Riding Services

Horse Riding

We offer riding lessons to everyone aged 3 years and upwards on our exceptional selection of horses and ponies. We welcome total beginners right through to more experienced riders of all ages.

Adult and children’s Group lessons are available daily including weekends or shared semi-private or 1-1 private basis for on or off lead rein riders. (Private lessons are not offered on weekends and are subject to availability).

Parkside can accommodate groups/parties from 2 riders upwards. If you particularly request a larger group we can accommodate up to 24 riders as one booking, for example birthday or hen parties.

  • Lessons are taught by BHS/UKCC qualified and experienced instructors.
  • All staff are DBS checked.
  • All staff hold The Safeguarding and Protection of Children Certificate.
  • All full time staff are first aid trained.

Hats are available to hire free of charge, we would ask that anyone wishing to use their own hat is wearing a hat to current standard, to at least PAS015, and for jumping lessons the use of an up to standard body protector is recommended. (Sorry body protectors are not available to hire).

Please note bookings can only made via telephone or at the stable yard office in person. We cannot accept email bookings or via our Facebook page, (some events require a deposit on booking).


Children and Adult Tuition (1/2 hour or 1 Hour)

Our group lessons are decided according to the ability of the riders and not age. We strongly believe that horse and pony care is an important part of every rider’s development, for this reason we also offer stable management lessons, for both children and adults which consist of 45 mins hands on learning, our Riding Award Scheme, Pony Club or ABRS stable management and equitation qualifications can be worked towards as requested.

Alfreton Park Ride/hack (Suitable for 8 riders or less)

Riders are taken out via the linking bridle path into the beautiful Alfreton Park on or off lead rein (depending on instructor’s assessment) where they can enjoy the open countryside and ride through the woods, perhaps see the wildlife and enjoy the fresh air and scenery.

Stable Management & ABRS Training (Adults and Children)

We believe that Stable Management is an important part of learning to ride and understanding equestrianism thus providing education for the welfare of all equines. For this reason we aim to provide our riders with a good basic understanding of horse behaviour, correct handling methods, a basic knowledge of horse husbandry and the basic skills and knowledge needed for horse care and potentially future ownership of horses.

  • We offer the Association of British Riding Schools lessons/tests in Stable Management on a regular basis.
  • For our super keen young riders we also offer Association of British Riding Schools Helper’s Awards achieved during voluntary work. So why not get involved?

This offers you the chance to ...

  • Have the opportunity to spend more time with your favourite horses and ponies
  • Meet new people and make new friends
  • Develop confidence
  • Learn new skills improve your horse knowledge and understanding
  • Gain Association of British Riding Schools Certificates/awards
  • Enjoy therapeutic benefits that being around horses brings us
Qualifications ABRS Progressive Rider Tests

ABRS Progressive Rider Tests have been specifically designed to provide a logical and progressive system of training. They give adult and child riders a structured programme of realistic stepping stones to achieve their equestrian goals both in the saddle and on the ground.

They are great way for both adults and children to recognize their achievements and monitor their progress as well as providing a confidence boost!

Further information is also available at: www.abrs-info.org/course/progressive-rider-tests/.

Introductory Tests

Tests A to E in Equitation (Riding) and Stable Management (Horse Care) provide a very good introduction especially for younger or nervous riders. These are available in both Equitation and Stable Management.

Equitation Tests

Candidates over 10 years old begin with ABRS Test 1 of the Progressive Rider Equitation Tests, which encompasses the most basic aspects of learning to ride, progressing through to Test 10, which includes lateral work and riding a dressage test. Test 6 and above are the level required to achieve professional qualifications. These tests are good way of proving your equestrian knowledge and ability, this can be useful for building a CV, getting into college or university or even for your Duke of Edinburgh Awards.

Stable Management Tests

These Tests are designed to enhance knowledge of horse care and management. Tests 1 to 10 cover the key aspects of looking after a horse. The ABRS tests can also provide invaluable know-how and confidence for parents of horse-mad children who are beginning to feel a little out of their depth when they are roped in to get involved with ponies.

  • A formal certificate is awarded for every test passed
  • The tests are recognised nationally as a respected standard of equestrian achievement.
  • ABRS Progressive Rider Tests are an affordable way to increase your equestrian knowledge and ability

Showjumping Lessons

Yes of course we do cater for beginners, everyone has to start somewhere! You will be taught in the enclosed outdoor arena on a competition surface and hopefully progress to be jumping a full small course of jumps in the field.

Evening and Weekend Jumping lessons (seasonal)

A fun filled session of Show jumping tuition in the arenas or jumping field. A chance for our more experienced riders to work up to challenge themselves around a full course of showjumps. Whether you’re just at trotting pole stage, small jumps or something larger, you will have endless fun and a great sense of achievement, without being pushed beyond your comfort zone. More advanced riders can either use our horses or their own horse. (Bookings taken in advance only).

External Showjumping Coaching/Horse and Rider Training

Training packages/Sessions/Clinics available for horse owners at Parkside or their own premises with qualified UKCC Showjumping coach Brandon Stalker please contact direct on 07714 474058 or via the Brandon Stalker Showjumping Facebook page.

