I had an interesting inquiry this week. One of the Journeys & Jaunts readers asked me whether I knew of any places that offered horseback riding lessons for children in English here in Shenyang. I didn’t, but – naturally – was intrigued and started doing research. It turns out that this topic is of interest for several people, so I thought I’d simply turn my findings into an article. This means that I do not have any pictures of most of the places, but I have been able to at least include locations for all of them and will let you know about the price points as far as I have been able to make them out.
So here goes, in no particular order:
Jingyinghui Equestrian Training Ground
The Jingyinghui Equestrian Training Ground (精英汇马术培训基地 in Chinese, jīngyīnghuì mǎshù péixùn jīdì in pinyin) is located quite a bit to the east of Shenyang, on the northern bank of the Hun River.
The pin in the picture indicates a farm called the Two Four Farm (二四农场 in Chinese, èr sì nóngchǎng in pinyin).
From there, you can see a guard pavilion. There, you turn right onto the unpaved road. After 200 meters, you turn left, then right after another 100 meters, than always straight until you see a cement road and the entrance to Jingyinghui Equestrian Training Ground.
This place offers indoor riding facilities only. They have one riding instructor who speaks English, but I was warned that their language level 不是很好 (bú shì hěn hǎo, is not very good). You’d have to test this yourselves, I guess…
Lessons and Pricing
Lessons are 45 minutes long, and you need to book a teacher separately. Teachers cost 100 RMB/lesson for beginners or lower level students, 150 RMB/lesson for intermediate students, and 200 RMB/lesson for experienced equestrians. As far as I understand, only one teacher’s fee is applicable, even if there are multiple people being instructed at the same time.
Lessons need to be arranged at least 1 day in advance, for Saturdays or Sundays, 2 days prior notice is recommended. If you are more than 20 minutes late without prior notice, the lesson is cancelled and the fee deducted from your card.
The price structure for Jingyinghui Equestrian Training Ground is a bit complicated, but let me try and break it down for you. There are 5 different membership cards.
The first one is a so-called trial card (体检卡 in Chinese, tǐjiǎn kǎ in pinyin) that gives you 4 lessons, which need to be used within the space of 3 months. This trial card is for one person, costs 1,000 RMB, and is not transferrable.
Then there is a student card (学员卡 in Chinese, xuéyuán kǎ in pinyin) that gives you 25 lessons, which need to be used within 12 months from when you buy the card. The student card costs 5,000 RMB and is for one person.
The third card they have is something called a couple’s card (情侣卡 in Chinese, qínglǚ kǎ in pinyin) that gives you 60 lessons, which need to be used within 12 months from when you buy the card. The couple’s card can be used by two people simultaneously (with 2 lessons deducted), and costs 10,000 RMB.
The fourth card available at Jingyinghui Equestrian Training Ground is a family card (家庭卡 in Chinese, jiātíng kǎ in pinyin). The family card gives you a total of 138 lessons, which need to be used within 12 months from when you buy the card. The family card can be used used by three people simultaneously (with 3 lessons deducted each time), and costs 18,800 RMB.
The fifth and last card is the VIP gold membership card (VIP会员金卡 in Chinese, VIP huìyuán jīnkǎ in pinyin). The VIP gold card gives you an unlimited number of lessons within 12 months from when you buy the card. It is for one person and costs 20,000 RMB.
They also offer a 20-minute trial class at 150 RMB to see their horses, equipment, teaching style etc. As far as I understood, this is including the instructor’s fee.
Xiao Qimashu Guan (Hunhe Outlet) – The Little Knight
The second place that was recommended to me is called xiǎo qímǎshù guǎn in pinyin (小骑马术馆 in Chinese). In Chinglish, this can be translated into Small Horseback Riding Center. For reasons unknown, they have decided upon ‘The Little Knight’ as their English name.
This stable is located in Hunnan District, 60, Fumin South Street. That is very much south of the river, about a third way down towards the airport coming from the city center. So, if you live outside the city towards the airport, this place might be for you.
According to one of the employees, half the instructors speak at least passable English.
The Little Knight has indoor facilities, which actually look very nice. Check them out!
Lessons and Pricing
I have received a bit less information about their pricing structure, but this is what they gave me.
It is important to note that their lessons are only 20 minutes in length, NOT 45 minutes!
You can buy a membership card that is loaded with 30 lessons, which will set you back 5,000 RMB. With this option, you get a set of equipment for free, from a Chinese brand. I assume this would be a helmet, boots, and maybe a pair of riding britches?
