Thursday, 11 August 2011

Riding at Marros Farm

I have to admit I've resisted the clamour for riding lessons from my two little girls before now. Mostly it's because of the cost and also with three ponies of our own I felt it was a matter of waiting until the girls fitted the ponies rather than forking out for them to ride other people's equines.

But then Pony magazine carried vouchers for £5 off for new or lapsed riders to have a lesson at their local ABRS riding school and suddenly it seemed a good idea for the summer holidays.

(Left to right) G9 and Beau, H9 and Tally, R7 and Dylan.
I took the three girls (and my mum who had seen me through all my pony riding days) to Marros Riding Stables in south Pembrokeshire. The lesson was efficiently arranged by email. I told them the size and ability of the girls and helpful staff recommended a combination session - half an hour of lesson in the indoor school followed by a half hour trek. The price (£22 each) included hire of boots and hats. If you take your own hat they check that it is kite marked. Safety, here, is taken seriously.

Then the girls and the two other riders were taken into the school to meet their ponies. The latter were standing in a line, parked side by side down the centre of the school. Not tied up, just ready and waiting, ears pricked, for the lesson. That was impressive. Any pony quiet enough to be 'parked' like that is quiet enough for your precious child to ride.

G9 was riding Beau, a pretty chestnut mare, Hannah was on Tally, a little bay, and Rosie rode Dylan, the spitting image of our own Bullseye, who proved to have the one speed, slow, which was as it should be for a complete beginner.

Parents watched through the windows of the cafe which overlooks the indoor school, as the instructor explained the rudiments of riding, including stopping and steering (in and out of traffic cones) and then everyone had a go at trotting.


The hack part was a loop along a track around the riding stables. It was the perfect confidence-giving session and none of them wanted to get off their ponies when the hour was up.

They want to go back again, of course they do, and ride the same ponies, which may or may not be possible. The staff at Marros Riding Stables are friendly and fun. They take safety seriously and they know novice riders are going to feel nervous. They were experts in taking the absolute beginner and giving them confidence. I'm pretty sure we'll be heading back for another ride before the end of this summer holidays.

8 comments:

  1. Sounds like such fun. Especially on Summer holidays. Glad you got the girls in. It will probably make riding your horses a lot easier, when the time comes.

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  2. I remember when our daughter had riding lessons, sounds like yours are going to a great place.

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  3. WISH we were closer as it sounds perfect for Daughter who is THICK into ponies. x

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  4. Having been riding this morning for the first time in 20 years I can say that your stables sound perfect but agree riding lessons are rather more dear than they were or at least so it seems. Am so glad the girls had fun and crossing fingers thaey do again...I am!

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  5. This brought back memories - riding was a big part of my childhood but like you it was a question of having (usually other peoples) horses and learning to ride was a question of getting on (no saddle, bridle, hat or anything) and falling off, usually into nettles. I modelled myself on the plains indians I saw in cowboy films and, yes, I could do a rising trot, without saddle or stirrups and just the grip of my knees.

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  6. That sounds a very good riding school. I`m sure your girls loved their rides and will be even more keen to try the ponies at home. I had my first riding lesson aged seven and I still love being with horses, about half a century later!

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  7. Hmmm, on the plus side, G9 absolutely loved the experience and Beau of course. On the negative side they ARE all going again - so I need another job, or G9 does.

    Thank you though. xx

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  8. Wow - it's been a while and your blog has had a fantastic facelift, loads of pages and clever copyright thing on the photos - I must look in to that. All fab, have read the last few and just love it all. We were in Dorset recently too, lovely part of the world. And no rioters. xx

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