| Those Christmas Elves have made a reappearance – December 2021
With the popular ‘elf on a shelf’ getting children all over the country keeping an eye out for their antics every morning in the run up to Christmas, several of our centres have discovered ‘elves fishing in the auto waterers’ and ‘elves on the anvil’ amongst other things!
Our members including Bourne Valley Riding Stables, The Manston Riding Centre, and Greenways Stables have joined in the fun. Some of the elves were even spied ‘helping’ on the yard, and being taken for a Christmas hack! Not sure what the ponies make of it!!
It’s a great way to engage with your young riders, especially if you’re able to update your social media with where the pesky elves are cropping up each day!
| Donation for Member Centre created through Coop Local Community Fund – December 2021
What fabulous news for ABRS+ members Eat, Sleep, Ride, CIC, receiving a cheque for £2013 from the Coop’s local community fund. Eat, Sleep, Ride is an approved riding school offering lessons and hacking to the public, but in addition are a social enterprise targeting people experiencing mental health problems, those that have suffered abuse, lived in areas of high deprivation and other challenges such as drug/alcohol addiction.
Thanks to the Coop and their community members, an incredible £2,013.08 has been donated and will be to put towards new agility equipment for our horses, ponies and young people, which will compliment the facility and EFL services at the centre.
The Co-op Local Community Fund supports projects across the UK that their members care about. Every time our members buy selected Co-op branded products and services, we’ll give local causes a helping hand.
| Eat, Sleep, Ride CIC nominated for SURF Awards – September 2021
Member centre Eat, Sleep, Ride in Scotland have been shortlisted for the 2021 Surf Awards for Supporting Youth Employability. The awards are delivered in partnership with the Scottish Government. It is open to all community regeneration projects in Scotland
Ending up on this shortlist is incredible for the centre, as they have always strived to boost youth employment with ourselves and also in their community. Now coming to 18 months of a pandemic, it’s more important than ever to boost our economy and get young people moving forwards into careers they love!
| SCOTS DG take their horses to water with the help of Tower Farm Riding Stables – September 2021
In the run up to Friday’s parade down the Royal Mile in Edinburgh by the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards (SCOTS DG) to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of their creation, there is a significant amount of preparation that takes place, from polishing boots to ironing kit. One of the more unusual pre-parade activities taking place this week, and one that harks back to the regiment’s mounted history is the watering of the horses.
The watering of the horses is a historical right whereby British Army cavalry have been allowed to exercise and feed their horses early in the morning in a major city, usually a maximum thirty minutes’ walk from their stables. This has been traditionally done most often in London.
In this special case, ten soldiers from the SCOTS DG proceeded around a route through central Edinburgh early this morning. Not only did this serve to reacquaint the regiment with its history and show early morning Edinburgh residents the beautiful horses but also serves as a training exercise for the horses to give them some experience in marching through the streets of Edinburgh prior to the main parade tomorrow.
The horses themselves are from the Tower Farm Riding Stables in Edinburgh and have been lent to the SCOTS DG for the Parade. Members of staff from Tower Farm were present to assist and help look after the welfare of the horses.
| Kingsmead EC Double Finalists in Industry Awards – July 2021
ABRS+ Riding Establishment members Kingsmead Equestrian in Surrey have been shortlisted for the SEIB Large Riding School of the Year in the SEIB Livery Yard and Riding School of the Year Awards 2020/21, and have also been announced as one of the four finalists in the Equestrian Business Awards Riding School of the Year category. Owner Fiona Tothill said “Both these nominations have been such a boost at the end of such a challenging couple of years.”
The SEIB Livery Yard and Riding School of the Year Awards have been set up by SEIB to celebrate excellence in teaching, training and horse care in yards across Britain. The 2021 running of the awards looks set to show how determination in the face of adversity has helped many yards weather the storm of Covid-19.
See more about Kingsmead Equestrian here
Equally, some of our other ABRS+ member establishments have been shortlisted for these awards. You can read more here
| Launch of ABRS+ Tests go down a storm at Stoke Lane Stables in Somerset – July 2021
Riders at Stoke Lane Stables absolutely loved taking part in their first ABRS+ Progression Tests and Rosette Awards.
In all, 25 riders completed their Progression Tests, and all of them achieved either their Points of The Horse or Grooming Rosette Award! Special mention for Bella P, Bea H, Mia F, Anoushka A, Adam B and Imogen A for completing their Equestrian Care Award Log Books! A thoroughly enjoyable and fantastic day for them and their ponies!
Proprietor, Kate Kirkpatrick, said ‘I am so proud of each of my riders. Their confidence and enjoyment has gone through the roof with the implementation of these fantastic awards! They just love spending time with the ponies and this is now recognised officially.
See more about Stoke Lane Stables here
| Providing a Safe Haven through the Pandemic at Santolina Stables – June 2021
Since exiting the first lockdown, I have witnessed the number of children that have developed anxiety. These are children that never suffered from it before. After many conversations with parents that bring the children to our riding school, they expressed that their child could not wait for the stables to re-open so they could go and see their favourite pony. Several children were very worried about getting out of the car on their return to the stables, having been used to staying indoors with their parents/guardians only. It was then that it hit me, on how seriously devastating this pandemic has taken effect on some children. Their confidence has suffered. This is where the ponies come in. As soon as their favourite pony appears, the child would smile and get out of the car to say hello. Gradually the confidence comes back.
At Santolina Stables we encourage and cater for children (mainly), offering anything from ‘cuddle a pony’ to riding lessons. We welcome anyone and everyone to have some sort of equine experience for the first time. Some parents are happy to take a pony for a walk with their child on foot or simply watch the horses in the fields grazing. Being an outdoor activity with plenty of room for social distance, with hand sanitiser at the ready. People generally feel safe and this then reflects back to children who then start to feel safe.
I feel riding establishments have become a Safe Haven throughout this pandemic. As long as proprietors abide by regulations and seek advice through the ABRS+ then maybe this would help our businesses survive. I feel that children are the answer to keeping our businesses afloat and by doing this we are helping them with their anxieties, confidence, fitness and above all fun. I have always said that horses are more versatile than a potato. They are natural therapists.
Written by Debbie Maclean, Proprietor of Santolina Stables LTD