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Frequently Asked Questions

Is there anything that I need to do to help my child ride?

Other than provide normal support and encouragement, there is one thing that we would find very useful for you to do. Sometimes we have too many learner riders for the number of adults who lead them. Please be prepared to walk with your child leading their horse with the leading rein if they require it. We will tell you what to do if you have had no experience. It helps us and will also give you a useful insight into how your child is progressing. Please ask when you bring your child if you will be required.

What should I do before I ride?

There are several things that you must do before you ride:

  1. Like most things in life there is a form to fill in. The only one that you need to worry about is the riding release form, which comes in two varieties. We make sure that the information you put on them remains confidential, but we do need to know some details about yourself. It tells us what experience you think you have, and informs of any special requirements that we must be aware of.

    • An adult form which can be downloaded here. Use this form if you are 18 years or older.

    • A child form which can be downloaded here. This has to be filled in by your parent or guardian when you are under 18 years old.

    We do have forms at the stables if you are unable to make use of the downloaded ones. Use the latter to save time. However you want to do it these forms must be filled in before you ride: no form means no ride.

  2. When asked: "how well do you ride or can you ride?", please answer honestly. It is much better to err on the cautious side rather than be a hero :-) Nobody will think the worse of you if you underestimate your ability.

  3. Let us know how tall your are and how much you weigh (sorry ladies, but at least we do not ask your age if you are an adult :-) ). This is important, as this information, together with your ability, lets us match the most suitable horse to you.

How do I pay?

Please pay in advance before you ride. We are sorry but we do not accept credit cards.

What should I wear?

We recommend (strongly) that the following should be used:

  • Good heeled shoes. Ideally a riding boot, or jodphur boot, but anything that has flat soles and a heel. Trainers are absolutely not suitable as is anything which has no heel.

  • Gloves. If you are not used to holding reins then they will save you sore hands. And in winter they are essential, cold hands makes for a very miserable riding experience.

  • Hard hat. Hard hats are an essential (no hard hat means no ride). We would urge you to get your own if you think that you are going to ride with us (or elsewhere) on a regular basis. Hats need to be fitted correctly so do not buy them off the internet, go to a recognised supplier (most tack shops will provide a service — always ask if they are qualified to fit them). Locally in Malvern we suggest a place such as CountryWide in Malvern Link.

    We do have a range BSI standard hard hats in sizes that suit all ages. Please mention that you would like to borrow one when you arrive or book your ride. However this is not our preferred option: if you intend to ride regularly get your own!

  • Body Protectors. If you think that you or your child is going to carry on riding we would urge you to get a body protector. They can save a lot of bruises (and breaks) when you have the misfortune to have a fall — something that we trust you will not be aiming to do and does not happen very much when hacking out normally. They are totally essential, however, when jumping and you would be very foolish not to where one then.

    There are always one or two second-hand body protectors for sale locally. This can be a good way of getting them for children who are still growing and who will soon grow out of them.

How soon before my ride should I arrive?

It would be helpful to arrive about 10 minutes before you are due to ride so that last minute probems can be sorted. This is expecially true if this is the first time you have ridden with us.

What are those single strands of wire on the tops of fences?

Those, my friend, are electric strands, which are on most of the fence tops around the farm. And, yes, they do work as we have found out ourselves several times when not concentrating, much to our annoyance. They are used to stop the horses arguing over the fences and thus destroying them. They pack a punch, at least 6,000 volts (horses are thick skinned) so beware, you have been warned.

If you need to switch the fence off then the master switch is in the feed shed next to the indoor school. There are also some switches scattered around the fences to isolate smaller sections.

Can you supply hard hats?

Yes, we have a range BSI standard hard hats in sizes that suit all ages. Please mention that you would like to borrow one when you arrive or book your ride. However see our recommendations on clothing above.

Help! — The pages do not display properly on my browser.

I have tried to make sure that the pages display on most browsers but sometimes things can look a little strange. I have tried Firefox, Safari, Camino, Opera, some varieties of Internet Explorer and even iCab which all seem to work ok. However there will always be problems — usually from Microsoft Explorer (sigh) — so let me know and I will try and fix it.

Technical Trivia

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For those who are interested this site was built on a system called Paloose, which is a subset of the Cocoon XML system, but written in PHP5 rather than Java.

I would have greatly preferred to have used Cocoon but the problem is finding a hosting service to provide Tomcat/Cocoon at a reasonable cost; so I wrote Paloose to let me use a "normal" ISP and still use the XML approach. Transporting the entire system onto a Cocoon based server would be easy and remains an option in the future.

The site look and feel was designed by Ian Field-Richards. He is the Art Director for deviantART producing cutting edge designs for this top 20 online social network site. More details on his professional experience can be found on his LinkedIn page.


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