Responsible travel: Horse riding hacks & day tours, South Downs, England
Being a riding school with 9 horses we have get quite a lot of waste in the form of manure. We make sure to dispose of this in the best way possible by giving it away to local markets and gardeners so that it can be used efficiently and go back into the land. We are also very careful with water and make sure not to waste any.
Being located on the South Downs we get a lot of birds coming and going from the area. They have the stables to build their nests, which they often do. They also make the most of the horseís hair when they are malting by using it to build their nests. We see them swooping down and flying off with a mouth full of hair. There are some birds that regularly appear every year to make their nests in the stables.
We have the best of both worlds when it comes to our location; we are right on the Downs which is perfect for road free hacking, but also very close to Shoreham train station. There are regular buses from the Holmbush Centre that takes you to a bus stop a short 5 minute walk away from the stables.
We make sure to buy our hay, wood shavings and horse feed from the local area. Using local suppliers is the easiest and most efficient way to get hold of the goods we need, as well as being cheaper and more readily available.
At the bottom of the road there is a pub called The Royal George that people can visit for a meal or a drink after some hacking out in the countryside. Shoreham is a quaint little town by the sea where there are places to stay, eat and drink, as well as a large farmers market in the town a couple of times a month. Shoreham airport has events going on occasionally and a yearly air show as well.
Our riding school welcomes people of all ages to come and have a go with the horses. We have the local schools come up for riding lessons, and adults with learning difficulties from the area come to spend a day with the horses as well.
We are situated right on the edge of the Downs and have access onto them so there is no need to go near any roads on your ride. The landscape is very undulating with a lovely view of the sea from where we are, and even views of the North Downs on a clear day.
Depending on what walks we go on youíll visit different parts of the landscape. On our 1 hour hack we get into the landscape over to Southwick Hill. The 2 hour hack takes you to Truleigh Hill which is 600ft above sea level, with some stunning views over the Downs. On our day ride we hack all the way to Devilís Dyke which is a large dry valley in the chalk land of the South Downs. You really get to experience the beauty of the South Downs on all three journeys, and you will see plenty of plants, birds and even the occasional deer experiencing it too.