Horse & Pony Riding FAQ
- How long will it take me to learn to ride?
- How many lessons will I need before I can go trekking?
- What do I need to wear?
- Do I need my own riding hat?
- How old do you have to be to learn to ride?
- I've ridden on holiday so can I go on a trek?
- I've had riding lessons at another riding school and can ride so can I book lessons with you?
- I've never been on a horse. Can I book a trek around the Water Park with you?
- I am experienced rider but my friend has only had a few lessons. Can we book a trek with you?
- How many people will you take out on a trek at one time?
- How do we find our way around the Water Park on a trek?
- Can we come for a day's riding activity?
- How many people are in a lesson?
- When are riding lessons and for how long?
- What days/times do treks go out?
- When do you take mini-treks out?
- Can we come for a donkey ride?
How long will it take me to learn to ride?
That really depends on how often you have lessons, how fit you are, how well co-ordinated you are and just what you want to achieve. If your aim is to learn to handle the horse and to be able to go on a trek then you need to be able to trot. Some people master rising trot in just 4 or 5 lessons. Others take longer. Adults generally progress faster than very young children. Being confident around the horses and ponies is a great help. return to top >
How many lessons will I need before I can go trekking?
A suggestion is to set your self a goal to be able to trek out on a walk trot trek after 6 or 7 lessons. Your instructor will guide you and give you feedback. Young children will, of course, take longer to be able to handle the horse without help from leaders on the ground. Some people might need more lessons before they can trot and feel confident on the horse. return to top >
What do I need to wear?
All riders need to wear comfortable leg wear. This might be jodhpurs, track suit bottoms or something in which the rider feels at ease. Jeans are permissible but may be rough and not able to stretch enough. Trainers are not allowed, nor are any shoes that are flat across the bottom. Boots, shoes or Wellingtons that have a slight heel, to catch the stirrup, are ideal. Body protectors are provided and hard hats are available for hire. For more information about what to wear, please look at the relevant section on this web site. Please note that jewellery should not be worn. This is for your safety only. return to top >
Do I need my own riding hat?
Whilst we do hire out riding hats, we also encourage regular riders to purchase their own hat. Riding lessons and horse and pony trekking are high risk activities and your safety is always of paramount importance. Your own hat is bought to fit you well and to provide you with the best protection. We can order hard hats for you that we sell at a lower price than you can purchase them in a saddlery. Please ask us for more information if you wish to order a hard hat. return to top >
How old do you have to be to learn to ride?
Dunton Stables is insured to take riders from the age of 4 years. There is no upper age limit. Children aged 4 years to 7 years are recommended to start in a half hour lead rein class where they have very close supervision and leaders who are on foot to help to ensure their safety. These lessons are booked in blocks of 4. return to top >
I've ridden on holiday so can I go on a trek?
If that is all the riding that you have done then we would advise you to have a few lessons first so that we can see that you can manage the horse and are able to sit and trot safely and correctly. Although our ponies and horses are well behaved, the trek is across open fields and around lakes so we need to know that you will be safe. We would discuss this with you so that you are clear about what is expected from you on a trek. You may decide that a mini-trek is more appropriate for you, depending upon your experience. return to top >
I've had riding lessons at another riding school and can ride so can I book lessons with you?
Yes, of course. However, after discussion with you we would place you in a lesson that we consider relevant to your ability and the instructor would assess you. At the end of that assessment lesson the instructor might well advise you to book into a lesson that he/she feels is more appropriate to your needs. return to top >
I've never been on a horse. Can I book a trek around the Water Park with you?
No. This would not be safe for you to do. If you simply want a one off experience, then we would guide you towards a mini-trek where you would be accompanied by an experienced leader on foot and this trek would be conducted in walk only. The alternative would be to have some riding lessons to build your skills and confidence before you book onto a walk trot trek. return to top >
I am experienced rider but my friend has only had a few lessons. Can we book a trek with you?
Yes you can, but please be aware that you will ride at the pace of the slowest and least experienced rider so that the group stays together and to ensure your safety. Your friend will need to be able to trot in order to come on the trek. return to top >
How many people will you take out on a trek at one time?
Unless we make special arrangements, the maximum number of clients on a trek will be 6. return to top >
How do we find our way around the Water Park on a trek?
All people on horse and pony treks are accompanied by an experienced outrider. The outrider will lead the trek, be informative and provide you with advice if needed. The outrider knows the route well and is there to help to keep you safe. return to top >
Can we come for a day's riding activity?
Yes. We provide a ‘Horse Experience Day' that includes a trek around Kingsbury Water Park as well as a trek to the pub for lunch. This riding is supported by other horse activities such as learning about the tack, grooming and tacking up and untacking your own horse for that day. We also tailor make riding and stable management sessions to suit individual needs. Please speak to us for more information. return to top >
How many people are in a lesson?
We aim to ride no more than 6 people in a lesson and only 4 in children's lead rein lessons. This is so that the instructor will be able to give you the attention that you need. Occasionally we do ask one of our staff to come into a lesson on a horse or pony but this will not interfere with the instruction that you are being given. return to top >
When are riding lessons and for how long?
Most of our group lessons take place over Saturday and Sunday. With the exception of children's lead rein lessons, they are booked at hourly intervals and you are guaranteed at least 50 minutes in the saddle. Lead rein lessons last for 30 minutes. We also deliver private lessons and beginners lessons at various times during the week to suit the needs of clients. Please ask us for more information. return to top >
What days/times do treks go out?
Generally, treks go out each Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday at 11.00 and at 2.00. Pub treks go out at times to be arranged with the clients. All treks must be pre-booked. return to top >
When do you take mini-treks out?
Mini-treks go out at 10.00 and at 1.30 on most days but must be pre-booked. return to top >
Can we come for a donkey ride?
Donkey rides are conducted at various locations around the Midlands. From Easter until October our donkeys provide children's donkey rides each weekend and during school holidays, weather permitting, at Kingsbury Water Park, Markeaton Park in Derby, Lichfield Park and Tamworth Park. We also hire out donkeys for special events. return to top >