Getting started with SevernvaleRiding horses is a fantastic experience that everyone should be able to enjoy, and the guidance set out in this booklet will help to keep you safe and comfortable while starting on your riding adventure.If you are looking for a pastime that will keep you fit in the great outdoors - horse riding is for you. It's a rewarding and exciting sport that anyone, regardless of age, ability or background can have a go at, as no experience is necessary. Moreover, it's easy to learn to ride at Severnvale, as the Centre provides lessons for someone who has never ridden before, to those that want to just 'brush-up', or to improve their riding skills.Furthermore, you don't worry about the weather or mud, as you can enjoy riding lessons that are relevant to your needs in the Centre's indoor and outdoor arenas. Also, we use carefully selected ponies and horses of differing abilities and sizes, so they are suitable for everyone, from total beginners to the more experienced rider.
"I started riding here a few months ago as a beginner and can't say enough about the staff, instructors and horses. I usually have lessons with Taylor but have had lessons with Nina, too, and they are both great - positive, encouraging, friendly and always end lessons with a summary of how we did and what we can work on. The best part of my week is my time spent here, it's a wonderful place to ride!”Marissa StephensonAugust 2019
A fantastastic experience
In this booklet•Our instructors•Getting started•What to wearoFirst things firstoHatoLong pantsoShoesoGloves•Types of lessons•What’s the cost?
An exciting sport for everyone - regardless of age
Severnvale's instructors are friendly and have a wide range of qualifications and expertise; as well as many years of practice of getting the best out of nervous adults and young children. Their main priority is your enjoyment and safety, and to make sure that you realise your riding ambitions.They have a wide range of qualifications, expertise and experience, including eventing at national and international levels, work with competition horses, knowledge of 'Intelligent Horsemanship', and a sympathetic understanding of the needs of the rider and their expectations.
Getting started on your first-time ride
If you are new, or relatively new to riding, and wish to book your first lesson at Severnvale, it is best to call into the office and discuss it with one of our instructors. We can then assess your riding abilities and personalise your lessons to your individual needs. It also provides an opportunity to discuss what to wear.If you cannot call into the office in person, then please book a lesson by telephoning the Centre.
What to wear
There is no need to worry about what to wear on your first horse riding lesson, as we don't expect a complete beginner to have all of the right clothes. But it is essential to have a rough idea of what to wear, and also to wear safe and comfortable clothing. When you make the arrangements for your first lesson with Severnvale, we will discuss this with you, as it is all about ensuring your safety and comfort and enjoying your first ride, which are excellent reasons why you need to know what to wear.
First things firstThe essential clothing you will need for your first ride is a comfortable top that allows your arms to move freely without fear of getting them trapped and comfy trousers. You should aim to wear thin layers when riding, as if too hot you will be able to take layers off, and if learning in cold weather you will be able to put extra layers on - being hot and bothered is not a comfortable way to learn to ride. Additionally riding, especially on a warm day, can work up a sweat, so bring a water bottle to stay hydrated throughout the ride.
Keep fit in the great outdoors
The one thing you must wear – over which there is absolutely no negotiating – is a riding hat. These comply with a British Standard system, and the various regulatory bodies of riding approve specific standards at any one time. The Centre has a range of riding hats of different sizes that are available to borrow during your lesson, so it will be possible to make sure that the one you use fits correctly.If you find that riding is for you, then a riding hat is a worthwhile investment as it could save your life.
An essential characteristic of the pants you choose to ride in is that they end at or below your ankles. Any comfortable pants should suffice, but you should aim to wear bottoms that are not baggy and not made from rough materials. Avoiding this type of material ensures the comfort of both you and the horse, as your legs will be on the sides of the horse and may rub if they are a rough material.As you progress, you may want to invest in a pair of good jodhpurs if you will be riding regularly.
What's the cost? The cost of each lesson depends on the qualification and skills of the instructor chosen, the type of lesson, and of course, whether it is one or half an hour in length. Lessons at the weekend are more expensive than those taken during the week. However, they can be paid for individually, or booked in blocks, at a discounted price. A Price List showing the cost of the range and period of the lessons that are given by the different instructors is available from the Centre. Additionally, when booking through this website, the cost of the various riding activities offered by the Centre is shown.
Footwear is one of the essential pieces of your riding attire. For your first ride, there are just a few characteristics your shoes or boots should have. The only absolute necessity is that your shoes must be closed-toed, as open-toed shoes allow the possibility of bare toes getting stepped on; and never wear anything like hiking boots because these are too 'grippy' and may cause your foot to get stuck.If you have safe, comfortable heeled boots, these would be an excellent option to wear, so long as the heels are short enough to keep the stirrup from sliding too far back on your foot. Also, if you are going to wear a shoe with laces, tuck in the laces as if left out, they can get stuck on your saddle.In due course, you may want to buy a pair of riding boots if you decide to continue riding.
Gloves may also be a good idea to take just in case, as it prevents rubs on your fingers and provides a sturdier grip for the reins: but these are not a necessity at this stage.
Types of lessons
Lessons can be 'Private', which means that you receive individual one-to-one tuition, or 'Semi-Private', in which case, two people share a lesson. For a first-time ride, you may prefer a 'Private' lesson.Alternatively, 'Group' lessons are available, in which three or more people take part, these groups are, however, usually kept quite small. There is also a 'Lead Rein Group' for very young riders.