THE five-star equestrian show-jumping event, the Global Champions Tour, is ongoing through June 8, giving people a chance to watch the elegant posture of the players. Horseback riding lessons and riding in the countryside are available to Shanghai residents, as horse farms have sprung up in the suburbs.
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.
Here are some riding clubs and farms that have horses for riding, professional staff for teaching, and necessary equipment.
Xinzhengda Equestrian Club in Ningbo
Covering an area of 79 hectares, the equestrian club at an enchanting mountain has 27 horses including European warmblood, Turkmenistan Ferghana and domestic warmblood horses. The European warmblood horse is for performance and barrier-jumping exercises. The domestic warmblood horses are gentle, so they are for primary learners.
Since 2012, the club has offered lessons for different levels of learners. There are 10 primary courses and 60 advanced courses. The club has more than 200 members, most are advanced learners who can control the horse on a slow or quick pace by themselves. A few of them can jump the barriers and take part in many competitions.
The club also holds a variety of events, including summer camp and team building.
“Riding a horse is not only good exercise, but also a healthy style of life,” said Ye Runfang, manager of the club. “Riding is also 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.”
Every holiday, many families come to learn riding, feed horses and enjoy the natural landscape. A horse-themed restaurant at the club might make you feel you are in Texas with a bunch of cowboys. On summer nights you can barbecue in the field and relax on the grass.
Opening hours: 8am-5:30pm; 8am-9pm in summer (closed on Mondays)
Address: Nanheqiao Road, Xiwu Subdistrict, Fenghua City, Ningbo, Zhejiang Province
Naked Stables at Moganshan Mountain
Embedded at Moganshan Mountain, the horse farm at naked Stables, which belongs to naked Retreats hotel group, is the ideal place to escape the busy city life to get back to nature. There are 17 Mongolia horses from China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. Not only are they striking in beauty, they are also gentle and quite pleasant to be around. The youngest member of the horse family is a foal named April who was born just last month at the farm. Brown with a spot of white, she is already running around the paddock in the early summer.
There are opportunities to go horseback riding on your own within the paddock or off on a mountain adventure with one of the coaches. There are seven professional coaches under the chief coach Edwin Isit, who is from Philippines. The farm offers riding lessons for all levels, or you can just come and help feed and groom the horses.
Opening hours: 8:30-11am, 2-5pm
Address: No. 37, Shangxia Village, Fatou Town, Deqing County, Zhejiang Province
Chenshan 517 Horse Riding Club
Covering an area of 26,000 square meters, the Chenshan 517 Horse Riding Club in Songjiang District has complete horse riding equipment and professional coaches. The club offers training courses for primary, medium and advanced learners. It has 300 club members and raises 24 horses including English thoroughbreds, Arabian and Mongolia horses.
Riding clubs like this have sprouted in the suburbs in recent years in response to booming demand. Members visit the clubs on weekends to ride, and the richest often board their own horses there. The club also holds regular equestrians activities and champion contests.
Opening hours: 7:30am-6pm, 7:30am-8pm (in summer)
Address: Sanxin Rd N., near Chenhua Rd, Songjiang District, Shanghai
Sun Island Horse Riding Farm
With seven years of experienced horse track management and 50 to 60 well-trained horses, the Sun Island Horse Riding Farm offers enchanting riding environment and professional coaching.
The farm has a 600-meter riding sand track, the longest in Shanghai. It has a great variety of horses including Dutch warmblood, English thoroughbred, Germany holsteiner, Yili horse and Mongolia horse.
The farm offers training classes according to age and level. The professional coaches have equestrian certification. It costs 50 yuan for a ride on the 600-meter track.