When the kids ask for horse riding lessons what flashes in the parents’ mind is: ‘that will cost a fortune’ or ‘I must join an exclusive polo club first’. Not true, you can have a taste of horse riding near KL without breaking the bank – whether you are a new rider or an experienced one.
Denai Alam Recreational and Riding Club (DARC)
DARC is located in Shah Alam and is about 35 minutes drive from the hustle and bustle of KL. The riding lessons are open to members and non-members. The annual family membership will cost you RM290. This allows you to use some of their facilities for free – horse and pony rides on the weekends, children’s splash pool, outdoor trampoline, games room, beach volleyball and karaoke. You will get discounted price for the horse riding lessons, archery lessons and their food and beverages.
The lessons are sold in packages:
- RM210 for 6 lessons on weekdays
- RM240 for 6 lessons on weekends
Horse riding lessons here are 30 minutes long and you can choose either to go for one lesson (30 minutes) or 2 lessons (1 hour) at a time. We normally go for one hour as my daughter loves riding and 30 minutes is just not enough for her!
Weekday lessons are more easily available as weekends are busier and ponies may not available for lessons. (Note: they use the ponies for young riders and ponies are normally used for fun rides on the weekends). They provide helmets (if you can brace the odour from previous 1000 riders)! The riding lessons are one-to-one so you have the instructor all to yourself. Bare-in-mind that you may have a different instructor on each lesson. Additional fee will apply if you select the same instructor for all your lessons.
One more note: you will need to attend a theory lesson before your first riding lesson. It is only one session of about two hours. This comes with grooming the horse as well. More information about riding at DARC can be found here.
Horse riding lessons at UPM Equin
UPM Equin is located in Seri Kembangan, similar distance from KL as DARC but in the opposite direction. No membership is required here. UPM students and staff are offered a discounted price for the riding lessons. For outsiders the riding cost is MYR 600 for 10 lessons.
We use a private instructor, Chris Ladbrook, who manages a small riding school in UPM Equin. He is from New Zealand and former trainer to the Malaysian riding team. There is no membership for these private riding lessons but there is a registration fee of RM250 for a family and RM150 for an individual.
New riders will start with a 20-minute introductory lesson, that costs RM40. Once you are ready for the ‘proper’ lesson the cost will be RM95 for a group lesson and RM160 for private lesson. The duration of the lesson is 45 minutes.
There is an average of six students per group lesson and don’t be afraid – an experienced helper will manage or assist each rider’s horse until they are fully able to control the horse and master the ride. More info on riding at UPM Equin can be found here.
Our experience on riding lessons near KL
We have ridden in both riding schools above and the horses are healthy and well taken care of. In DARC they mainly use ponies for younger children, while in UPM they use older horses as they have calmer temperaments. You will be able to feed the horses after the ride which my children are delighted to. Bring your apples and carrots, the horses will love you for it!
You will need to get your own riding gear for the lessons – riding boots and a helmet are the essentials. You may also want to get riding trousers for a better grip and to avoid rubbing the insides of your legs on the saddle. Definitely no shorts! You can get the gear in Decathlon for just about RM100!
The above riding schools also provide trail rides even for beginners. At UPM you will be able to spot wild horses on the trail ride!
In DARC the instructors are mainly local and some foreign workers who speak limited English. If you can only communicate in English I would strongly suggest that you go for Chris in UPM.
Other riding schools in the Klang Valley: Selangor Polo Club and Bukit Kiara Equestrian Club
Selangor Polo Club costs over RM7500 with a RM2000 refundable deposit for a lifetime membership or RM2800 with MYR 1500 refundable deposit for annual membership, but this needs to be upgraded to lifetime membership after two years.
Bukit Kiara Equestrian Club is currently not open for new members. For non-members the riding lessons are on waiting list. If you really want to join as member you can contact them and they can recommend someone who is willing to sell their membership to you. The transfer fee is RM2680 with a refundable RM1000 deposit. The monthly fee is RM156. The membership fee is payable to the member and the price agreed is strictly between the member and the buyer.
The prices and details in this post were correct at the time of writing, please do check the latest details from the riding schools. If your child is not ready for lessons yet, check our list of places that offer pony rides in KL.
Bukit Tinggi Horse Trails is about 45 minutes from KL in the Genting Highlands. It’s a beautiful spot to ride and marginally cooler than KL. Lessons are RM100 – RM120 per hour depending on either non-peak or peak times, or you can book eight 1/2 hour sessions at RM350 (non-peak) – RM450 (peak). My daughter always had a one-on-one session with an instructor in the ring, grooming and learning how to saddle and look after a horse were included in the instruction. As she became more advanced she was taken on escorted out-rides with an instructor, which her Dad was always keen to join. Out-rides are priced the same as a lesson. For more details click here.