ANDOVER Riding School has announced it will be reopening this August after a “very hard” few months.

The school was forced to close due to the Covid-19 outbreak on March 22, after first opening its doors five years ago.

But now it will officially reopen on August 4 from 9am to 5pm.

Owner, Sue Black, from The Wallops, told The Advertiser: “It’s been hard work and a struggle because we still have to pay for the horses and exercise them, and there has been noone to help us.

“Other riding schools in the area asked for funding but we haven’t done that.”

Sue previously ran two successful riding schools for over 15 years, one being an equestrian centre with a riding school and livery yard.

There will be different signs spread out across the centre, new restrictions will be in place to allow for one adult and child to go into the yard at one time.

All staff will have to wear face masks and gloves, and hand sanitiser will be stationed at the door, with riders being asked to use it before entering.

Equipment will be sanitised between each person riding the horses.

Speaking about the cost of the lessons, Sue said: “We had a lot of people ringing in and messaging, trying to book riding lessons.

“But because of the virus, we have had to put our prices up by £3.”

Staff have all been on furlough but will now return to work in August.

The school has two full time staff and four part-time employees that are paid.

“We want to thank our clients for supporting and standing by us in this difficult period.

“We are a very popular, busy riding school with 200 riders on our books and 100 attending during the week.

“But riders will need to book via the website, on the phone, email or Facebook if they want a lesson.

“It is important that people book ahead otherwise we get too full up.

“Our clients range from three to 70 years old,” she said.

Sue also said that horse riding has major health benefits, and can help reduce stress.

“Riders can gain a good sense of well-being, and it helps them to keep fit and can be very rewarding when progress is made.

"It is relaxing and blows the cobwebs away along with the stresses of the day,” she added.