Stables and Riding
One of the best things about Hanford has to be the riding. Riding lessons are timetabled during the week after lunch in games. The excitement amongst the girls at morning break, when the riding lists are put up, is palpable. Whether your daughter is loves to ride or has never tried riding before, there is something to charm everyone at the stables which are housed in a beautiful Grade II listed building. Chickens hop in and out and in the summer months the school’s various dogs lie basking in the sunshine outside the entrance.
As well as riding, it is important for the girls to learn how to look after the ponies. In the mornings, girls from the upper years are invited to “catch” the ponies from the fields and bring them to their stable to have breakfast. Girls are also encouraged go to the stables to groom the ponies and help with the stable management during their morning break. Here they will find the riding staff – Charley, Amy, Amelia and Hattie who will direct them. Nearly everybody rides at Hanford and there are many different standards and ponies to suit.
Types of Rides
There are different types of rides at Hanford, depending on the girl’s ability, the time of year and the weather. There are some wonderful out rides; the most popular ones have to be the rides up Hod and Hambledon hill beside the school. Hanford is a Pony Club linked centre and is lucky to have its own indoor school which is used year round. Beyond the indoor school is a cross country schooling paddock which offers girls the opportunity to learn a different riding discipline.
During the summer term the UVIth and LVIth go on Early Morning Rides before breakfast. The girls thoroughly enjoy these rides as they are a little longer and go a bit further than afternoon out rides. Early Morning Rides are where girls create memories that last a lifetime; many Old Girls still remember the ponies they rode for these rides, years later.