Leisure review: Horse Riding Surrey
Painshill Farm Stables, Dunsfold Road
Cranleigh, Surrey, GU6 8LF
Telephone: 01483 200 227
Horse Riding Surrey – map
Review by: Alexa Williamson
Rating: ***** (out of 5)
Wow! That is the best way to start this review. Horse Riding Surrey takes hacking to another level compared to most places!
I stumbled across this place on Facebook and then looked up their website. The website for this stable is great and shows all the different types of riding they offer. It is one of those places I had never heard of and never would have found if I hadn’t stumbled across it. Either this place is very popular or is a hidden gem. I am not sure. Their website doesn’t have a phone number. To schedule a hack, I emailed them and then a couple of days later had an answer back. I have no idea if they don’t list the phone number because their phone would ring off the hook if it did! After a couple of emails with one of the owners, I was booked onto a hack for a Saturday. The price is reasonable for the area.
I suppose the most important thing to note is you really need a car to get here unless you can devise a way of walking 5 miles from Cranleigh to this place (after a bus journey from a train station) or unless you are happy to cycle from a train station or pay through the nose for taxis – Godalming and Guildford – the two nearest train stations and two places I have learned, that I do not like going. A taxi (and I called many) will sting you for over £20 to get there! Goldalming is closer but has few taxis. Really, you will need to pay between £24-30 each way for a taxi. It is disgusting as the place is only 6 miles away from Godalming – and if you do this, you will pay either more than your horse ride or about the same (depending on the length of it). After calling many cabs and none being available (thankfully as they were too expensive), I wanted to cry and go home. Instead, I called the stable and forunately, someone was able to come and get me. They also didn’t want any money for the journey. I was so relieved and grateful!
So, I came to the farm and was put on a lovely thoroughbred named Eden. In her day, she was a racer and won a few races on the flat. She was a dainty horse – very thin and small-boned (as is common for thoroughbreds – she was well taken care of!). She was a good, patient girl and stood in the yard patiently. They nearly put me on another horse, but fortunately put me on her! I rode with two other people who were getting ready for a ranch holiday in America and a local teen who was a good rider and rode the fast, feisty mare. She was out front. Our guide was excellent and rode in the middle. The hack was two hours and it was amazing!
A lot of the horses here are used for jumping, hunting, eventing and they stable also offers something called “The Gallops”, which is galloping on a sand racetrack. So, these horses are fit and like to run. For the hack I went on, you had to know how to ride as we went fast quite often. In my opinion, myself and the guide had the best horses. They were all lovely. Just that, the two ladies who were to go on the ranch holiday and hadn’t ridden in a while, their horses bucked because they were excited and having a good time. Nothing major but you had to have a good seat. Some beginners probably would have been freaked out. If you are a beginner or do not want to canter or gallop you must tell them.
Our two hour ride was exciting and the countryside out there is amazing. There was minimal road work and we went through some nice fields and forests. My little mare was so cute. She had tiny hooves and a tiny frame and it seemed so strange seeing her take on these steep muddy and rocky trails. Thankfully she was sure footed. At the end of the ride there was also a gallop. I indeed had the perfect horse for me as she kept up but didn’t get too excited and try and race to the front. She also did not spook!
So, I had a fantastic, breath-taking time and would like to go back and try their other activities such as beach rides, hunting and the cross country. The people at the stable are polite and friendly. The guide was also kind enough to give me a ride back to Guildford station. This is one of my favourite riding experiences and frankly, I don’t feel like I have to find anywhere else in the area. This is the crowning place!
Horse Riding Surrey (official site)