Contessa Riding & Training Centre

Contessa is a leading Dressage Centre in Hertfordshire, providing Advanced Dressage lessons Lusitano stallions and warmbloods as well as riding for all levels

What we offer

Contessa offers lessons for all levels of rider from the complete beginner to advanced riders. The price of each lesson depends upon the length of the lesson, the number of riders in a lesson and the level of the instructor. Please see our complete price list for details.

All new clients must start with an assessment lesson and they can then discuss with their instructor what type of lessons would best suit them to continue with; whether that is group, private or semi-private (up to three riders). Contessa has a team of instructors; you may experience a variety and find the one that suits you best.

Contessa is primarily a Training Centre and we do not offer hacking, other than a woodland walk around our own land. Payment for all lessons is taken in advance and you are advised to arrive about 15 minutes early in order to fill out information/insurance forms.

Contessa requires 48 hours’ notice of cancellation otherwise the full cost of the lesson will be charged.

Careers & Exam Training
Read more
Gift Vouchers

We offer gift vouchers available for all lessons.

Gift vouchers can be bought for single lessons or blocks of lessons.

Contact contessateam@contessariding.co.uk for all your voucher requirements.

Read more
Read more
Dressage Schoolmasters

Contessa is one of the few riding schools in the UK to offer Advanced Dressage Schoolmaster horses up to Grand Prix level for riding lessons.

We have a team of 10 Advanced Schoolmaster horses, they are a variety of types and sizes including our Lusitano Stallions Unico, Riacho, Xariel and Dutch Warmblood Jordan’s Glamour girl.  These horses have school movements such as Piaffe, Passage, Pirouettes, Flying changes, all lateral work as well as collection. These horses provide a  fantastic opportunity for riders looking to experience these movements for the first time, trying to fine-tune the upper level work or perhaps even trying to introduce it to their own horse. Horses are kept fine-tuned by members of staff between lessons to ensure they remain sensitive and correct.

Riders must have an assessment lesson prior to booking for an Advanced schoolmaster. Lessons are taught by our Advanced/Senior Instructors who are well-versed in Advanced work. Semi-private lessons are also available.

Read more
Dressage Schoolmasters
Read more
Photo shoots

We are offering Photo shoots with our beautiful horses from little Ponies to Lusitano stallions.

Our horse photography shoots are the perfect gift for every equine lover who would like to have a very special day. We can offer shoots in Wedding dresses, Family portraits, children photo shoots and and and. We are always open to make your individual photo shoot dreams come true.
Ideal for Christmas, birthdays, mothers/father day, valentines, or any special event. This could also be combined with a riding lesson.
Please feel free to contact us for your enquiry.
Price on application.

Read more
Photo shoots
Read more
Adult & Teen Riders

For adult & Teen riders we offer:

  • Private, Semi and Group lessons seven days a week.
  • Evening classes.
  • Specialist day courses.
  • Advanced Dressage Schoolmaster lessons.
  • Show Jumping lessons.
  • Holiday courses.
  • Side Saddle and Western Tasters.
  • Examination training.
  • Vaulting lessons.

 

Read more
Adult & Teen Riders
Read more
Elite Young Riders Club

Since the summer of 2014 Joao Cavaco has run a very successful Elite Young Riders Club on every Wednesday night, specialising in Dressage.
The club teaches Young Riders how to develop their way of riding, whilst teaching some of our Advanced School Horses and ponies to develop within their paces and movement. Joao teaches in a very unique way to get the children to progress and enjoy Dressage.
As Joao is very busy and doesn’t usually teach children it is a fantastic opportunity to learn from a professional and an Advanced Instructor. All riders need to be of a certain level, and need to be willing to listen to criticism and advice. Tariq, Toby and Millie are main horses within the group, however other horses and ponies are frequently used.

