Yeeha! Shanghai's 4 best horseback riding stables

Yeeha! Shanghai's 4 best horseback riding stables

Forget Moganshan or Anji, spend a day outside the city at one of Shanghai’s top stables

Although Shanghai’s not known for its greenery, a day in the country -- on horseback no less -- isn’t as far away as many think.

Located in four of the city’s major districts -- Pudong, Fengxian, Jiangding and Songjiang -- these Shanghai horseback riding stables offer a bit of respite from the city without a major to-do or travel.

Each stable provides basic leg protection and helmets, so all new riders need to hop into the saddle are tight, long pants and flat shoes and they’re good to go.

 

1. Qingqing Horsemanship Club

Size: 121,405 square meters.
Horses:
37 horses available including Mongolian and Ili breeds aged five to eight years old.
Price:
Starting from RMB 290 for 45 minutes.
Coaches:
Eight coaches, mostly from northern China, and one from Germany.
Reservations: One week in advance.

Qingqing is the closest stable to downtown Shanghai, making travel easier on those who just want to get out of the city without of fuss -- it almost means it can be the busiest of the four main Shanghai stables -- hence the week-long reservation time.

“We teach English riding, including basic skills like sitting and trotting," says Eric Zhao, marketing manager at Qingqing. "Jumping and other moves will be taught to more experienced riders. Kids above eight are welcome."

In addition to riding (lunch and showers are provided), once you’ve dismounted, you check out Qingqing resort which offers fishing, golf and tennis.

How to get there: Metro Line 9 to Songjiang University Town station and then a taxi (about RMB 15).

Qingqing Horsemanship Club, Qingqing Travel World, No. 388 Chenhua Lu, Songjiang District 松江区辰花公路388号青青旅游世界内, +86 21 5769 0003, www.qqhorse.com/index.htm, hours: 9 a.m.-noon and 1 p.m. -6 p.m., closed on Monday.


2. Quanjin Horse Club

Size: 80,000 square meters.
Horses:
42 horses, including Mongolian and Ili breeds age seven and eight, and Arabian imported horses.
Price:
Starting from RMB 230 per hour.
Coaches:
Eight coaches mainly from Inner Mongolia and Jiangxi Province.
Reservations: One day in advance.

A big advantage of Quanjin is the price. Less expensive than the other local stables, people are willing to travel a bit further to save a few mao.

Although non-members can book any time, those who are just trying the sport out should book during the week, as members get preference over weekend spots.

“We choose Mongolian and Ili breeds for new riders as they're less emotional than imported horses, which are favored by our experienced members," says Hu Xuefei, general manager of Quanjin.

"If you want to establish a quick friendship with your pony, bring it some carrot or apples,” Hu continues.

The stable doesn’t provide lunch (or the friendship-building carrots or apples), so visitors should bring something to snack on in case they get hungry.

How to get there: Metro Line 11 to North Jiading station and then a taxi (about RMB 35).

Quanjin Horse club, Liudao Resort, Jiahang Lu, Jiading district 浏岛风景区嘉行公路北侧, 近双浏路, +86 21 54811867, www.qjhorse.com, hours: 9 a.m.- noon and 1:30 p.m.-5:30 p.m.


3. Songseng Equestrian

Size: 100,000 square meters.
Horses: 60 horses aged from five to 10 -- mostly Mongolian and Ili breeds, with the rest imported from Australia and Europe.
Price: Starting from RMB 360 per hour.
Coaches: 15 coaches mostly from Inner Mongolia and Jiangsu Province.
Reservations: One day in advance.

Songseng is one of the more remote stables, but being farther away means more room for the stable’s horses, which are some of the largest, making it ideal for slightly more experienced riders.

No need to bring your own food (unless it's a carrot for the horse), Songseng has its own restaurant, serving nongjia cai, or farmhouse cooking, which has made a comeback with Shanghai’s urban dwellers.

If you want to make this more than a day trip, you can stay overnight at the stable’s villas; each room is decked out with antique furniture.

How to get there: Metro Line 8 to Aerospace Museum station and then a taxi (about RMB 80).

Songseng Equestrian, No. 621, Renmingtang Dong Lu, Fengxian district 奉贤区人民塘东路621号, +86 21 5139 8100, www.songseng.com, hours: 9 a.m.-5:30 p.m.

4. Shanghai Huihuang Horse Riding Club

Venue size: 404,685 square meters.
Horses: 84 horses in total, with Mongolian and Ili horses predominating.
Price: Starting from RMB 280 per hour.
Coaches: 40 experienced coaches, mostly from Inner Mongolia, Hong Kong and Taiwan.
Reservations: One day in advance.

Founded in 1998, Huihuang is the only stable on this list that's a member of the China Equestrian Association.

“Our horses are well-trained and very kid friendly, so families with children over four are welcome,” says Tina Zeng, general manager assistant of Huihuang.

The spacious site has four training grounds to ensure visitors get enough time and space. It also offers free showers after you've called it a day. 

Better than a shower though, if you book it in advance, Huihuang can arrange barbecues for lunch after a morning of riding.

How to get there: Metro Line 8 to Luheng Lu station and then a taxi (about RMB 15).

Shanghai Huihuang Horse Riding Club, No. 517 Xinhua Lu, San Lin town, Pudong, +86 21 33929188 浦东新区三林镇新华路517号, www.huihuanghorse.com, hours: 8 a.m.-9:30 p.m.

Need a better workout than these Shanghai stables can provide? Read on at "The fighter’s guide to Shanghai martial arts".

Wang Fangqing is a Shanghai-based freelance reporter. She writes about business in English and lifestyle in Chinese.

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