5 of the Best UK Schools for Horse Lovers

Offering riding tuition, stable management and polo lessons to riders of all abilities and ages, these UK independent schools are designed for horse-loving students.
5 of the Best UK Schools for Horse Lovers
By Carli Allan
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We take a closer look at the UK day and boarding schools with their own equestrian facilities, stables, livery yards, and equestrian teams. While some schools have the facilities for students to bring in their own horse, others have their own riding school horses available. And, with many schools now adding horse-riding to their extra-curricular programme, these schools stand out with their offering of horse-riding qualifications and post-16 equestrian courses.

Bryanston

Located in on the outskirts of a pretty Dorset village close to Blandford Forum, the school has a 400-acre estate that any country school would be proud of. It is the ideal setting for the school’s well-established equestrian centre with 25 stables, an outdoor arena, indoor school, cross country schooling fields and show jumping facilities.

Students with all levels of horse-riding experience are encouraged to take part in riding lessons, and students with their own horses can opt to ride as their main sport in games lessons. Keen riders are offered extra training by the school’s BHS qualified coaches in its Performance Sport Programme.

Read the full review here.

Lancing College

Perched majestically upon a hilltop on the South Downs there are few schools that can rival this setting – and not many that can compete with its equestrian offering either. As a school with a love for outdoor pursuits and sport, Lancing offers horse lovers fantastic on-site facilities including stables, a 40m x 20m all-weather arena, and bridleway access to riding in the South Downs National Park.

Students have riding tuition from dedicated, specialist staff, group and private lessons, dressage, show jumping and cross-country clinics, and stable management and British Horse Society Examination Training. There’s a horse and pony loan scheme, stabling for up to 20 horses, and weekly Pony Club sessions for the school’s youngest riders.

Read the full review here.

Millfield School

When it comes to sport, Millfield is almost untouchable, and its equestrian offering is exceptional. Facilities include stables for over 60 horses stabled in the heart of the campus and state-of-the-art facilities. There is a hacking trail, a canter track, two all-weather arenas, show jumps, cross-country schooling fences, and an all-weather horse walker and round pen. The school also has its own polo field and is home to one of the UK's leading polo teams.

The school offers riding tuition for riders of all abilities, aged five to 13 years, before school, at lunchtimes and after school. There are also weekend stable management sessions, BHS Junior Progressive Riding tests.

Read the full review here.

Cranleigh School

There's a strong tradition for riding at this all-through school in Surrey, with a strong focus on broadening students' horizons beyond academia. Facilities at the on-campus equestrian centre include two all-weather arenas, 30 stables, over 60 acres of grazing and riding land, and a full course of show jumps and arena eventing jumps.

Riding is offered as part of the school's games programme and as an extra-curricular activity  in both the Prep and Senior School – and the school has won many National titles. The school is a member of the National Schools Equestrian Association and riders regularly compete in all disciplines: dressage, show jumping, eventing, eventers challenge and jumping with style (arena eventing). 

Read the full review here.

Stowe School

The riding complex, which is located a short walk from the boarding houses on campus, includes an all weather floodlit outdoor area, set of Jump 4 Joy show jumps and fillers, and a cross country course (designed by Captain Mark Phillips) with just under 30 fences ranging in heights from 50cm to 1m. Riding lessons are offered to students of all abilities, with or without their own horses.

There are stables for 20 horses, and the school offers regular opportunities for students to compete and take part in team training and competitions.  The school also offers polo to students of all abilities throughout the three terms of the academic year.

Read the full review here.

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