Published: 03 February 2011 Modified: 12 August 2013
The Hague has a special bond with horses and equestrian sports. There are about a dozen riding schools and stables in the city and loads more in the surrounding towns.
Equestrianism is a collective name for sports with horses, including harness racing, dressage, eventing, driving, polo, endurance riding, show jumping and voltige. Naturally there are national and international competitions in each discipline but not every stable offers all the disciplines.
Oldest riding school in the Netherlands
The best-known riding school in The Hague is perhaps the ’s Gravenhaagsche Stadsrijschool, where lessons and rides have been organised since 1806, making it the oldest in the Netherlands.
Duindigt Race Track
The best known centre for equestrian sports is the Duindigt Race Track, located on the border between The Hague and Wassenaar. Harness and thoroughbred races are held nearly every Sunday at the racetrack during the regular season (April to October). The most famous event is the Grote Prijs der Lage Landen, which has been held at Duindigt since 1954.
Exploring The Hague’s nature
If you’d like to explore the dunes and forests of The Hague on horseback, only a few riding schools accept experienced riders for rides away from the school premises. A number of Dutch-language guide books are geared to horse trails in South Holland, including Meijendel.
Horses on the beach
Just imagine trotting through the surf. When it’s quiet, you’ll find all the space in the world on the beach, but when it gets busier horses can be a danger to other visitors to the beach. Or vice versa.
You can go horseback riding on the beach the whole day long from 15 September to 15 May. Outside of the summer season there are too many people on the beach and horseback riding is allowed on the Noorderstrand (Scheveningen) and Zuiderstrand only between 19.00 and 7.00 hrs.