How amazing is it to be just about back to normal?! We are so glad to have you all back and to be up and running, the yard feels alive once again.
It's been a busy few months, getting back into the swing of things, many of you will now have noticed that we have new ponies and a new instructor that have joined our team.
So ponies, we welcome Ellie, Lily (or Lil Lil), May, Lindie, Peanut, Annie, some have been here longer than others but with lockdown time has all rolled into one and we aren't quite sure who we have introduced and who we haven't.
We welcome Clare Ackroyd to our team of instructors, you will mainly see her on Saturdays but she will also be teaching in the week
To find out more about Clare & the new ponies please go to our 'Meet the Team' Page.
As soon as restrictions were lifted we made the most of the good weather and have had a few outings. We had a cross country schooling session with Rose & Victoria at Arkenfield.
A few of the girls went to a local show, for some of them it was their first.
We have had a show-jumping clinic with Kerry at Collingham.
It was great to have Kerry back and she was truly in her element, teaching jumping which she loves.
We will be sharing photos once everyone gets round to passing them on to Jodie!
We also entered 3 teams into The Equitest online dressage competitions, and as you can see, we did quite well! There is now a little bit of rivalry between Jodie & Nutty as the pupil keeps beating the teacher! To see our entries please go to our youTube channel, the link is below.
At the end of the winter we bid Toby farewell, we decided it was time to hang up his shoes, put on some comfy slippers and have a happy retirement, not to worry though, he hasn't gone far, our very own Grace (Poos) has him to keep Rupert company, and from what we hear, Toby is most definitely the boss!
Many of you will have also noticed that we are not currently taking on new clients or adding to our waiting list at this time, this is because our waiting list has become rather long and the current waiting time for a lesson is around 3 years!! (according to a comment recently left, "longer than a Kidney transplant waiting list.")
So we feel the need to just explain to you, especially those of you on the list, why it takes so long to get a slot with us.
Firstly we are a small riding school, we currently have 18 horses & ponies that are used in the riding school, we have 1 instructor per day (2 on Saturdays) and not a very big car park, secondly 50% of our ponies are elderly, so they don't want to be ridden every day for hours on end, they still play their part as this is important for their welfare, but they deserve to take it steady. Then there is the fact the we play ponies here, we aren't in it to make lots of money, we want to earn enough to be able to 'play ponies', it would be dead easy to cram 6 to 7 people in a lesson because we want the money, but who benefits from that? Not the ponies, not the instructors and definitely not you the client.
Another 'problem' that we have is you guys just don't leave and we mean that as a compliment. As you know all our clients have a regular slot, occasionally we juggle you around to create new groups, but for the main part you stay on the same day at the same time every week, we watch you grow and learn, which is amazing, we have adults now that we taught from being children who are now bringing their own children, but it means that we just don't have the slots for our waiting list. (This is not a hint that we want you guys to leave either)! We are not being elitist or picky, no one gets priority over another, if a slot becomes available we go through the waiting list, a message is left if no answer or no reply, we move on to the next person.
Our advice to all of you on the waiting list, be as available as possible the more flexible that you can be the quicker we can find you a space. Get a little bit of saddle time under your belt, we find it easier to slot in riders who can at least walk trot & canter, we know that means you have to look else where, but it does mean you get some riding time in while you wait for us.
We hope that has clarified our position, if you have any questions please feel free to email us, if not, please sit tight we will get to you eventually!
Pony Days will be on Tuesday & Wednesday during the summer holidays, starting from 3rd August and the last one will be 25th August. We are setting a maximum of each of 12, and we may cancel any that are under subscribed. If you would like to book a place, please contact Nik via phone or text on the usually number.
And finally....... the show jumps are out in the field, which means that you may be having your next lesson out there. Body protectors are very much recommended, as it is a lot harder out there than the school!
Gosh 2021 already! What a year 2020 was, who would have thought we would be living in a world akin to a Hollywood Movie?!
Having said that, you guys have been great, you have stuck with us through it all, even when we've had to change plans last minute. Here's hoping for some normality in the very near future!
Due to the pandemic, we have had to perform our christmas show in a very different way to normal and we have had all our entries made online. Our winners of the Dressage, Show Jumping & Handy Pony are below, but if you want to see all the videos please go to our youtube channel by clicking the button below.
We also held a fancy dress and best turn out competition. The winners of Best Turn Out were Alesha & Joker and the winners of Fancy Dress were Primrose & Lindie.
Below you can see all the entries.