Health and Safety

When you first start riding is it essential to have your own body protector?

It's not a mandatory requirement for new riders, but regardless of the activity, if you have access to a body protectory that fits properly (this is the reason we don't currently supply them, as sizes very tremendously), then we would always recommend you wear one.
Whilst our horses are fantastic, an excellent safety record, and strict rules in place, being a realist, it's a fact that horses are unpredictable in some circumstances, even a 20 year veteran can sometimes do things that are unexpected. For this reason, we don't allow clients to go Hacking or join Group Lessons until they've learned the fundamentals and gained essential experience in our Indoor Arena, which has a sand/rubber surface, which does mitigate the risk (in comparison with chalk/flint type ground found on Sussex's South Downs).
If you've never ridden a horse before, it's probably a good idea to have some lessons first, before making the purchase of a body protector. We supply hats as standard, but recommend you purchase your own after a couple of months if you ride regularly, the same applies to jodphurs and boots (we do have a limited stock of boots though).

What is a Rider Registration Form?

All new clients must fill in a Rider Registration form and have an Assessment lesson. This requires contact, medical, emergency contact details, it must be completed by the end of the your first Lesson with us. An instructor will fill in the final section as they will grade you on your current abilities.
This is by no means an exam, it's a Health and Safety requirement. We keep copies available on the premises, but if you wish to download, print and fill in one before you arrive you can get it here in pdf format. Available on the Left Navigation Bar.
You can download it here:

Your Age Limits/Restrictions

The following rules apply for young children:

Minimum Age: 4 Years and Over

Age 4: Horse/Pony Rides (led by a handler)
Age 5: Minimum Legal Age for Private Lessons
Age 6: Recommended Minimum Age for Private Lessons

There are 2 reasons we recommend children be aged 6 and over before starting Private Lessons.

  1. Most children will have reached a height where they can make meaningful input themselves (short children will have problems being able to squeeze and make contact with their legs, if they are not longer than the saddle).
  2. The teaching won't be wasted, younger children don't always understand everything that is being said to them, or they are often extremly shy and won't acknowledge a stranger. (although riding is a great way to increase someones confidence!).

Once children are 6 and older, these issues don't usually apply. So this is why we recommend age 6-7 for starting Private Lessons, however, everyone is different, we're willing to discuss to individual cases. But managements decision is final.

Proprietor S.M Hazelden - M.S.D.C Licence No 0506 (Mid Sussex District Council)

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