Read more
Elite Young Riders Club
Read more
Children's Lessons
Young Riders (Ages 4 and up)

All children starting riding with us, no matter what level they start, at begin with an initial half hour one-to-one lesson which costs £30 for under 10yrs or £34 for ages 10yrs and upwards.
These sessions are offered weekdays after school from 3.30pm – 5pm.
We have limited availability at weekends for private children’s lessons.

Tiny Tots Cuddly Pony(Ages 2.5-5yrs), midweek only

We offer riding for children from 2.5 yrs on a Cuddly Pony session which is a great starting point and aimed at the under 5s to build confidence. We offer this session for 20 minutes and run on weekdays between 10am and 3pm. These cost £20.
A parent would be expected to walk alongside until the instructor felt they were happy to be independent.

We offer group lessons for all children which run weekdays after 5pm and weekends. Theses groups are split into abilities and are called kids clubs. We offer the following groups:

Weds 6pm – 7pm Elite Young riders club £40 with an Advanced Instructor.

Friday 5.30pm – 7pm Intermediate Kids Club.

Saturday 12pm Mini Kids Club.

Saturday 2pm Advanced Mini’s.

Sunday at 11am Mini Kids Club.

Sunday 1pm Advanced Mini’s.

To book a lesson please call us to find a suitable time or you may email for further information.
We will need weight, height and any previous riding experience in order to book a lesson.
Payment is made at time of booking. Lessons can be purchased as a block of lessons which includes a discount.
Please see our terms and conditions regarding cancellations.

Read more
Children's Lessons
Read more
Evening Classes

We run evening classes every weekday between 5pm and 8pm for adults and children, from novice to advanced riders.
Participation on an evening class is subject to an assessment lesson which makes it easier for us to book you onto the suitable evening class for you. If  you are already having lessons at Contessa and you would like to join an evening class please ask your instructor or any member of staff to book you in.

Read more
Evening Classes
Read more
Clinics

We offer a full schedule of clinics covering dressage, jumping, western and more. Please check our events calendar for upcoming clinics or contact us by email for further information.

Read more
Clinics
Read more
Vaulting

Gymnastics on horseback.

Vaulting is best described as gymnastics on horseback and is one of the 10 equestrian disciplines recognised by the international federation for equestrian sports. Vaulting is very common in Continental European countries such as Germany and Switzerland however it is not as well established in England. At Contessa we are proud that we are one of very few centres across the UK that provides vaulting coaching on a regular basis.

The Contessa vaulting team kick-started their competition career last year and walked away as Novice walk champions as a team and also winning as individuals. After such a success we hope to continue competing and are always on the look out for new members to join our team.

Our vaulting horses

Fergus:

Fergus is our vaulting star! We take Fergus to all of our competitions and demonstrations and he makes new vaulters feel very comfortable. With his wide back and steady paces he is the perfect horse to learn vaulting on.

Puro:

Puro has a beautiful canter so is perfect for the more advanced vaulters to learn more difficult moves in walk and canter.

Rosie:

Rosie is our diamond in the rough. She has only being vaulting for a few months but has made a good start in her training. She is calm, loving and a little smaller than our boys, so is perfect for the vaulters to learn how to mount on their own.

Read more
Vaulting
Read more
Pony Club

A fun and friendly structured club in which you can learn how to ride and look after a pony.

We are:
A Pony Club Centre which gives children who do not own their own pony an opportunity to

  • learn to ride.
  • learn to look after a pony.
  • participate in exams, competitions, rallies, camps and much more.

We offer:

  • A fun and structured scheme providing a progressive way of learning to ride and look after a pony.
  • Instruction from our qualified staff who are regularly briefed on the latest regulations and receive ongoing training.
  • Third party liability insurance for Pony Club members.
  • Organised trips to major shows such as Badminton, Olympia and Horse of the Year Show.
  • Private lessons after school as assessments for group allocation and for nervous riders.
  • Four different levels of group lessons on weekdays and weekends.
  • Sessions working towards specific achievement badges e.g. grooming, mucking out.
  • An insight into many different equestrian discipline such as Dressage, Show Jumping, Western, Vaulting and Side Saddle.
Read more
Pony Club
Read more
Hospitality

You can hire our facilities for corporate or social events.

