questions & answers If you do not see your query answered here, please email or phone the office.
All courses must be paid for at the time of booking in order to secure your place.
We accept credit or debit card payments over the phone and here at the centre.
You can also purchase a Gift Voucher using Paypal from the website and we will send you a voucher valid for one year for you to use.
We also accept a Bank transfer to our company HSBC account :
The Centre of Horseback Combat LTD
Sort code: 40-46-07
Account number: 21533436
For Rider Confidence course payments only please use these details:
Sort Code 23-05-80
Account number 22644734
Please reference payments with your name and let us know once payment is made so we can check the account and send your confirmation email.
Once any form of payment has been made we will send you a confirmation email with all info on for your day and full directions. If you have not received this email please contact us and we will resend it. Please do read it through.
We will only cancel a course in extreme circumstances.
If we can see that a few days leading up to your course date that the weather looks particularly bad we will contact you to discuss this and arrange to reschedule your course for another day to suit both parties. We will always try to give you as much notice as possible. Please also if you have concerns feel free to contact us. Its important we have a contact tel number for you or regularly check your emails leading up to your course especially in the winter months when weather may cause problems.
Please be aware if choosing dates from November-March the weather can be more unpredictable with ice, snow, strong winds and rain so please be aware if travelling long distances, booking flights and/or accommodation that you can cancel and exchange your plans as in the worst case scenario we would need to cancel the day and reschedule. We will always aim to give as much notice as possible usually at least 3-4 days beforehand.
We will always first and foremost run your course. If in the case of instructor illness we will arrange for another instructor to teach. If we cannot organise another instructor we may need to contact you to reschedule your course.
Please equally respect us and if you need to change your course date we request at least 7 days notice so we can try to fill your place. This takes our time. Some courses require a minimum number to run and people travel nationally and internationally to visit us so require time to book in.
We do not offer refunds or reschedules for courses cancelled within 7 days notice.
Gift vouchers will be no longer valid if you cancel within 7 days of your booking.
Please see our Gift vouchers page for the T'S and C's.
We prefer to reschedule your course date for a date to suit both parties.
If you do not turn up on the day, for your booked course and you have not given 7 days notice to the centre by email or by phone then your day is forfeited.
All refunds will be subject to a £20 administration fee.
Novice riders are accepted on all courses except The Pro Stunt day and the Roman Riding lessons. Novice riders will be kept on a lead rope and at a walk. For your own comfort, if you are a novice rider considering more than a half day course, please contact us first.
We take students for Horseback Archery from 14 yrs upwards for insurance purposes.
We are a centre with horses from 15hh to 16.2hh.
For the Horse archery we have a selection of Horse bows available of different draw weights from 20lbs upwards.
Horse Archery techniques take time to learn and can be tricky so very young students can get frustrated but so can the adults!
The Rider Confidence Course is aimed at adults with educational aspects of the brain, past experiences, stress and confidence.
We combine the day with classroom sessions and practical arena sessions.
Age 14 yrs and upwards. Please check suitability with us first if you have concerns.
For Trick riding lessons, 16 yrs and over.
We feel a certain amount of responsibility and maturity is required to understand the nature of what you are learning and not to go home and try this at home on your or your friends horses that are most likely untrained for the job and could cause an accident.
You will be required to wear a riding hat for insurance purposes and to stay safe when learning a completely new skill on horseback.
Trick Riding is essentially a form of Gymnastics on Horseback so a good fitness level, upper body and core strength are required to perform the tricks safely and correctly.
During the warm up some running, around 1o press up (not on knees) and sit ups are required.
We actually find it easier if a you have never shot a bow before or have little experience as we are teaching a different technique, the thumb draw technique.
We start all courses on the ground learning how to shoot a horsebow using the thumb and only when we can see you are safe enough do we progress onto the horses starting from a walk. Experienced archers are completely welcome too. We have a exciting new style to teach you also. Left handed people can also come and learn Horseback Archery, no problem.
