Courses for Horses is the premier British Horse Society Approved Riding and Training Centre for North Staffordshire and South Cheshire. To view our BHS listing, click here.
We are based in the beautiful Staffordshire Moorlands, near Stoke-on-Trent and only seven miles from the Cheshire border.
Our home, Lower Stonehouse Farm, dates back to Doomsday and the first official records are from the 14th Century where a "Ralf de Stonehouse" is mentioned in the Court Rolls of Edward III. The stone buildings and house are Grade II listed and the main parts were built in 1610 by the same family who owned Ford Green Hall.
Over the centuries, it has been added to, remodelled and evolved with the changes in society and rural landscape and the 20th and 21st centuries have seen it change from a small, moorland farm into the equestrian centre it is today.
This long history, combined with the fact that it has been in the same hands since 1971, gives the centre a friendly, welcoming atmosphere and visitors often remark on how peaceful the place is, despite now being a busy training centre with 25 horses, 10 members of staff, 3 arenas and a large carpark - not to mention a resident cat and dog!
The equestrian centre was started in the 1980s and began life as a livery yard. However, in 1994, Mary Stitson decided to broaden the scope of what was on offer and set up Courses for Horses. The ethos then, as now, was to educate riders and horse owners in all aspects of riding, training and horse care.
The heart of CFH has always been the horse, and our passion is to help riders and horse owners to understand the animals they are dealing with – their bodies, minds, emotions and quirks – so that true harmony and partnership can be created.
We aim to be a one-stop-shop for education; to provide riders and horse owners in Staffordshire and beyond a place where they can come and learn – not only about horses but about themselves – and to become confident and proficient, whatever their level or ambitions.
We also want to break down the barriers that are often associated with horse riding. It can be seen as elitist, but we want to show how inclusive the sport really is. Young or old, male or female, special needs or able-bodied, leisure riders or professionals, we are all on the same journey and have the same desires – to learn as much as we can about these wonderful, challenging and inspiring creatures.
2018 saw further development of our ethos with the additional provision of therapy with horses. For many years, we have supported those with special needs, but now, we will broaden our services to include the British Horse Society Changing Lives Programme, which aims to do much more than just teach young people to ride.
More than just a riding school? We think so!