We also offer workshops for companies and organisations.

Our partner LeadChange has been developing the leadership and communication skills of company executives and others for many years through experiential workshops with horses. Our horses can be used for those workshops.

Up to 93% of meaning is communicated non-verbally. With their prey instincts and hypersensitive awareness, our horses size people up instantly and accurately. They read the truth in our energy and body language and react to what they see – holding up an authentic mirror to our intention and behaviour.

Horses are adept at picking up and responding to human intention and non-verbal communication. They provide instant, honest, accurate feedback in the moment – creating experiences which get to the core of issues quickly, powerfully and effectively.

If you are interested, in improving your team work, leadership & self-awareness skills through horse-human interactions with your work colleagues please contact us for further information and to arrange a workshop.

Read more
Hospitality
Read more
Holidays

Contessa Riding Centre offers a variety of holiday packages for riders looking for a focused series of lessons over a few days.

We strive to meet the needs and interests of all our clients so if you have special requests then we are happy to tailor the program to suit you. Holidays run over any length of time starting from two days and include two or three rides per day depending on the package you choose. Discounts are available for all holidays lasting over two days. Lessons are given in small groups ranging from 2 to 6 riders in size. If private lessons are required then there is a supplementary charge. You are welcome to come just for your rides, but you can also join in on lectures and watch rides, take the opportunity to spend time grooming and pampering the horses or just relax! You can focus on improving your dressage, show jumping, working towards equine exams or just learning basic skills.

For horse owners wanting to have all or some of their lessons on their own horse we can offer DIY livery, please call the office for pricing.

Courses generally start at 10am and finish at 4pm, but anyone wanting to spend more time working with the horses is welcome to join us on the yard from 8am. The course outlines are as follows:

1. Dressage and Jumping Riding Course

2. Special Dressage Course

3. Elite Dressage Course

Read more
Holidays
Read more
Childrens' Parties

Contessa offers Pony Birthday Parties. Fully insured, we can offer the perfect party for children aged 4 years and up.  Choice of a 1 hour party (Silver) or 1.5hrs (Gold). Parties run from 3 pm (Silver) or 2.30pm (Gold) on Saturdays & Sundays, some availability other days during school holidays. Parties run both indoors and outdoors.

We aim to create a fun & safe environment for the children during the party. For safety reason the maximum we cater for is 12 children. Every child receives a party rosette and the birthday child a painted horse shoe alongside a special rosette. Finish off the fun by bringing your cake and drinks in our clubroom or the straw barn area for warmer weather.

To book your party, complete the booking form and email for the attention of Dawn/Leila Contessateam@contessariding.co.uk, Payment is taken in full at time of booking and completion of rider registration form. We are able to cake card payments over the phone. 10 days notice is required for cancellations. You will be refunded in full less an admin charge of 20%. Any cancellation after this date are non refundable.

Download the birthday party booking form now:

party-bookings17

  • Silver Pony party (3pm start)A one hour session with 4 ponies/small horses. Includes:
    • Mounted games and pony fun
    • All children get a chance to ride. Children swap on and off ponies.
    • Fun safe environment
    • Painted horseshoe for Birthday child plus special birthday rosette
    • Party rosette for every child
    • Price includes hat hire.

    £180.00 – max of 8 children (Over 8 children an extra £20.00 per child we can only take 12 children for safety reasons)

    Gold Pony Party (2.30pm start)

    An hour and half session with 4 ponies/small horses. Includes:

    • Half hour supervised grooming and horse care. Including plaiting manes and tails.
    • Mounted games and pony fun
    • All children get a chance to ride. Children swap on and off ponies.
    • Fun safe environment
    • Painted horseshoe for Birthday child plus special birthday rosette
    • Party rosette for every child.
    • Price includes hat hire.

