Childrens Riding Lessons

Welcome to the Island Riding Centre

The Island Riding Centre opened in July 2017. We are a fully insured, licensed equestrian centre and holiday complex based on the Isle of Wight (a couple of miles off the southern coast of England), and as well as being a kite mark approved RDA Centre and Pony Club Centre are also members of the Association of British Riding Schools.

The Isle of Wight has a strong tradition of horse riding with hundreds of miles of bridleways, glorious beaches and trails with spectacular views. When the much-loved Brickfields Horse Country closed its doors in 2013 it marked the end of an era, having been the premier Isle of Wight horse riding centre for over 30 years. Picking up from where Brickfields left off, and tapping in to the Island’s popularity as a tourist destination, owners Paul and Louise decided on an equestrian complex combined with self-catering holiday accommodation, which would cater for everyone. Suitable for riders (and non-riders) both young and old, those with limited physical abilities, novice riders to experts we hope it will not only provide recreational fun, but also help development and – who knows – find the potential riding stars for the future!

We look forward to welcoming you!

Signatures

Meet the Team

We have a dedicated team of instructors, grooms, administrators, housekeepers and helpers who make everything possible. Our staff are DBS checked and we always have a first aid trained member of staff on the premises. Our instructors are currently ‘air-brushing’ their profiles in readiness for the Summer and this section of the website will update very soon!

Jo Hogan

Jo Hogan

Island Riding Centre Instructor

Hi, I’m Jo. How shall I put it? I’m the older instructor at the Island Riding Centre. I’ve been riding for over 40 years and teaching for more than 35 years. As you can imagine I’ve done a lot in that time, including competing in dressage, one day eventing, show jumping, showing and endurance riding where I used to compete in 80-mile classes.

Nowadays I’ve calmed down a bit and only do up to 30-mile classes with my veteran mare. I was lucky enough to be taught side saddle when I was in my late teens, this I now do for pleasure, and round about the same time I learned carriage driving, which over the past three years has developed into my new passion. I am a carriage driving coach for the Isle of Wight Pony driving for the disabled and have recently broken two miniature horses to pairs driving.

Over the years I have tried to increase my knowledge by taking exams including the British Horse Society Assistant Instructor, Higher National Diploma in Equine Business Management and Technology, Honours Degree in Equine Science, City and Guilds in Natural Horsemanship and British Driving Society Road Driving Assessment. I have been fortunate that since I was 16, I have only been taught by British Horse Society Instructors and Fellows of the British Horse Society. I continue to have lessons in both riding and driving and love passing on my knowledge, after all there is always more to learn.

Kimberley Watts

Kimberley Watts

Island Riding Centre Instructor

I was fascinated with horses and the equine world from a young age and when I left school gained my NVQ’s in Horse Care and Riding. I then moved to the mainland and gained my British Horse Society stages 1-2-3 and preliminary teaching exams. I have worked in various yards around the UK teaching and gaining lots of experience working with different horses and people.

My special interests are Dressage and producing young horses and ponies, I’ve broken and brought on many ponies over the years and many are still on the Isle of Wight today enjoying their ridden career.

My current horse is an ex race horse Thoroughbred 16HH Mare (PHE) who is now 7 years old and I have owned her since she was 3. We are moving up the levels in dressage currently stepping into elementary and I am excited to see our future together.

I am currently training for my stage 3 teaching and stage 4 riding exams. You never stop learning at any level or with any horse. I am a patient and confidence-giving riding instructor for all ages, I genuinely love to teach and watch people progress in their riding.

Sophie Benjamin

Sophie Benjamin

Island Riding Centre Instructor

Sophie spent much of her youth at Norris Castle which was a stud farm on the Island breeding New Forest Ponies where she was competing and training both their ponies and her own.

She enjoyed her time with the Isle of Wight Pony Club and began to teach informally as she got older.

Eventually she was encouraged (some may say coerced!) to make it official and train for her BHS exams as it was clear she had a talent for putting people at their ease and teaching all ages. Sophie passed of course!

Angel and Katie

Angel and Katie

Island Riding Centre Grooms

Angel and Katie are our two full time grooms.

After successfully completing a year studying with us under HTP they joined as full time apprentices in 2019 and under the stewardship of our senior staff are steadily going from strength to strength.

Meet the horses and ponies (sheep and cats!)

At Island Riding Centre, we have an interesting mix of horses and ponies, old and young. From the giant Clydesdales, Donald and Edward, to the cute Shetlands Rosie, Po and Willow with lots more characters in between.

