Aberdeen Riding Club
Tel:- (01224) 733111
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The North East Centre of Excellence.
Providing good quality, affordable riding for all.

Our Horses and Ponies


Holly was born at Oldfold as a surprise when the previous proprietor bought her mother and no-one realised she was pregnant. Holly duly appeared six months later and the previous proprietor left her in the field as a yearling and a two year old. When ARC came to Oldfold, we began her education and backed her as a three year old. She then worked with the staff under saddle and we bought her in 2006 when we took over the lease at Oldfold.

Holly is one of our most popular ponies as she is very quiet to handle and bombproof with beginners and smaller children. As we did all her training ourselves, she is very well behaved and is always first choice for stable management and birthday parties. Holly also does lots of good work with the Riding for the Disabled. She had a slightly stressful 2008, when she had to go in for an operation to remove one of her big molar teeth as she had aninfection under it, but after £2000 worth of treatment and a good bit of time off work, she is feeling much better now.


Ben was owned by the previous proprietor at Oldfold and when ARC first arrived, he was out on loan to another riding school. When the other riding school became quite, Ben was returned to Oldfold and ARC bought him in 2006. Ben is very good for nervous beginners as he is very nice to handle and has a comfortable canter for people learning to canter.

Ben suffered from sarcoids (a type of wart) around his girth and stomach area when ARC bought him, so he was treated with cream to get rid of them. The cream treatment was very successful and they haven't bothered him since. He also had melanoma on his face in 2006, but this has also cleared up now and he is a much happier pony. He wears a special fur cheekpiece on his bridle to make sure it doesn't rub where the growth was. He is also one of our special ponies who does a lot of work with Riding for the Disabled.


Murphy was bought from a dealer in Glasgow by the previous proprietor at Oldfold. He was quite a handful when he first arrived as he had been gelded later than normal and spent all his time climbing over the field walls to see the girls. He was introduced to the riding school in 2005 and has developed into one of the best riding school ponies as he is comfortable and extremely quiet and safe.

Murphy is ridden in a Pelham bit as he can be a bit strong when ridden outside. He also has a bit of a problem with his weight and often has to go into a smaller field in the summer to stop him getting too fat. He has starred in three Christmas pantomimes as he likes an audience, and his favourite party trick is to lie down and sleep as soon as he comes into his stable in the mornings, whilst snoring incredibly loudly.


Sally found Gemima tied to a caravan at a horse dealers in England and thought she was so cute and friendly she would be a good purchase for the school. She was very green and only recently backed when ARC bought her in 2006, but after quite a lot of work with the staff she became a very good school pony.

Gemima is a great fun pony to ride on the flat and over jumps. She can be very stubborn about how she likes to be ridden and if she feels she is being kicked or "flapped at" she will simply grind to a halt until the rider is a bit more sympathetic. She loves following her friends, which makes her a good fun pony to ride outside and she is very good for learning to canter on because she is so comfortable. Gemima also does a lot of work with the Riding for the Disabled.


Jack was a livery at Oldfold for over ten years when ARC agreed to use him as a working livery. Jack is a very experienced competition pony who has done a lot of competitive showjumping. Originally ridden by his owner, he was then loaned out to local families once his owner outgrew him, but has remained stabled at Oldfold at all times. When his last loan home finished, it was agreed that Jack may enjoy taking life a bit easier in his old age, and as he was so happy at Oldfold it seemed a shame to move him, so he started doing some work in the riding school.

Jack does private lessons and more competent childrens groups. He is a lovely forward going pony who has a lot to teach people due to his experience. He likes to cut the corners on the right rein if you let him away with it, but is a really nice chap. He lives in during the winter in his stable in the feed room, but enjoys spending the summer out in the fields relaxing.


Chance came to Oldfold in 2009, when a group of our liveries bought him as a project pony to school on and sell. He has been trained to drive as well as being ridden and after 6 months with the group of liveries, when he didn't sell privately we took him on as a working livery. He worked out well in the riding school and enjoyed the work, so we bought him in 2010.

