.
The Instructor maintains contact and control of the horse via a lunge line at all times. Confident rising and sitting trot must be reached before the client rides independent, off the lunge.
The next progression would be to move to Arena-based off-lunge Private Lessons at our purpose-built Stag Lodge 2 site.
Private lessons are individual 60-minute one-to-one lessons that take place in one of our seven on-site Arenas at Stag Lodge 2 or in Richmond Park. Perfect for the novice rider just off the lunge, these lessons are also ideal for the more advanced rider whose own needs and requirements determine the content of the session. We are sorry, but we do not offer 30-minute Private Lessons for adults.
Private lessons are also ideal for those wishing to build upon their riding skills or to progress towards a personal goal; regular private lessons can provide this development on a one-to-one basis, at a pace and level to suit the rider individually.
Initially a private one-to-one lesson will be off-lunge in an Arena at Stag Lodge 2 (Lunge Lessons must have been completed to progress to this stage). There is no commitment at this level – you can pay as you ride – but our most popular option is to buy a block of 10 lessons, as you then also get one free.
Once the Instructor is happy that you are confident and in control of the horse, you can progress to Ride & Lead in Richmond Park or on Wimbledon Common. Here, the Instructor rides alongside you, with your horse on a lead rope. Again, once the Instructor is confident in your abilities you can be unclipped and ride solo. Reach this point and you have accomplished a real milestone – horse riding solo through some of the most beautiful green space in London!
Private Ride & Lead
A Private Ride & Lead lesson is perfect for adult beginners or novices. This one-hour session runs from Stag Lodge Stables on the Robin Hood corner of Richmond Park, and is a great way to be introduced to horseriding, with absolutely no commitment. Your horse will be lead and controlled by the instructor (who is also on horseback) attached to a lunge lead as you wander the cinder tracks of the Park. This is available at any time during Stag Lodge Stable opening hours, and although it needs to be prebooked, that prebooking can be a quick phone call an hour before you arrive! So if you’re out for a walk and fancy having a go, call us or pop in and try it out…
Intermediate Private Hack
If you’re an accomplished or experienced rider and want to feel the wind in your hair and the thunder of hoofs below you, this is the perfect session. We’ll need to assess you first if you’re new to Stag Lodge Stables (you must be confident and comfortable in walk, trot and canter), and then just you and an Instructor will head out into the wilds for an unattached hack either on or off-track according to the dictat from the Park signage on the day. This is an ideal session if you wish to develop a specific skill such as road safety or confidence when riding in the open.
This session is perfect if you want to ride in Richmond Park with a friend, maybe to introduce them to the joys of riding. That friend need not be as good as you, indeed may even be a complete beginner, but in this one-hour session two of you will ride out with one Instructor. This can be two experienced riders accompanied by the Instructor, but riding unattached, or one experienced and one novice; in this instance the novice will be attached to the Instructor and you will ride at the novice’s pace.
The one-hour Group Hack raises the bar even higher in terms of fun-factor and multi-friend enjoyment – no wonder this is one of our most popular rides. A minimum of three, maximum of 8 experienced riders will head out with one (or possibly two) Instructors to enjoy the beauty of Richmond Park or Wimbledon Common (it’s amazing how this lovely scenery looks different from up on horse- back). We are also able to provide mixed ability hacks, where the ride can spilt if more advanced riders want to have some canters. This is perfect for work parties or hen dos! The Group Hack heads out generally every weekday (Tuesday to Friday) at 10am, but it must be booked in advance.
Advanced Group Hack
Just like the weekday Group Hack, this offers experienced riders the chance to enjoy mounted leisure time in the finest surroundings. The difference is that this is on a Saturday morning, setting out at 8am, and it lasts for an hour and a half. Track up to Pen Ponds on a misty morning for one of the finest views in London, or maybe crest the brow of Dark Hill to get a different perspective as the rising sun pierces through Broomfield Hill Wood. Again, the Advanced Group Hack must be booked in advance. Please note that we cannot allow you to join this ride without a one-hour private assessment first. This is for your own safety.
What better way to unwind after a stressful day at work than joining us on one of our fantastic Pub Rides through Richmond Park and Ham Common? We head out every Wednesday evening in the summer months for a couple of hours (usually starting at 7pm).
The Pub Ride starts from Robin Hood Gate and winds its way through Richmond Park with breathtaking scenery and long canters en route to one of our two favourite watering holes… You might drop down the hill from Queen’s Road/Pembroke Lodge for a snifter at The Dysart Arms on Petersham Road, or you’ll ride out of Ham Gate and onto Ham Common where a refreshing shandy at the New Inn pub will set you up for the journey back to the yard.
If you are a new rider with us you will need to take a Private Hack first so that we can assess your riding ability. You must be confident in all areas of riding to join the Pub Ride, particularly as there are some exhilarating canters along the way. This is a very popular ride and great fun, so please book early!