Option number two is a membership card for 60 lessons, which costs 10,000 RMB. With it, you will be gifted a set of equipment that is made up of imported brands.
Both of these membership cards include the fees for the instructor.
Jiajun Mashu Julebu
The third place for horseback riding in Shenyang I have been told about is called jiājùn mǎshù jùlèbù in pinyin, 嘉俊马术俱乐部 in Chinese. This translates to Jiajun Equestrian Club in Chinglish.
Jiajun Equestrian Club is located about halfway between Beiling and Dongling parks. So, if you are based in Shenyang’s north, you may want to give them a try.
There is at least one instructor who speaks English, there might be more.
Lessons and Pricing
Their lessons are 45 minutes in length, with instructors booked separately. The riding instructors cost 100 RMB per lesson.
At the moment, they have a special offer with a card containing 10 lessons, which sets you back 1,590 RMB.
They also have a trial lesson of 45 minutes which costs 169 RMB including the instructor. This is limited to one lesson per person, though, obviously. Seeing as it is a trial lesson. Duh.
DJM (Dongling) Equestrian Sports Club
I have been informed about yet another place for horseback riding here in Shenyang. It is called DJM (Dongling) Equestrian Sports Club in a rough translation, DJM(东陵)马术运动俱乐部 in Chinese, DJM (dōnglíng) mǎshù yùndòng jùlèbù in pinyin.
DJM – this is nice and short, I’ll stick with DJM for this one – is situated about 20km east of the airport. So, again, if you live in Shenyang’s South, this could be a valid option for you.
They have at least one instructor, who, by her own estimation, speaks English, ‘but only a little’.
Lessons and Pricing
Lessons last 45 minutes each. It is possible to pay for them on a one-on-one basis, but this is not advisable, as a lesson comes to about 600 RMB in this case. No idea how this was calculated, this was the price for a single lesson that they gave me.
They do, however, have other pricing options as well. The first would be a membership card for 60 lessons that costs 12,800 RMB.
The second would be one for 180 lessons at 30,000 RMB. Neither of these cards expire.
A third option is to get a card which is only valid for 12 months from the point of purchase, which gives you an unlimited number of lessons, and costs 12,800 RMB as well.
In any of these options, instructor fees need to be paid separately. There are three kinds of instructors – for beginners (at 100 RMB/lesson), for intermediate equestrians (at 150 RMB/lesson) and for experienced horsemen or -women (at 200 RMB/lesson).
If you want to take lessons on a Saturday or Sunday, pre-booking it at least 48 hours in advance is required. For any other days, a 24 hours’ notice is sufficient.
These were the options with English-speaking instructors that people have recommended to me.
For a Chinese-speaking only option, I myself know of an alternative a bit closer to the city:
Hunhe Ma Wenhua Tijianguan
This is a place I pass daily while walking the dog. In Chinglish it would be something like the Hun River Horse Culture Training Center, 浑河马文化体检馆.
It can be found in Shenshuiwan Park (沈水湾公园 in Chinese, shěnshuǐwān gōngyuán in pinyin, on the north bank of the Hun River, a bit west of Sanhao Bridge.
They have outdoor and indoor riding facilities, but (as far as I know) NO English-speaking instructors.
Lessons and Pricing
The information I have about lessons and pricing come from a sign outside the premises.
They seem to offer two different cards, a so-called Prepaid Card which is applicable for their ‘meeting room’ (whatever that means), lessons, products, apparel, food and drinks, and their ‘entertainment facilities’ (they have some games, rides and stuff for little kids, I assume that is what this refers to). These prepaid cards come in 5,000 RMB (with an additional 800 RMB as a gift), 10,000 RMB (with an additional 2,000 RMB as a gift) and 20,000 RMB (with an additional 4,500 RMB as a gift).
Then there is something called a horseback riding student card. I would assume that that one can be used to cover the instructor fees, but I am not sure. That card comes in 3,000 RMB for 11 lessons, 6,000 RMB for 25 lessons, and 10,000 RMB for 50 lessons.
And they also have a Trial Card for beginners, which has 4 lessons and costs 1,000 RMB. That one cannot be used during holidays and is valid for only 2 months.
I know some of this information is murky at best, but since I am always there outside normal business hours, I have never spoken to anyone, just seen the sign. Oh, and the ‘no English’ information comes from a Chinese-speaking friend who has been there, but found it too expensive and thus didn’t get all the particulars on which card is used for what.
What do you think of this little list? Let me know in the comments! And also tell me if there are other topics you would like me to research. I love pulling information together like this, so…