Chance has a bouncy trot, so you need to hold the saddle if you are working without stirrups. He is quite timid in the field, so is always the last one in each morning as he likes to make sure all the bigger boys are out of the way first. He is a slight whistler,so makes a slightly louder noise than your average horse when he is doing faster canter work.


Dandy was sold on to the previous proprietor of Oldfold as a part exchange against a new horse. He was used in the riding school prior to ARC buying him in 2006 and was then bought by a local family, who kept him as a working livery at Oldfold. When the local family moved away in 2008, ARC bought him back as he was so happy and settled at Oldfold and he has been with us ever since.

Dandy does all standards of lessons from beginner - advanced and is a nice pony to learn on. He can be a little bit nappy and likes to follow his friends, so you need to be very clear with him if you are lead file, or riding him in your own space. Dandy is a little nervous of loud noises and flappy jackets, so please remember that its good practice to ask yourinstructor if you can remove your jacket and turn in to dismount to do so - otherwise Dandy might be a bit nervous of it!


Boyo came to Oldfold in 2003 as a livery pony, and has been here ever since! He was initially owned by the Rowands, then sold to the Pattersons, then sold to the Coopers - as he was such a good pony, each time someone grew out of him, he was snapped up by another ARC member as everyone could see what a great pony he was. In 2010, Boyo developed laminitis, so had to have his management changed dramatically as he had lived out 24/7 up to that point. It meant that Boyo would either have to be muzzled or stabled during the summer months to prevent him getting sore front feet and it was a long hard task for his owners to get him sound again. In 2011, he was advertised for sale again, but sadly his laminitis flared up again making it difficult to sell him as everyone who knew him was worried that if he left the yard, he may struggle with laminitis again due to the change in grass/management. His owner then decided that in order to secure his future, the best thing for him would be for him to become a club pony.

Boyo thrives in the riding school environment and comes in each morning first thing to make sure his laminitis doesn't flare up. He has been a revelation in that he loves teaching people how to ride. He is used for novice and intermediate adults and children and is forward going and responsive. He is easy to handle but you need to make sure your girth is nice and tight as his slightly round shape means his saddle can slip if not tight. He wears egg bar shoes on his front feet, to help him with his laminitis, and you need to be very careful not to feed him too many sugary sweets in his stable.


Dan was at Oldfold prior to ARC moving here, and we decided to keep him because he was such a good jumping pony. He continues to be the most expensive school pony we bought (£3500) but we feel he was worth it as he is such a lovely chap. Prior to working in the riding school he did quite a lot of showjumping so is very experienced for teaching our younger members and smaller adults.

Dan is another one of our ponies who has problems keeping his weight under control. He has to have restricted turnout in summer as he can get so overweight it makes his front feet sore. He also has a funny blue eye (known as a wall eye) which doesn't affect his vision but looks a bit odd!


Crunchie was bought at the same time as Murphy but took a little longer to come into riding school work as he was quite sharp initially. Crunchie had obviously had a fairly difficult past prior to coming to Aberdeen as he has old scars from being tethered around his neck and can be very nervous of new people he doesn't trust. However once he had built his confidence with the staff at ARC, he became one of the best school ponies we have ever owned. He was bought by a private family in 2005, who then sold him on to a home in Edinburgh in 2006. He didn't behave very well in his private home, so returned to Aberdeen a month later and ARC bought him back to ensure he could stay at Oldfold where he was happy. He was then bought by a riding school customer in 2007, who then sold him back to us in 2008 when they stopped riding. He has been with us ever since and will remain at Oldfold for the rest of his days as it seems to be his favourite place.

Crunchie does all standards of lessons with both adults and children and is very popular because he is comfortable and easy to get going forward. He can be a bit nervous of bigger jumps, but is happy to jump as long as he gets a chance to jump in trot first time he approaches to get his confidence up.

