Welcome To East Devon Riding Academy

Ethical Riding and Horsemanship


info@ridingacademy.co.uk    07771 903220


 Putting Horses and Safety First

We are a pioneering riding school offering a unique approach and ethical learning.


We understand that quite rightly, the demands for better animal welfare are constantly increasing. Outdated teaching methods can be very punishing on the horses, which leaves horse lovers feeling uncomfortable and unfulfilled. Now the world knows so much more about how horses think, feel and learn, this highlights some pitfalls of traditional tuition.


There are an increasing number of people who don't want to kick or hit horses to make them move. Crude communication such as pulling on the reins doesn't help the rider work in a harmonious partnership with the horse and this can lead them to feel like a bully, yearning for a better relationship. When the foundations of skill and knowledge are skipped in favour of ticking off milestones, the near misses and falls increase and confidence gets knocked as safety diminishes.


We offer a choice to people who want to enjoy their hobby without it being at the expense of the horse's welfare. We provide a safer, supportive environment for people to progress and feel happy that they are working together with the horse.

"We pay huge attention to detail in how we care for our horses. Meeting their needs, respecting their individuality and protecting them from harm are at the forefront of our ethos."


We value our clients too and we are happy to work with you to achieve your goals safely and with confidence. We will help you understand how to communicate with the horses kindly and effectively, so you can enjoy your hobby and succeed with your riding, handling or horsemanship. Our services offer you value for money and piece of mind.


We begun offering the opportunity for children to join us for the morning back in 2011. Our many years of experience in the industry helped us to define our Pony Mornings so we could offer children enjoyable, active and educational activities whilst providing parents with value for money and the peace of mind that we would strive to keep their children happy, engaged and most importantly, safe. Our reputation for hosting high quality Pony Mornings rapidly grew, we started with just two for the whole summer holidays and we now run two for every week of every school holiday and half term. Each year we welcome new children but we also have many returning customers, several who are local and some who just visit us once a year when they are on holiday. Some of the children who attend our pony mornings are regular riders and some have never ridden before- all are welcome as we split the group according to experience if necessary.

Some Of Our Services...

Pony Playgroup


"The parent and toddler group in the countryside"

Suitable from walking to four years of age, our renowned Pony Playgroup introduces little ones to the world of horses and the countryside. They have the opportunity to groom a pony, feed the goats, engage and discover in our fields. There is also an option to ride, as we are a rare riding school that accepts small children. If you are looking for an outdoor playgroup in Devon, click 

Courses and Workshops

We host several events throughout the year to help adults with different aspects of horsemanship and riding. Our events are here to help horse owners, riders, handlers and horse lovers improve their relationships with their equine partners.

We host leading experts in the fields of training, equine behaviour and modern horsemanship. 

Riding Lessons For Adults & Children


"Far more than just following the bum in front"

We specialise in individual lessons or very small groups of family or friends. Rather than a one size fits all approach, our aim is to provide bespoke, high quality tuition that offers our clients safe, enjoyable progression. Sessions can be based on riding, groundwork or horse management. Lessons are also available for children and adults on their own horses.

Firstly, we understand children. We teach 1000’s of them every year! Our teaching methods follow an active learning approach, which keeps children involved by learning through doing, rather than the traditional but less effective way of just telling them what to do. All of our sessions are delivered through age appropriate activities, which enable children to succeed and learn whilst they are having fun. We guide the Pony Morning where appropriate, however we also encourage the children to be part of the decision making and empower them to have the freedom to discover and explore.
Secondly, we understand horses. We spend 1000’s of hours with them every year! The welfare of our animals is a huge passion of ours and we work very hard to look after our horses to a very high standard. This ensures that their health and well being is optimised and they are happy in their jobs, as after all, a happy horse is a safer horse. Our teaching methods do not involve bullying or forceful communication, such as encouraging children to kick or whip animals to make them do what they want. Instead the children are taught humane, respectful handling and riding techniques which keeps them safer and protects the horses from physical and psychological harm. Children absolutely love our kind methods and the harmony and success that they bring.
Thirdly, we understand what parents want. As parents ourselves, we appreciate that safety is a top priority and we structure our activities to minimise the risks involved with being around animals. We offer close supervision, well planned activities and high quality instruction with well maintained, purpose built facilities. We know that you want your children to enjoy their time with us, so we try our best to make this happen and give them a positive experience with lasting, happy memories. Our high standards, ethical horsemanship, fantastic resources and excellent supervision also give superb value for money.

Pony Mornings

Pony Mornings at East Devon Riding Academy are a fun, educational and active experience. For boys and girls, aged from 4-12 years old. All levels of experience welcome as groups are split according to age and ability if required. Children are left with us from 10am-1pm so they can immerse themselves in helping to look after the horses, playing games, grooming and riding.

From complete beginners to horse owners, toddlers to adults-

We can help you with ethical riding and horsemanship.

We offer lessons, school holiday activities, adult workshops and courses.

 On the ground and in the saddle.  


Our horses and ponies are much loved and valued members of our team. They live outside in small herds, where they are free to fulfil their innate needs such as grazing, rolling, browsing and socialising. They are fed a natural diet suited to their digestive system, helping them to stay healthy and void of undesirable behaviours caused by inappropriate nutrition. 

Their work is strictly limited and varied so that their psychological welfare is optimised. The horses are tacked up immediately before each session and they are never left tied up waiting for long periods. To protect them from discomfort they wear bitless bridles and quality, well fitting saddles. Water is available in the arena at all times and they are allowed to drink whenever they need to during a lesson. We have a team of farriers and vets that support us with their care when required, such as regular dentistry and foot trimming. 


Want to book a school holiday activity, course or event?


We Offer The Following Benefits-

  • High Animal Welfare. We care deeply about our horses and strive to offer them the best possible standards of care so they are happy and healthy.
  • Excellent Safety Record. Our high standards of horse care and tuition enhance your safety and we work hard to maintain our excellent safety record.
  • Enjoyment. We aim to help you get the most from your hobby with our beautiful environment, high quality tuition and happy horses.
  • 5* Reviews. We have many 5* reviews on Facebook and Trip Advisor.
  • Purpose Built Facilities. We have a view across the fields to the sea on the Jurassic Coast at Branscombe beach.

Book Now

For lessons and pony parties, please contact Natalie for a time and date before proceeding with payment below.

Pony Playgroup, Pony Mornings, courses and workshops can all be booked directly below by selecting the associated date.

Copyright 2017, East Devon Riding Academy