    £220 – max of 8 children (Over 8 children an extra £20.00 per child we can only take a max of 12 children for safety reasons)

    Health and Safety

    Although we take every precaution horses and ponies are unpredictable live animals.  Riding is a risk sport. Although we take every care, it is impossible to eliminate all risk. When you or your child rides you should be aware of the following risks: Injury from falling off the horse or pony, having your feet trodden on, being kicked, being squashed by the horse or pony, and being bitten.  This list is not exhaustive. All Children will only be permitted to ride and be around the ponies in suitable clothing and footwear, i.e. boots or shoes with a small heel or wellies, long sleeved tops and wearing standard hats (provided). No trainers. Parents are encouraged to be in suitable footwear to assist with children around the ponies.

Read more
Childrens' Parties
Read more
Day Courses

We offer different intense day courses on dressage, show jumping, western and side saddle for adults and younger riders. Our day courses are aimed at our existing and new clients’ needs. You can also bring your own horse.

Please check our events calendar for upcoming events.

Read more
Day Courses
Read more
Demonstrations

At Contessa we offer regular demonstrations with our Advanced Dressage Schoolmasters explaining training horse and rider through the levels. This is a great opportunity for every rider to learn and see what to aim for. We also offer natural horsemanship demonstrations and loading and anti-spooking workshops.

Those of you who have attended before will know that we try to create a friendly, fun atmosphere because we believe it’s the best background for learning. Learning never stops, and we believe the best way to develop is to share knowledge. Riders should be comfortable being instructed in front of an audience.

There’s lots of time for selfies, pictures and chatting. Check our events calendar for our next demo. If you would like to ride in one of our demos or bring your own horse for a demo please send us an email or ask a member of staff.

Read more
Demonstrations
Read more
Competitions/Shows

Contessa Riding Centre offers all year round shows for competitors of different standards and in all disciplines, including unaffiliated dressage, dressage to music, show jumping and showing, with different prizes on offer.

Our Dressage competitions usually take place in our indoor arena with a viewing gallery and training mirrors. The warm-up takes place on our all weather surface outdoor arena. Our classes normally range from our Contessa test for the little riders up to Novice and Intermediate level.

We also offer on-site stabling for show competitors if necessary.
If you’re coming to one of our competitions/shows and would like to book stabling, please call the office.

Visiting competitors park in the Centre’s car parks.

Scheduled competitions/shows for 2015 include:

(here should be a date and description with hyperlink to event plus entry forms)

 

Read more
Competitions/Shows
Read more
Specialities
Side-Saddle and Western Riding

We offer private or semi-private side saddle lessons and western lessons by special request.

We also run monthly equine communication workshops by our visiting instructor Derek Williams.

Read more
Specialities
Read more
Gift Vouchers

We offer Gift Vouchers on all available lessons. All of our gift voucher have a 6 month expiry date and can be purchased either via email to contessariding@aol.com or in the office.

Gift vouchers are available to riders and non- riders of Contessa. We have discounts available within our January offers.

Read more
Read more
Contessa Clothing

We have a lovely Logo Wear Collection including:

Contessa Dressage Team

Polo Shirts: £18
Sweatshirts: £21
Fleeces: £26
Reversible Jackets: £46
Baseball caps: £12
Sleeveless Polo: £21.50
Winter Coats: £59
Young Rider

Polo Shirts Children’s £12
Polo Shirts Small £14
Polo Shirts Medium £14
Sweatshirts Children’s £18
Sweatshirts Small £19
Sweatshirts Medium £19
Fleeces £20
Pony Club

Polo Shirts: £15
Sweatshirts: £19
Vaulting

Polo Shirts £11
Sweatshirts £15
Jackets £25

Please see a senior member of staff to purchase any item.

Read more
Read more