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Mounting interest in horseback riding
By Jiang Xinhua

It’s the Chinese lunar Year of the Horse, and horseback riding lessons and riding in the countryside are both healthy and fun - Horseback riding farms have sprung up in the suburbs as interest in riding increases.

Riding isn’t just sitting on a horse. It’s great for all the core muscles that keep the body upright and balanced. It’s good for the abs and thighs that press against the horse.

Riding is a good de-stresser and gives a sense of accomplishment and confidence in being able to control such a large animal. It also provides a satisfying and calming sense of closeness to the horse.

Therapeutic riding, or hippotherapy, can be helpful for children and adults with neurological problems, cerebral palsy and autism, as well as emotional problems.

But horses are very big, you have to know your way around them and horseback riding can be dangerous, especially if you fall. Head injuries are a risk and helmets should always be worn.

Remember to take lessons if you are inexperienced, wear the appropriate clothing and take proper precautions.

Here are some riding club and farms that have horses for riding, professional staff for teaching, and necessary equipment. They rated by Shanghai Daily reporter.

Chenshan 517 Horse Riding Club
Songjiang District

Highlights: Professional coaches
Horses: 4 stars
Transport: 4 stars
Amusement nearby: 5 stars
Food nearby: 4 stars

Hours: Daily 7:30am-6pm, 7:30am-8pm (summer)

Sun Island Horse Riding Farm
Qingpu District

Highlights: City’s longest equestrian sand track
Horses: 5 stars
Transport: 3 stars
Amusement nearby: 4 stars
Food nearby: 4 stars

Hours: 8:30am-5pm

Shanghai Angel Bay Vacationland Horse Riding Farm
Hengsha Island

Highlights: Riding on the beach
Horses: 3 stars
Transport: 3 stars
Amusement nearby: 4 stars
Food nearby: 5 stars

Opening hours: 8:30am-5:30pm

Quanjin Riding Club
Liu Island, Jiading District

Highlights: English-saddle equestrian class
Horses: 3 stars
Transport: 2 stars
Amusement nearby: 2 stars
Food nearby: 3 stars

Hours: 8:30am-5:30pm, reservations required


1. Wear appropriate clothing, boots and helmet.
2. Listen to your instructor. Never walk behind a horse because it can startle him.
3. Walk close to the horse, at the left front.

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