Posted on 4th February 2020
In the spotlight this week is Monach Farm Riding Stables. We caught up with Emily to find out more about their centre…
Give us a bit of background on your centre
The riding stables is based on a working livestock farm with dairy goats which we show at county level, sheep & cattle as well as the 38 horses & ponies.We officially opened in 1992 after I graduated from college, we had mine and my sister’s ponies doing nothing and it started as a way to earn my own income to stay on the farm. My mum had always taught children in the village to ride, and I had done pony club & mountain & moorland showing in my teens. At college I worked at a hunting & trekking yard and discovered my love for teaching. I built up from 4 ponies and 12 clients in my first month, and currently have 30 horses and ponies and an average of 150 clients a week.
My parents in their mid 70s are still active on the farm and all the team help with the farm jobs as needed. As well as the riding and horse care we do farm education with SEN (special educational needs) students from the local colleges, home education groups, primary schools and animal care students from the secondary schools. We also do outreach visits, taking 2 shetland ponies, lambs & baby goats to nurseries, care homes and schools which is very rewarding.
Why did you decide to become ABRS Approved?
I attended an ABRS conference in Peterborough in the early 90s and decided the ABRS was the best organisation for me. As a proprietor, even though I’ve never had to call on them, it is reassuring to know the expert advice and help is easily available.
What makes your centre unique?
We try to make riding accessible to everybody, with our range of ponies including Tom the Suffolk Punch, many of our ponies are registered native breeds, currently we have Fells, Dales, Highlands, Connemaras, Welshies, an Eriskay & a Dartmoor as well as our 4 Caspian horses, and we let them live out as much as possible on the 100 acres of farm land we have. We specialise in beginner children and nervous restart adults with class lessons of 6 pupils. Most of our lessons are 30 minutes long, but we also run jumping lessons, basic dressage competitions, and seasonal treasure hunts as well as some work with a registered physio on rider balance.
Have you got any plans for this year, or any special events coming up?
We run lots of Own A Pony Days in every school holiday, Adult camps, 5 weekly Summer Camps & some In house shows, we are always very busy with pony rides on Open Farm Sunday in early June and at 5 local schools in late June & July. We also spend 2 days in mid July at a deprived Urban School & deaf hub in a nearby town giving pony rides as an end of term treat.
We know that you love all your horses and ponies, but if you had to choose just one, who would it be and why?
That’s very hard, they are all special for different reasons. I guess my best has to be Tramp the fell pony who is now 28 and has been here since he was 3, he came to us as a rescue as he was needing an experienced gentle home after an inexperienced home had pushed him too hard. He is a good all rounder but doesn’t do anything for you, he will take beginners on lead rein, disabled riders and still give a good but sometimes challenging ride to more experienced children & small riders, in his youth he jumped well and he will let you dress him up and paint his hooves!
Thank you so much to Emily for giving us an insight into life at Monach Riding Stables!