How do I get to Springhill stables?
There is a section of the webpage devoted to this. Your rep does NOT organise transport for the stables, but will detail if there is a driver in the lesson. It is your joint responsibility to arrange a time and place for collection, and you need to pay your driver £2 for petrol. Please try and remember this as drivers may feel uncomfortable asking you for money. Please also try and be considerate by arriving in plenty of time (the driver will leave AT THE SET TIME), by not smoking in other people’s cars, by wearing your seatbelt at all times (a legal requirement in the UK) and by not expecting your driver to take you well out of their way, unless previously arranged.
How do I pay for my lesson?
Via bank transfer- see payment page
How do I know which lesson to sign up for?
Please see the ability descriptions below. If in doubt, sign up for the lesson BELOW your estimated ability level where possible. This ensures that you and the other people in your lesson get the most out of your training. If you are NOT a novice, please DO NOT sign up for the evening novice slots on a Monday and Friday without discussing this with Fiona.
Why don’t I ever get space on a lesson?
The lesson sign ups go out at the same time each week (between 9 and 9:30 on a Friday morning, unless there has been a hold up at the stables). Spaces do fill up quickly so the best way to get a lesson is to be on your emails at this time! Lessons are filled on a first come first serve basis, with team members waiting an additional 24 hours after sign up opens to sign up for additional lessons, to ensure fairness for all members.
How can I join the novice team?
Applications and trials for team open at the start of the academic year, with a possible opportunity to join at the start of the Lent term, subject to trial/assessment/previous squad members commitments.
Why are there different amounts of lesson spaces each week/Why can’t I ride at the same time each week?
The university riding club have a wonderful arrangement with the stables whereby we take the lesson spaces not filled by outside riders at a reduced rate. Therefore, the lesson spaces taken by them are not available to us, and the amount of space in each lesson is determined by the other ‘outside’ people who sign up first.
Why don’t we have evening/weekend lessons?
The university riding club have a wonderful arrangement with the stables whereby we take the lesson spaces not filled by outside riders at a reduced rate. Therefore, the lesson spaces taken by them are not available to us. Additionally, many of the horses at the stables have sharers who rider them at the weekends and in the evenings.
Why don’t we hack (ride outside the school/into the fields)?
Because we share our lesson spaces with non-university riders, we have to respect what they want to do in the lesson. Additionally, the ground around the stables is very heavy clay, which makes getting the right ground conditions for hacking very difficult. Added to this is the fact that only some horses are able to hack out, and only some riders are at a level where this would be safe. Rest assured, we do put on hacks whenever we can.
What do I need to wear for riding?
Clothes! Shoes with a small heel (no trainers) are best for starting out, and trousers which have a little ‘give’ in them (ie no tight skinny jeans). Jodhpurs can be purchased reasonably cheaply and, if demand is high, we can do a club order of riding wear. Hats are provided by the stables, but if you wish to buy your own then a number of online retailers and local tack shops will be able to help you. Again, if demand exists we could get someone from a local tack shop to do fittings and sales, or do an online order together. Most riders will wear boots and chaps, rather than long boots, and I would personally recommend this to the beginner rider as they are not only cheaper, but easier to get the right leg position with.
It is NOT recommended that you ever purchase a second hand riding hat, because if they have suffered a fall their efficiency is reduced. The riding club requires you to wear a hat which conforms to safety requirements.