A safety briefing is conducted before every course.
If you have your own riding hat then please bring it along.
We do have some here of varying sizes if you forget or do not own one.
Please do not wear trainers as you will not be allowed to mount our horses and your day will end, so a boot with a small heel is most suitable.
Your normal riding gear is fine, if you do not have any then loose jeans, long trousers you can move in with ease, no shorts or cropped trousers and long boots are good.
For Rider Confidence courses please wear comfy riding gear that you can move about in easily. Please be aware the lessons take place outdoors, so dress sensibility for the weather and bring a warm/waterproof coat.
We will provide all other equipment.
Any horse riding should be an active sport and we expect a suitable level of fitness.
We regret we cannot accept over 16 stone.
We do have a mounting block if required.
Generally the half day and full day courses start at 10.30am.
Afternoon Horse Archery sessions begin at 2.30pm until 5.30pm.
The Centre opens from 10.15am for registration and tea/coffee.
Please do not come into the yard before this time as it will be closed to you as we have liveries to attend to and we are busy setting up for your course to provide you the best service possible.
If you arrive early its worth heading 5 mins down the hill to
The Red Lion pub which opens from 9am for breakfast and serves food all day.
If we are running afternoon course you may be joining us for a half day only starting at 2.30pm so please meet us in the reception room.
Yes, we have worked long and hard to provide you with a facility which is as safe as possible.
We are fully licensed annually and insured.
The Centre of Horseback Combat Ltd carries £5,000,000 in public liability cover but you use the centre and equipment at your own risk. The centre accepts no liability for injuries or accidents to your person or damage to personal property. The Centre can arrange short term and yearly personal accident cover if you so wish with Sportsguard Direct.
We hold a Riding school license with Dacorum council which involves an annual check by vets to inspect our horses, tack, equipment, stables, fields, riding hats, horses worming and vaccinations, horses working day plans, our experience and qualifications, first aid box, equine first aid, fire points and insurance. As part of being licensed, the suitability of the health and welfare of the horses and experience of the tutors is assessed and approved - so in every way you know you are in safe hands and hooves!
We hold Public liability insurance for £5 million to teach Jousting, Horseback Archery, stunt riding, Trick Riding and Tent pegging/Skill at Arms.
Always check that any yard that teaches the public in exchange for money for this criterion.
Karl is also a qualified hypnotherapist and has years of experience in dealing with Rider Confidence issues.
We are lucky to have a choice of 3 great pubs based around the estate.
The Red Lion is a lovely bar/restaurant gastropub which opens for breakfast from 9am and serves food all day! It is based just a 3 min drive away in Waters End.
The Old Chequers is also a really great pub over the other side of the estate just a 5 min drive, we highly recommend it!
The closest pub is The Crown and Sceptre, just a 2 min walk across the cricket pitch.
No alcohol to be consumed during your day. If we believe you have been drinking or smell of alcohol you will be asked to leave the course for reasons of safety.
Lunch is at 1.30pm until 2.30pm so on Bank Holidays and weekends you may want to book yourself a table in advance as the pubs can get busy.
We can highly recommend a beautiful B and B just 5 mins away called Beechwood Home Farm with stunning ensuite rooms. Check out their website for booking info.
If you'd like a bit of hotel luxury please take a look at Shendish Manor Hotel and golf club just outside Hemel Hempstead.
We are also only 3.5 miles from Hemel Hempstead which also has a Premier Inn, Travel Lodge and a Holiday Inn.
We are also only 4.6 miles from Berkhamsted which is a lovely small historic town with some great B&B's and hotels. We recommend The Penny Farthing Hotel on the High street. http://www.thepennyfarthingberkhamsted.co.uk/
Yes, we welcome spectators on most courses for no extra charge, but we cannot allow spectators on the Rider Confidence due to the sensitive and personal nature of this course.
We want any nervous students to feel comfortable to try new skills without feeling watched by strangers.
