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“Horses always filthy, poor instruction, unsafe at times.”

Belfairs Riding School
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Attraction details
Owner description: We are located in Belfairs Park in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex where the surrounding woods are the ideal place to enjoy horse riding. We have horses and ponies to suit everyone from beginners to more experienced riders. Regular riders can become a member and take advantage of discounted prices on weekly riding, and go on special bank holiday, beach and pub rides.We offer pony rides on a Sunday between 10.00am and 1.00pm as an introduction to horseriding - no need to book just turn up. Children muct be 4 years and over.The Southend branch of the Riding for the Disabled Association also runs regular sessions at the riding school.
leigh-on-sea
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“Horses always filthy, poor instruction, unsafe at times.”
Reviewed 15 May 2013

Where do I start?!
I am in Belfairs woods on an almost daily basis and have been riding practically all my life but I don't think you need to be a 'horsey' person to notice that things are not right here.
I often see lessons hacking out in the woods. The poor horses are unkempt and usually look like they've not seen a grooming kit in a few months. The snippets of instruction i hear are usually poor. How can you possibly correct a rider's position, aides etc when you are riding at the front with your back to them. There are times when I've seen the group turn round and the instructor then rides at the back and gives pointers from there but they are still riding in a long line so how can the instructor possibly see everyone from there?? I appreciate there is not a 'school' for them to take lessons in and that riding in the woods is appealing to customers, but I still feel instruction could and should be far better. I am told it's cheaper than a lot of other local riding schools but I don't think customers can possibly be getting value for money as far as making progress goes and I would suggest paying a little more and getting quality tuition elsewhere.
It's the children's pony rides that scare me the most though. Ok, so it only costs a couple of quid and the kids get a little ride on a pony BUT...
the riding hats are never 'fitted', simply plonked on a child's head, sometimes too small and often waaay to big to the point of children not being able to see because their hat keeps slipping down. If it's that poorly fitting they may as well not be wearing one! The pony rides take place in the car park, which is a little worrying in itself and although the ponies used seem to be very obliging and almost 'unspookable' (credit to the poor ponies) the people leading the ponies are often children and seem as young as 11 or 12. In my eyes that is far too young to have the responsibility of a child on a pony's back in an often busy car park. what if something went wrong? The implications are huge.
In summary; filthy horses, poor tuition, unsafe at times.

Visited April 2013
Helpful?
19 Thank helen w
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Le Plessis-Robinson, Ile-de-France, France
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“20 years ago !! now i'm a horse instructor in france !”
Reviewed 16 February 2013

I started horseriding there 20 years ago !
I went to live in france at the age of eleven and am now a horse riding instructor !
It's funny seeing belfaires again !!
Thanks for those years ridding as i am fully enchanted of my job !!!!

Visited March 2012
Helpful?
1 Thank Julia O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
RayleighTasha_1985, Front Office Manager at Belfairs Riding School, responded to this review, 17 May 2013
Thank you for taking the time to post a positive review - its lovely to hear how people have learnt from us and taken it further, best wishes
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Leigh-on-Sea, England
Level Contributor
155 reviews
53 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 118 helpful votes
“Small friendly riding school”
Reviewed 12 February 2013

Situated in Belfairs Park this riding school has been in existence for many years. When open you can get pony rides for children but its main purpose is teaching people how to ride. There is a considerable waiting list for places which gives you some idea how in demand this is. Safety is paramount so you will have to wear a hat and suitable clothing.

Our daughter has been a member of the riding school for many years and has progressed from ponies to the biggest of the horses. We have always found the staff to be friendly and polite so I don’t really get the comment about “small and unwelcoming” below from another reviewer. You do have to realise that the stables are very busy and particularly when lessons are changing over the staff are rushed so perhaps they didn’t have much time to talk.

Typical lessons are half an hour long and are paid for in advance in blocks of 6.

The stables runs a couple of functions each year – a summer fete and a Christmas party, which are good. Main purpose of course is to raise funds to keep the riding school open.

Children can learn stable management, with courses often run during school holidays.

For more experienced riders there are hour long ride-outs available and in summer they run events such as beach rides.

Overall, a good place to learn to ride.

Visited February 2013
Helpful?
3 Thank Simon_in_Legh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
RayleighTasha_1985, Front Office Manager at Belfairs Riding School, responded to this review, 13 February 2013
Thank you for taking the time to post a positive review on our riding school! It is an accurate review from someone who has used the services of the school for many years. We are glad that your daughter has learned to ride with us and hope she continues to enjoy it for many more years to come.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Essex, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
64 reviews
43 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
“Small and unwelcoming.”
Reviewed 10 February 2013

The building seem to have seen better days, The Horses seem very well cared for but the stable is small and one has to cross the main carpark and public right of way to get to wood tracks .

Visited November 2012
Helpful?
1 Thank indalomansx
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
RayleighTasha_1985, Front Office Manager at Belfairs Riding School, responded to this review, 18 May 2013
The building seem to have seen better days - This building is inspected by the council several times a year and deemed appropriate for use.

The Horses seem very well cared for but the stable is small and one has to cross the main carpark and public right of way to get to wood tracks - and this is unwelcoming how exactly?

We are a professional and well run business, able to answer all queries by phone, email and in person, with a member of staff in reception at all times on busy weekends, and describing us as small and unwelcoming is highly inaccurate as we provide riding at a location and price so that it is accessible to everyone.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sudbury, Suffolk
Level Contributor
41 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
“Good standard of Instruction”
Reviewed 10 January 2013

My grand-daughter has been on the waiting list for the best part of a year for regular lessons, which is perhaps a good indicator of how good this facility is. She's had several one-off group sessions, which are available quite easily, but has now started regular lessos - much to her delight. The instructors are helpful and friendly, as are the horses!
The location, in Belfairs woods is also an added bonus, making for a great atmosphere for all.

Visited December 2012
Helpful?
4 Thank Alison B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
RayleighTasha_1985, Front Office Manager at Belfairs Riding School, responded to this review, 11 January 2013
Thank you for taking the time to provide a positive review about our staff and the horses. We hope that your grand-daughter continues to enjoy her lessons with us for a long time to come!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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