Whether you've just booked your first lesson, or you're a regular with us, here's everything you ever wanted to know about riding with Vauxhall City Farm.
Your First Riding Lesson
If you’ve just booked your first riding lesson with us then congratulations! This page should tell you all you need to know to make sure you’re ready for your first lesson, if you prefer you can download our Rider Information Pack.
If you haven’t organised a lesson yet, then just complete our Riding Enquiry Form and we’ll be in touch to arrange a booking.
New rider registration
Before your first lesson, we need to make sure that we have payment and all of your paperwork complete, so print the following form and drop it in to the farm:
What to wear/bring
Please wear comfortable trousers that you are able to move in and shoes with a small heel. No open toes, high heels, flappy clothing or skirts. Please keep all jewellery to a minimum.
Although we can provide storage for bags, we can’t take responsibility for any losses so please, no valuables.
We do teach in all weathers so do come prepared with a rain coat – not a poncho.
What to do when you get here
Please try to arrive 5-10 minutes before your lesson is due to start.
Once you have arrived on the farm please make yourself known to a member of the riding team who can normally be found on the horse yard. Staff will be in uniform with Vauxhall City Farm on their backs.
Once you have located a member of staff they will take you to have your hat fitted and direct you to the arena where you will meet your instructor and horse. If you have your own hat, please show it to a member of staff so we can check it is to the current approved standards.
Your first lesson
Your first lesson will be an assessment lesson on a schoolmaster with one of our experienced instructors. From there we can tailor private sessions to suit your needs and abilities as a rider.
For those who have never ridden before, you will probably start on the lead rein, learning the vital things like starting, stopping, turning left and right all in walk before progressing to faster paces.
Should you need to cancel or reschedule a lesson we require 48hrs notice. If you cancel or reschedule within 48hrs you will be charged the full lesson cost. For subsidised lessons, all lessons must be paid for as we cannot fill these spaces with another rider.
In bad weather we teach normally so do come dressed appropriately. If the weather is really bad we offer a stable management session as an alternative. We do not cancel lessons unless it is not safe to teach, at which point we will call riders to give notice.
Work with us
We are always looking for people to join our riding team. If you’re looking to get more involved then contact us or try the following links.
Our horse’s welfare is our top priority. We cannot operate without happy, healthy horses. Our horses are all regularly seen by a vet, a physiotherapist, a dentist, a farrier and a saddler. We also have annual inspections from the British Horse Society, the Association of British Riding Schools, and Lambeth Council who assess the horses’ welfare to ensure standards are met and to allow us to keep our approvals.
Our horses all have a maximum number of hours that they can work for each day and a maximum rider weight limit, and they all have a rest day every Monday. We ensure that our horses have a varied work routine including schooling, jumping and hacking (you may have even seen them having a canter in Hyde Park with our staff!). We also take them out to compete at shows. Our staff are all knowledgeable, experienced riders who facilitate our horses’ further education and to keep them safe and suitable for our clients.
When our horses are not working they are either turned out in the paddock or arena or are in their stables. When you visit the farm you will be able to see the horses but not go into the stables with them. We respect their need for their own space (a bit like a teenager’s bedroom) so try to keep the stable yard a quiet environment. We keep to a daily routine as our horses are happiest when they are settled and know what is happening. Everything about our daily routine is geared towards maintaining our horses’ welfare, from mucking out and grooming to tack cleaning and keeping the hay loft tidy, it all impacts on their health.
Our team have a wealth of experience from across the equine industry from competition yards to riding schools and backing youngsters to rehabilitation. We provide training for all of our staff for their BHS Stage exams and for RDA qualifications. We encourage our staff to continue with their personal and professional development within the equine industry and can often be seen attending BHS, Pony Club and RDA instructional days. Our teaching staff are all BHS qualified and experienced professionals within the equine industry.
Living in central London is a slightly unusual location for 10 horses, and they deserve a regular holidays. We send them away three times a year to a large field in Surrey where they transform from our well groomed riding school cobs into hairy muddy horses.
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