Riding Lessons

Fun riding lessons for a range of abilities, with opportunities to progress skills or to simply enjoy the benefits of being around horses.

Riding lessons: at a glance

What are they?

Group or individual lessons learning riding skills

Who’s it for?

Individuals of all abilities


Improve posture, core strength, balance, communication and confidence

Other info:

We currently have a long waiting list for our riding lessons.

Our riding sessions are tailored to the abilities of the participants, with an emphasis on enjoyment! Participants take part in stimulating exercises and games designed to improve balance, core strength, communication, coordination, socialisation and specific riding skills.

Our large indoor school means we can ride in all but the worst of the British weather and we are also lucky to have access to the wider Gaddesden Estate which means we can take our riders into the woods and our specially developed sensory garden.

Please note:

We currently have a long waiting list for our riding lessons and, at the moment, we have a weight limit of 65kg or 10 stone due to the size of our ponies. However, our riding simulator can work with participants up to 100kg (16 stone).

“Where would we be without the RDA- physically its been amazing, emotionally its been supportive and the volunteers and horses are just incredible”

We also provide riding lessons for many local schools:

“The students at Weatherfield Academy have been benefiting from horse riding at Gaddesden Place RDA for over 30 years. We take students with moderate learning difficulties, mild physical disabilities and those with social, emotional and behavioural difficulties from Years 7 to 12. The instructors and volunteers at Gaddesden Place RDA make their experience what it is – a professional, well trained, caring, friendly, fun and altogether positive all round learning experience.

“Our older students in Key Stage 4 and 5 are also working on the nationally recognised ASDAN Towards Independence accreditation in Horse Care and Stable Management. Weatherfield Academy is looking forward to the next 30 years with Gaddesden Place RDA”

– Weatherfield Academy

If you work at a school and would like to know more, please contact us at info@gaddesdenplacerda.org.uk

“When she’s on Bramble it gives her so much confidence and we see her in a whole new light. It’s helped her with her posture, communication and social skills and it means the world to us.”

Get involved

Please note: due to very high demand and a current lack of pony power, we have temporarily closed our waiting list. This is so we can work through assessments and allocate rides in a fair and efficient way.

We will open our waiting list again very soon, please check back regularly if you would like to complete an application form to express your interest.

Once we have received a completed application form you will be asked to join our waiting list. When a potentially suitable slot with an appropriate pony has become available you will be invited to attend an assessment session with a qualified RDA coach. The session will begin with a short physical assessment off the horse and then you will be fitted with a riding hat and boots, and we will chose the most suitable equipment to use with your pony.

Please be aware that our waiting list is currently about 2 years and is dependent on lesson times and suitable pony availability.

We’re always very happy to hear from you, to talk things through both on the phone or in person, and guide you through the simple application process.

Simply email info@gaddesdenplacerda.org.uk or call 01442 246924 if you have a questions.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How long will my session last?

Lesson slots are 45 minutes. Riding lasts for a maximum of 30 minutes, including mounting & dismounting, and we allow time in between rides to sanitise tack. Other activities will vary up to 1 hour according to group size.

2. Are all disabilities accepted ?

We accept participants with a wide range of complex needs and disabilities. Our Centre Manager will discuss your application with you to determine if riding or other activities we offer will be beneficial. There are some contra-indications for riding which we will be happy to discuss with you on an individual case basis.

3. What’s the minimum age to ride ?

Our minimum age for participants is 4 years, but for Hippotherapy this can be lower – please enquire.

4. Payment and cancellation policy ?

For the first half term you ride you will be asked to pay each time you attend. Then, if both parties are happy to continue, you will be invoiced in advance for the whole half term. If you cancel any sessions payment will still be required. However, if we cancel your session for any reason you will be entitled to a replacement ride or refund.

5. Can I choose which horse I ride ?

The choice of horse or pony will be made by our Centre Manager and coaches.