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Dubai is home to some of the most well-known stables of the world and plays host to the richest horse race. With a number of riding schools spread over the city, it is a good place to saddle up and earn your stripes as an expert rider.
Training can start early for children. There are several pony clubs such as the Al Ahli Club where children as young as three years are introduced to horses through arts and different activities. They get up close and personal by feeding, grooming and showering the animals and taking pony rides.
Actual riding lessons are provided to anyone who is five years old and above. In most of the riding schools such as the Dubai Polo & Equestrian Club and Emirates Equestrian Centre, basic, intermediate and advanced levels are taught in groups or privately. A private session of 45 minutes costs about Dh400 while a group lesson comes at about Dh250 per person.
Some of the early lessons include lunge riding where the instructor controls the horse through a long rope or a lunge while the new rider focuses on his position and posture while mounted on the horse. Many schools also conduct special lessons without props like reigns and whips to improve the riders’ confidence and control.
With UAE’s rich tradition of horse racing especially in Dubai, most riding schools here conduct classes in show jumping and dressage which are both Olympic sports. Another popular course for those who have already perfected riding is desert hacking. This allows you to explore the breathtaking landscape of the desert on your horse early in the morning or at sunset. The introductory lessons are priced at Dh150 while a two-hour hack costs around Dh300.
• Kids as young as 3 can be introduced to pony clubs
• Actual riding lessons given to five-year-olds above
• Most riding schools hold Olympic sports classes
Source: Special to Classifieds