If you wonder how it is like to take a horse riding lesson, this article will give you the experience of a riding lesson at DARC, Denai Alam Riding Club.
When you arrive at DARC, you will be greeted with a big “WELCOME TO DARC” sign.
The Rider Counter is on your right side. This serves as the admin office, where you take care of your registration, payment and scheduling matters.
Get your horse card here. You will be given one horse card, which shows the horse you will be riding for the day.
Then, proceed to the stables to get your horse.
Walk straight ahead to go pass the cafe.
After exiting the cafe, walk straight ahead on this path toward the stables.
This is outside of the stables where you collect your horse. Usually, there will be some crew members waiting at this area.
When you go slightly further front, there is a table where you can check the riding schedule and which horse is scheduled for you.
Check your horse and inform one of the friendly crew members the horse you are riding.
Usually one of the crew members will help you with tacking the horse and bring the horse to you.
If you are feeling adventurous, ask for permission to go along with the crew member and tack the horse together!
Once you get your horse, proceed to the arena you are allocated in the schedule.
This path will lead you to the main arena.
Continue walking and you will arrive to the entrance to the main arena.
Walk your horse in, adjust your stirrups length, tighten your horse girth and mount on your horse.
You can use the little stair (on the left) if you need some help getting up. Remember, always mount from the left side.
Riding Lesson at DARC
Lessons are usually conducted in group of 4 to 5 students.
The following is Coach Roma coaching his students on a Sunday morning.
Coach Roma is coaching riders from a close distance.
The scenic view from the arena which I always enjoy gazing.
Coach Roma is giving instructions from far.
Riders who are able to ride independently at this level are usually Green, Blue or above.
Check out DARC Colour Syllabus to understand rider’s level progression.
Coach Roma is asking the second rider to close the distance with the first rider. The correct distance between riders is one horse distance.
Coach Roma is instructing the group to change leader, where the first rider goes to the back.
Riders are taking a turn at the arena corner.
It is important for the riders to ride on the track instead of taking shortcut by cutting into the arena at corners.
After every lesson, the coach will recap what has been practiced for the day, give every student feedback on what they have done well and what further improvement is needed.
The students get down from their horses, organize the stirrups before exiting the arena.
When you exit the arena, turn left to exit according to the signboard to avoid clashing with in-coming horse(s).
You will untack your horse under the tent.
You should leave the saddle pad, saddle cloth and saddle (including stirrups and girth) in this area for crew members to collect later.
Then, head over to the washing bay to spray your horse with water to cold down your horse.
The crew members will help you with showering and grooming the horse later.
Once you are done, you can head back to the cafe to enjoy the delicious food served there.
That’s it! A day of riding in DARC. Yeehar~~~