Our Horses & Ponies
Big Bella: 17.2hh bay mare. She has been here for 9 years. She arrived as an unbroken very laid back 9 year old and she had several foals. And, she was not difficult to break in. Our patience with her has paid off and she is the most wonderful heavy weight carrier anyone could ask for; a real gentle giant.
Merlin: 16.1hh bay gelding. We acquired Merlin by mistake! We were given a beautiful mare that was given to us in memory of a special lady, Carolyn Bedford, who was tragically killed in a road traffic accident. He is a very special horse who has done RDA work most of his life, and is another gentle giant.
Lord Nelson: a skewbald 16hh homebred out of “Splodge” who used to be in the school. Lord Nelson is better known as "Nellie". He will be 5 in August this year (2011) and is not used in the school. My god-daughter, Megan rides him, and he has just started his eventing career.
Tosh: 14.3hh bay gelding. A lovely “no frills” horse. Absolutely genuine with not a bad bone in his body. Puts himself to any task asked of him. Tosh came from my good friend's riding school near Saffron Walden, when she downsized. He has been a real asset to the school and although he used to be a bit scared of big vehicles on the road, he now enjoys hacking out with his mates. He and Chelsie have many lovely rides together.
Bambi: Our new mascot, "Bambi", has arrived. She is absolutely gorgeous; only 24 inches high and greyish in colour. Later on she may get dark spots as she is half-American Spot Miniature. She is a yearling at the moment and quite often they change colour as they mature. She seems completely unfazed by anything. She was stuck in a traffic jam on the way here, so the journey was much longer than anticipated, and she just wandered out of the van and proceeded to eat. That is clearly what she likes to do. She really wasn't bothered by her new surroundings or the dogs, who can't quite decide what she is - a pony, a large dog or what?
Tiggie: 13.2hh chestnut mare. Sweet forward-going pony jumps well and turns her hoof to anything asked of her! When I first got her she had not been ridden for some while and was a bit nervous and head-shy. She has now been with us for several years and is very settled. A sweeter pony you'd never find. She is a bit of a loner and will get bullied by the other ponies, especially over food, so she does spend more time stabled than the other ponies but seems to like it.
Pippin: 13.2hh black gelding. Our senior pony in charge of his herd of mares or so he likes to think! Well schooled and very obedient ride. Pippin was a rescue pony and had been locked in a stable for 6 months. He was found by one of my "old girls". He is still a little claustrophobic and has his own "open plan" stable which he is quite settled in now, but spends every night out with his harem in the field!
Butterfly: 12.2hh chestnut mare. Dear little pony, wonderful on the leading rein as she is quite forward going, so riders don’t need long legs to make her move! Butterfly is on loan from another riding school who were over-stocked. She was surplus to requirements. She has found her feet here and fits in well.
Willow: 13.2hh bay mare. Willow is on loan to us from a friend, in fact we have done a swap for Flo who she is now retired from the school. Willow is very pretty, reminds of our dear Brandy as she is a similar shape, and is on a permanent diet! She is very obedient, and does everything we ask of her, and doesn’t get fazed by anything. She is great friends with Pippin, but sadly can’t be turned out with the herd during the summer as her waistline expands too much!
Stellar: 12.2hh chestnut mare. Stellar is our newest acquisition. She is around 18 years old and has already proved to be very popular as she is quite forward going without being too fast. She settled in nicely as part of the pony herd too. Stellar has been used in a riding school before so knows the ropes and seems a very happy little pony.
Our Race Pony
Gemini: Our pony page would not be complete without mention of my wonderful race pony "Gemini". I was given Gem as a weanling. He was a twin and his sister died. He was 65 kilos at birth, so very small. He was Merlin's mate for many years, till my best friend Sheila's grandson, Jack Quinlan, asked if he could try the then new pony racing. Off we went to Cottenham where much to our amusement he won by 23 lengths!
Gemini went on to race all over the country, including Aintree, Wincanton always winning or being in the frame, and made history by winning the first ever 14.2hh pony race at Newmarket! Jack has gone on to ride winners under rules now, and Gemini has a very happy retirement home in Shropshire.