Children’s Birthday Parties

Fancy something a little different this year?
Why not celebrate with one of our pony parties?

Parties are available all year round and usually take place on weekend days. Parties are suitable for children of all ages and abilities- even those who have never ridden before! A horsey party makes for a very exciting time, challenge your classmates and friends to a pony riding lesson. This is a popular choice for children who enjoy a bit of outdoor exercise and animal contact.

The Party Package is priced per rider (plus £20 to hire the clubhouse if required).

  • Riding activities are ½ or 1 hour in duration.
  • Optional Hire of the Clubhouse for 2 hours after your riding activity (for birthday lunch, present opening and cake eating!).
  • A special birthday rosette for the birthday boy or girl.

Own a Pony Day

9.00am-3.00pm (available during every school holiday).

Enjoy experiencing owning your own pony for the day, ride, groom, lead and care for your special friend all day. Suitable for off lead rein riders.

An action packed day of pony fun. Activities include group lesson x 2 and horse care sessions.

This may also include: Park ride hacks, show-jumping, gymkhana game practice (depending on level of rider ability).

Packed Lunch required.

One of our most popular activities so book early to avoid disappointment.

Own a pony weeks (summer school holidays only)

Monday to Friday 9.00am – 3.00pm daily.

An action packed active week of pony fun and games.

Varied equestrian fun activities, includes group lesson x 2 and horse care sessions includes riding and horse care award scheme.

Enjoy experiencing owning your very own pony for the whole week, ride, groom, lead and care for your special friend, learn horse care skills and benefit from daily tuition. Includes horsey play times, craft sessions, dressage, mounted games and handy pony. The week may also include: Park ride hacks, showjumping, gymkhana game practice, dressage preparation and intro to showjumping (depending on rider ability).

Small friendly competition on the last day of the week.

Packed Lunch required daily.

Suitable for off lead rein riders.

Again one of our most popular activities so book in advance to avoid disappointment.

Educational Visits

Options for School/Group Visits

This is our most popular session with school and youth groups. The schools group session lasts for one or two hours and we can provide an action packed time, This gives the children a great day out in the countryside and lots of fresh air, exercise and learning allowing the children to get involved and experience horse care with a variety of activities which includes a riding lesson, grooming session, equine educational information and can include other various activities (depending and age and ability).

We can easily accommodate up to 24 riders. Hat hire is included in the price of the session. The two hour duration also allows us to run multiple groups of children per day. Use of the classroom facilities, tables and seating for lunch breaks can be provided also (bring your own packed lunch).

We are happy to provide all relevant policy’s and procedures, risk assessment and H & S information. (Please speak to a member of staff for further information).

Riding for the Disabled

We like offer horse riding to all. Horse riding benefits many, its lots of FUN! Giving opportunities for people of all ages with a variety of disabilities to get involved with horse riding. There are a number of health benefits that come from spending time with and riding a horse or pony, it can be both educational and be very therapeutic. Riding is a social activity which helps to increase confidence and therefore an opportunity to make friends and build new relationships with others and of course enjoy the special bond with a horse or pony.

Some of the benefits of riding may include:

  • Encourage riders to develop riding skills and set personal goals
  • Helps to improve sitting position
  • Can help correct/strengthen spinal posture
  • Improves balance
  • Improves body awareness
  • Strengthens muscles
  • Mobilises joints
  • Improves attention span
  • Develop relationships
  • Multi-sensory, including new sights, smells, sounds, touch; feel the pony’s fur and warmth

We hold RDA group sessions that run on a regular basis. Each group has a variety of needs, these sessions are always best arranged on an individual basis so we can organise the best experience. We currently work with a large variety of parents, individuals, schools and groups and are happy to provide references.

Parkside Stables was awarded its Riding for the Disabled Accessibility Mark in 2015 and continues to receive specialist staff training, including advice and support from RDA. Each year the RDA inspect our riding school and once they are satisfied that all the standards are met, plus our our horses are of suitable type and temperament for this type of work then our riding establishment continues to receive this accreditation each year. We therefore are very proud to be ‘Accessible’ to people with disabilities.

Disabled Groups

We also run horse riding activities which can be adapted for groups. Each group has such a variety of learning needs and support required, therefore these sessions are always best arranged on an individual basis. The maximum numbers we can accommodate is varied depending on the level of support required by each client. We currently work with a large variety of Schools and Groups and are happy to provide references.

(Please note we do not operate a hoist or specialist equipment for mounting or offer carriage driving at our centre).


All of our activities rely heavily on horsey volunteers. Volunteers here at Parkside are sometimes people who have not had much experience with horses but would like to help and be involved with assisting the children and adults who get so much out of their experiences here. The work volunteers do is really is very special and can be very rewarding, so if you do feel you have time to help our groups in then please get in touch and see how you can get involved. (Volunteers are requested to fill out application forms and are only offered voluntary positions subject to DBS checks and suitability).

Contact Us

horse riding lessons near derby