Photography is allowed for your own personal use only on our days except the Rider Confidence Course.
Please contact us first for any commercial photography use.
Please be aware this is a centre with weapons and horses and is not a suitable environment for children under 12 years. Please discuss this with us at the time of booking if you have any concerns.
We do not accept unsupervised children at any time.
One year from purchase. It will expire without notice from ourselves.
Please check in the case of Horse Archery courses as our season can end in November until March due to weather and ground conditions.
We do offer gift voucher 6 month extensions for £25 as long as your voucher is still valid.
To extend your voucher please call the office and pay over the phone using a card.
If you have not contacted us by email or phone to extend your voucher and it has expired then we cannot offer an extension.
If you are injured or sick and cannot use your voucher please contact us by phone or email whilst your voucher is still valid for further info and we may be able to help by offering an extension.
Gift Vouchers are non refundable.
Gift Vouchers cannot be exchanged for cash.
Gift vouchers can be exchanged for other course vouchers of the same value or in the case of a higher value course a top up cost will be required by cash or card payment at the time of booking.
We will still run courses in the rain.
If leading up to your course day the weather looks very nasty such as high winds and heavy rain all day or snow we will notify you by email and phone in the week leading up to your course so its important we have your correct contact details, this is very rare though.
If in extreme cases whilst you are here and the weather turns very nasty making the activity unsafe we may at our discretion stop the course through reasons of safety and offer you another suitable date to finish your course.
This is a outdoor activity so please bring suitable outdoor warm clothing and a waterproof coat it can get windy up on our Horse Archery track!
In the summer months please bring sun cream, a sun hat and be protected as our sheltered walled garden can get quite warm in the height of summer.
We do suggest if booking in a day as a very special occasion and travelling a long distance maybe the summer months are better to aim for to ensure we can run your day, but this is the U.K after all!
We are based on the 2000 acre private and historic Gaddesden estate nr Hemel Hempstead.
On booking you will receive a email confirmation with full address and detailed directions on how to find us.
We are based 3.5 miles north from Hemel Hempstead.
Our nearest train station would be Hemel Hempstead which is around 30 mins from central London. Berkhamsted station is also very close.
A taxi service from the station can bring you here, there are usually always taxis at the station waiting. It should cost around £13.
Rainbow taxis: 01442 252588
We are also close to Luton, just 9 miles, Stansted, Gatwick and Heathrow airports.
We are in very easy reach of the M1 junctions 8 and 9 and the M25.
Sorry but we can no longer accept dogs here.
We like to keep it personal and small.
For Horseback archery courses we have 12 people max on a full day and 6 on a half day.
Rider Confidence courses is 7 max.
Pro Stunt Days is 6 max.
For Stag and Hen days we can take 20 max on a full day as your day is mixed between the activities, we also include some sword fighting on the ground. These activities are summer months only.
We feel this gives you the best attention on your day and a good deal of riding.
We use high quality stunt horses, mostly of Andalucian types.
We are based close to Whipsnade Zoo, Berkhampsted is also very nice with a castle ruin, coffee shops and restaurants and St Albans is a great historical Roman town.
The Gaddesden estate has its own spa called Nutmeg spa just across our land if you fancy a relaxing treat.
We also are lucky enough to have The Snow Centre in Hemel Hempstead with real snow offering skiing and snowboarding lessons. They also have a great bar/restaurant known as The Lodge.
Jarman Park in Hemel Hempstead offers a climbing wall, indoor skatepark and high ropes course and is open everyday.
It also has a cinema and brand new restaurant strip with Frankie and Benny's, Coast to Coast, Chiquitos, Subway and a Hungry Horse.
For more bespoke type queries it is best to speak to us in person.
During the day we are often teaching and so may not get your call or email. Please do leave a message for us with your contact number so we know you have tried to call us.
We do aim to reply within 3 days.
Please note the office is closed at weekends.
Office opens Mon - Fri 9.30am -5pm.
Tel: 01442 462715.