NAME:Jaffa Cake
DATE OF BIRTH:2009SEX:GeldingHEIGHT:14.1 hBREED:IrishCOLOUR:Coloured

Sally fell in love with Jaffa Cake when she arrived in her car at Cavan Horse Sales where Jaffa was standing in the car park. Sally went against all advice she would give anyone else and decided to buy him immediately because he was just so cute. She was successful in her bid for him, so he came back to Aberdeen 2 days later and started working with the staff. Whilst Jaffa is young, he is very, very quiet and sweet and Richard has done most of his initial training. We are hoping that Jaffa will be suitable for both children and small adults, and keeping our fingers crossed that he will also work with RDA as he is a great size for them and seems particularly suited to that type of work.


Dixie was in the riding school at Oldfold before ARC moved there so we bought her along with some of the others. She had previously been brought to Oldfold as a horse for the owner to sell on, but settled well into the riding school so stayed with us. She is a very sensitive mare, who wears a bitless bridle and is best ridden with a nice quiet hand. She can be a bit nappy to her friends, so the key is to get Dixie going well of the leg within the first five minutes.

Dixie is very sensitive to the sun due to her colouring, so needs to have lots of sun cream put on in the summer. She can pull faces a bit when you gointo her stable, but won't bite or kick - she just thinks she looks scary.


Freddie came over from Ireland, where he had been lightly backed as a 4 year old. We swapped him for another horse (Dumbledore) who did not enjoy riding school work, and Freddie is much more suited to it as he is an inquisitive, confident little guy. He also did around 6 months training with our staff before entering the riding school, making him a fairly well schooled flatwork and jumping ride.

Freddie also competes as a dressage horse in the university competitions, and was the best placed horse in both competitions in 2010, gaining marks of over 65%.

DATE OF BIRTH:2002SEX:GeldingHEIGHT:14.3 hBREED:IrishCOLOUR:Skewbald

Hagrid was bought in 2008 from Carlisle, and arrived with Dumbledore and Ron. He previous belonged to a trekking centre and had also been quite well schooled jumping.

Hagrid is always used as a jump horse for the university competitions as he is very honest. He can be fairly stubborn at times and prefers the right rein to the left rein, but he is very rewarding once you learn to sit a bit quieter and use your legs correctly as he is capable of going very well. He can be a bit nappy to his friends, so if you ride him in a lesson you must make sure that you don't let him nap towards his friends once they are turned in as this makes him worse.


Scrufty was bought from Ireland as a newly backed 4 year old. We called him Scrufty because he looked like a hairy carpet when he first arrived and none of us could quite picture how smart he would become. He was very green initially and spent over six months working with the staff and is now one of our best riding school horses.

Scrufty is as popular with adults as children as he is very capable both jumping and on the flat. He is used regularly for the university competitions, both as a dressage and jump horse and is happy jumping courses up to 1.00m and novice dressage tests. He can be a bit grumpy with the other horses as he is one of the highest up the pecking order in the field.


Abbey has previously worked in both a riding school and private home. She has been very well educated on the flat and has proved very popular with our staff already as she is comfortable and willing. We have used her for some advanced private lessons and RGU training, which she has been very good at. She can be a little bit pushy in her stable, but has a nice friendly temperament and will try her hardest for most riders, making her very popular.

Abbey came from our vet, who had been using her as an embryo transfer recipient mare. She was fairly unfit when she arrived, and was ridden by Martin to help her get fit. She surprised us all as we were expecting her to be a bit difficult to handle, but she has been lovely since day one. She seems to really enjoy the lifestyle at Oldfold, particualrly standing at her hay bale munching away on her days off.

