Riding in London and the surrounding area needn’t be expensive, or elusive. So it’s certainly not out of the question on a Civil Service salary. The Civil Service Riding Club has been providing affordable equestrian opportunities for 80 years, since the days of cavalry macs and bowler hats. It’s moved with the times, though, so if you want good riding with no hint of stuffiness and you’re eligible to join the CSSC (Civil Service Sports Council), this is the club for you.
Riding at Jill Carenza Equestrian.
Absolute beginners are as welcome as advanced riders. Your level of riding doesn’t matter though it helps if you’re willing to improve.
There’s no getting round the fact that horses cost a lot. Feed and farriery even more, and stabling in London can envy a king’s ransom. However, the club negotiates discounts, keeps costs to a minimum and uses membership fees and any CSSC grant to subsidise the riding.
Lessons, of course, even in Zone 1. Hacking: in Hyde Park and Windsor. Dressage clinics: in Windsor with fantastic instructors who can sum up horse and rider needs at a glance. Jumping clinics: in Windsor. Competitions: from handy riding to gutsy jumping to elegant dressage. Polo: year-round at Apsley End Polo Club in Hertfordshire, owned by former members. Tent pegging: a rarefied taste but one the club can cater for. Western riding: on the trails of Surrey. Hunting: by arrangement with the welcoming Royal Artillery Foxhounds.
Tickets for shows and horse trials including Olympia, Hickstead, Badminton. The club has its own annual show, London party and picnic and quiz nights.