And let’s not forget the Island’s most friendly sheep Lambo and Cloudy who are rather partial to a digestive biscuit or two and are building quite a following of their own on Trip Advisor. and the resident cats Buster and Albert are never far from the office!

Alfie

Alfie

11HH / Dartmoor X / 12 years old / Black

Alfie is our mini tank of the yard, he’s only small but he’s very strong – this is great for the fact that as well as being super at being ridden, he also loves to be driven as well. We do have his cart and occasionally take him out as he really enjoys his time in the trap.

Donald

Donald

17.6HH / Clydesdale Bay

Donald is one of our two ‘gentle giants’ Clydesdales and came to us as a rescue alongside his partner in crime Edward. His lovely temperament make him extremely popular and he is well suited for carrying heavier riders.
This rare breed which originated from Scotland in the 18th century were used predominantly on farms as draught horses to carry and pull weight.

GG

GG

10HH / Welsh Section A / 6 years old / Bay

GG (aka Greedy Guts) quickly steals the hearts of our riders, she may be small but she loves being ridden and enjoying a jump. If you look closely you can notice her one blue eye aswell. She can be known for being a cheeky monkey whilst walking to and from the field as she may not look strong but if she sees nice green grass then she will be taking you for a walk so she can get to it.

Focus

Focus

14.1HH / Welsh X Warmblood
14 years old / Bay

Focus is definitely the biggest character on the yard – he will be used for the more experienced riders and for riders wanting to learn how to jump a bigger fence. Jumping really is Focus’s forte, this is what he was bred to do and he is amazing to watch. Under his lovely looks and his big personality he is a real sweetie though and loves having a fuss made of him.

Charlie

Charlie

11HH / Mini Cob X / 6 years old / Tri-coloured

Charlie is our cheeky chappy of the yard. He loves going for little hacks and really looks after his little riders. He is great for confidence as he is a very quiet little guy. He loves his long mane being brushed and having a really good groom. I’m sure he would tell us his favourite part of the day is going back out into the field with all his friends.

Bluebell

Bluebell

13.2HH / Cob / 5 years old / Blue Roan

Bluebell has quickly become a real favourite of the yard. With her gorgeous looks and an amazing temperament to match, there is nothing you can dislike about her! She looks after every rider she has on her back, whether you are a complete novice or more advanced, she just changes to suit everyone!

Lady

Lady

12HH / Dartmoor / 11 years old / Dapple Grey

Lady is our little lady on the yard with a big movement. Her trot is massive for such a little pony although she is not your average looking Dartmoor we still think she is gorgeous. She loves being made a fuss of and enjoying her grooming time!

Magnus

Magnus

Magnus is a beautiful gentle giant! At 17.2hh he can look imposing but he is very relaxed (some might say lazy) but he knows his stuff and can kick it up a gear when required!

Charlie Boy

Charlie Boy

Charlie Boy is the kindest, sweetest little pony. He’s a 13.1hh, 8 year old traditional Cob and under all that mane, tail and feather is a heart of gold.

Colin the Cob

Colin the Cob

Colin the cob is a 14 year old 14 hh silver dappled cob. With blue eyes he’s a kind and whizzy cob he enjoys dressage on Sundays but most of all he loves to be groomed and eat!

Katie

Katie

Katie is a 9 year old tri-coloured 14.2 hh lightweight cob. She loves hacking and is very popular with the students. Katie is kind and sweet and loves apples as her treat.

Warbie

Warbie

Warbie is 22 years ols and is a 15.2hh screwball cob.
He‘s kind and gentle and sometimes is popular with our RDA riders. Don’t be fooled by his age though Warbie goes at speed on the beach and often overtakes the younger ones!

Louis

Louis

Louis is not just gorgeous, he’s a very talented young man at 9 years old. He is bred from show jumpers but his dressage is rather good too. He’s a good horse for an experienced rider who’s looking to understand what a ‘feel’ is.

Lambo and Cloudy

Lambo and Cloudy

The Island’s most friendly sheep Lambo and Cloudy are rather partial to a digestive biscuit or two and are building quite a following of their own on Trip Advisor.

Thomas

Thomas

Thomas is a 14 year old piebald cob 14 hh with huge feathered feet. He is a great pony with a very kind nature who loves to be cuddled and spoken to until he falls asleep

Buster and Albert

Buster and Albert

Our ‘rescue’ cats brought in to patrol the yard, but more at home lounging around the office or soaking up the sun outside the cafe as above!