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When I was told there was a riding stables located in London, I
wondered what kind of facility might be able to care for horses in
the confines of the city. I in turn, mentioned it to a friend.
Curiosity got the better of us and last year, when we were in
London, we decided to go and see for ourselves.
What a wonderful surprise. Westway Stables is a superb facility
located in the shadow of a flyover just a short distance from the
famous BBC studios. In addition to the stables, there is a sand area
for training in all kids of equestrian pursuits. The yard area is
busy with people, horses and even a dog or two. Inside we found a
comfortable waiting area complete with television, for those waiting
for riders, or for riders taking a break with a cup of tea.
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At the time of our visit, there were over twenty horses and ponies
living at Westway. We had a great time just playing with some of the
ponies, who appeared to enjoy the interaction as much as we did. Of
course, one cannot visit a stable without riding and ride we did.
Taking the ten-minute trek to Wormwood Scrubs, an open land area of
approximately eighty square kilometers, we enjoyed an hour-long ride
on a pair of wonderful horses. My friend has a little more riding
experience, and a little more nerve than I do, although I am no
beginner. Our horses suited us both perfectly, seeming to know what
we wanted before we did. We found out later that the staff goes out
of their way to match horse and rider, so that the experience is
pleasurable for both.
There are horses for all skill levels; gentle, easy going horses for
those just learning, and those with little more spirit for the
expert rider. Those learning to ride learn to care for their horse
as well. The attention given to the horses is impeccable. There is
no doubt the staff at Westway care greatly about the horses in their
charge. Most impressive is that the staff understands that each
horse is an individual, with an individual personality, temperament,
and requirements. Just as people need vacations, horses do as well,
and these horses get them.
Not only does the staff care about the horses, they also care about
their two legged guests. We were made to feel welcome from the
minute we entered the facility. After our ride, we came back for a
cup of tea and some friendly conversation with the staff. They told
us that not only do they offer riding, dressage, and jumping classes
for paying clients, but also do a great deal of work with
disadvantaged and special needs children. The horses have an
incredible therapeutic effect on many of the children.
I would recommend Westway Stables to anyone interested in riding or
learning about horses. Over all we had a lovely afternoon, and plan
to revisit the facility as soon as our schedules allow.