Saddle-up Toolkit


Returning to the saddle? Don’t worry, not much has changed. Returning to riding might feel a little daunting right now but once you’ve found the right horse and the right centre to help you on your way, it’s amazing how quickly it’ll all come flooding back.

Find what’s right for you

It’s really important that before you start riding you find what’s right for you – this might be finding a centre that provides a certain tailor-made programme, offers a certain facility or offers specific sport coaching from a qualified UKCC coach.

Have a look at our guidelines on what to look for:

A refresher course on what they’re talking about

If you want more information about what specific terminology means before you go on your riding experience, or after you get back, visit our jargon buster which will provide you with easy explanations to those sometimes confusing expressions you might hear > Find out more

A great way to stay in shape

Riding is a great way to get fit and exercise whilst having fun. It strengthens your core body muscles and will tone your bum, tum, legs and arms – a relaxing cardiovascular workout!

> Learn more about the health and fitness benefits horse riding brings

No horse? – No excuse!

Don’t have a horse but want to give riding a go? That’s fine! The majority of riding centres and schools provide horses for you to use for your lesson or session. If you’re unsure whether they do provide horses then why not give them a call before your visit to double check.

There’s no such thing as a ‘dress code’

Shoes/Footwear – if you have riding boots then that’s great, if you don’t then there’s no need to worry – a pair of boots with a small heel will be fine, try not to wear shoes with laces as these could get caught and try not to wear trainers as they don’t provide a great grip in the stirrups. Some riding centres may provide riders with boots so do check before you go.

Jodhpurs – jodhpurs are optional; it would be recommended to wear trousers without a seam if possible to avoid any discomfort; it's recommended that jeans shouldn't be worn

Riding hats – hats should be provided by your riding centre and should be fitted by a qualified instructor before you mount the horse

Winter weather – make sure you wrap up warm when you go riding; a jumper or a waist-length coat is always a good idea for those wintry days

Body protectors – these are recommended for all horse riding activities and can be bought from your local equine retailer, some riding centres may have body protectors available for your lesson or you may be able to hire one, so double check before you go along

Hoof Sports