Outside of North America, there seems to be few "Western" style riding places. It's almost solely from that area, besides some limited interest groups in other countries. I've been riding for over 10 years and I have never seen a Western style riding school, or a western style event. I've never even sat in a Western saddle, and I'd love to, looks like fun but it just isn't common in Australia, and probably even less so in England.
Yeah, when I found out that English isn't exclusively for those that want to compete, I have no problem learning that
18 pounds sounds really good, I was paying $40AUD for an hour group adult lesson on school horses, which is about 25 pounds. Make sure the school is good though - it's worth paying more for better quality instruction and better horses. Even if you don't want to be competitive in the future, it's worth learning it the right way first.
Yeah, for the hour I thought it seemed okay, even though the group could get as big as 8. Like another poster said though, I may consider taking a few private lessons to start and then move to group.
You don't have to wear breeches/jodhpurs, I know I never to just because they cost so much! You can get away with some jeans, or even exercise type pants? Good boots are more important than pants.
After reading the articles provided by Cinder, I have to say...breeches and jodhpurs don't actually look that bad
I guess what put me off was the riding 'coats' I've seen people in, which seemed quite elaborate and linked to eventing. Jodhpurs seemed practical though, which is cool with me. After all, it's all in context.
It's dangerous, but the risk on riding school horses is relatively minimal.
Keep us updated!
I read through an article on safety provided by another poster, and although some of it was a little unnerving, I doubt I would ever be doing anything dangerous with an instructor. I have no doubt I'd fall at some point, but that's just something you have to get over really.
Thanks for your help, I reckon I'll do some more investigating about places to learn (perhaps ask my cousin who used to ride herself) and then pluck up the courage to speak to my parents...