From racing at Newmarket through to the majestic Suffolk Punch, horses are a proud part of our county’s history.
There are so many wonderful places for equestrians to visit, that we struggled to narrow it down but here are just a few of our tips for horse-lovers.
Exploring our horse-loving history
Part of the Suffolk Trinity, the wonderful Suffolk Punch has become a symbol of our region and you can explore their agricultural past with a trip to the Suffolk Punch Trust in Hollesley, near Woodbridge. This is a wonderful day out for all the family, with some fantastic countryside walks as well as an insightful heritage museum looking at rural life. You may also be interested to know that dogs are always welcome to the Trust – so what better place to take your faithful hound for a long woodland walk!
If equine history is your thing, we would also recommend a guided tour of the National Stud and Racing Museum, both at Newmarket. This will not only give you an insight into the wonderful world of racing, but you’ll also learn a lot about how these sporting giants are bred and get a close up to the gorgeous stallions, mares and foals. You never know – you may discover a future racing star, after all many of the great Frankel’s foals have been bred at the National Stud.
Mount your trusty steed
If riding is your passion, then there is no better place to visit than Suffolk. Whether you’d like a gentle hack around its many bridleways, a private show jumping lesson, a gallop cross-country or even carriage driving or vaulting lessons, then our wonderful county has something for you!
As you are no doubt aware, we are more than happy for horse owners to bring their pony on holiday with them to Damerons Farm. With plenty of stables, paddocks and a 25m x 45m manege, we’ve ample room to enable you to stay in the saddle and explore the bridleways nearby.
We can also share our recommendations for horse-related activities with you, so please just ask. Special mention should be made of Newton Hall Equitation Centre in Swilland. It’s BHS registered and offers lessons for riders of all ages and abilities
If hacking is more your thing, then we would definitely recommend the Sunflower Community Care Farm at Rendlesham Forest which specialises in pony treks through the forest. It’s a must-do on a sunny weekend.
For the more adventurous riders amongst us, a trip to Poplar Park is always worth a visit – it’s home to one of the region’s top cross-country courses, and you can see this in action each year during the annual Poplar Park horse trials which takes place each spring (dates can be confirmed at www.horsedates.co.uk).
Challenge yourself and your horse
But if cross-country is too mundane and you are looking for a bigger challenge, look no further than Valley Farm Equestrian Leisure in Wickham Market! Not just your average riding lesson, here you can try out a variety of horse sports including horseball, polocrosse, carriage driving or vaulting. There’s even the opportunity to test out your side-saddle skills or try western riding – perfect if you’re planning a ranch holiday in the future!
There are so many wonderful stables and bridleways available locally, that we’re always happy to share our advice, and we’d love to hear your thoughts on great places to ride. Let us know your favourite hacks over on our Facebook page.