DATE OF BIRTH:2008SEX:GeldingHEIGHT:15.2 hBREED:IrishCOLOUR:Coloured

JR is one of the sweetest horses we have ever had the pleasure of keeping. He was bought for Aberdeen RDA in 2013, when Sally and Lorraine went and searched the country for the right type. He is quite an unusual shape, in that he has a very upright neck, but this is one of the reasons we bought him. It is difficult trying to find a horse that will do both able bodied and RDA work, but JR had great conformation for it, had a super canter for a cob and had a lovely temperament, so we took the very green 5 year old home. Sally did most of the training with JR and he was brought on for flatwork/jumping at the same time as being trained up in the RDA sessions with an able bodied rider. JR has taken to his work really well and is now a popular RDA horse and also great with our able bodied members. He is a very happy guy and is always pleased to see everyone - he likes nothing better than a carrot and a pat on the nose.


Kevin was bought at the same sale as Jaffa Cake, although it took longer to find him (we were looking for a weight carrying type). Kevin was a bit nervous in his stable at the sale, but super when ridden, so Sally decided he was worth spending a bit of time on to train up for the school. Kevin is a particularly sweet horse who is very rewarding to work with as his confidence grows and he is already a much bigger stronger horse than he was when he arrived. Martin and Richard have been working with Kevin to educate him more on the flat, before we start his jump training. He is very good friends with Jaffa Cake as they arrived and were isolated together, so they spend a lot of time together in the field.

DATE OF BIRTH:2008SEX:MareHEIGHT:15.2 hBREED:Irish Draft XCOLOUR:Appaloosa

Sally also bought KoKo from Cavan in 2012. She was very green when we bought her, so has spent the last 5 months working with Hannah Gorrara to learn more before she joins the school. She is a big strong mare, who is very sweet to ride, but needs careful handling to ensure she stays polite! She has a lovely trot, and is getting used to cantering indoors on circles etc. now. She is sweet to hack out and is particularly attached to Aria and Bluebell in the field.

KoKo will join Aria as our specialised private lesson horse - she is well schooled on the flat now and is an excellent choice to work on your seat/work without stirrups as she is comfy yet responsive. She is a very unusual colour, as she looks almost metallic in the sunshine, so she is an easy one to pick out of the stables!


Twiggy was bought from Carlisle in 2007 as we needed a bigger weight carrying horse. She had previously been in a private home, but hadn't done much work in an indoor school so we had to spend quite a while teaching her to canter and trot on circles and over poles. Twiggy has a slightly squint pelvis, which we believe stems from a previous injury, but this doesn't stop her from enjoying her work.

Twiggy does all standards of lesson but mainly slower beginner and novice ones. She also does adult special needs walks as she is so quiet and well behaved and has starred in a few pantos. She is very popular with the kids because she is so gentle and often is the "grooming" pony for birthday parties so all the kids can get their photos taken with an enormous Clydesdale!

DATE OF BIRTH:2004SEX:GeldingHEIGHT:16.1 hBREED:IrishCOLOUR:Chestnut

Sally bought Henry from the sales at Cavan in 2012 as we needed a new jumping schoolmaster after we had Timone put down. Henry is a lovely big friendly guy, who is particularly good friends with Reggie as they live in the field together.

Henry is educated on the flat, but is a very good jump horse. He is happy jumping courses of 1.10m, and does quite a few staff lessons and advanced lessons. We will also use him for RGU competitions and team training. Henry is already a bit of a favourite with the members and staff alike. He prefers the right rein to the left rein, and you have to work quite hard to keep him straight when jumping a bit bigger, as he likes to drift right a bit.

DATE OF BIRTH:1998SEX:GeldingHEIGHT:16.2 hBREED:Native XCOLOUR:Appaloosa

Apache has done quite a bit of showjumping and stopped competing when he developed a problem leaving the other horses in the practice arena. He is a more advanced ride, so will be doing our advanced, RGU lessons and staff training. He is very eyecatching with all his spots, so is definitely an easy one for our members to find in the stables.

Apache has settled in well to Oldfold and has been doing a lot of work with Martin. He lives in the "posh boys" field with Reggie and Timone. He still has seperation issues, and is terrified if he ends up on his own in the stables and can't see another horse, so please make sure that he is in a stable beside another horse when you put him away. He is very gentle to handle and has a nice temperament in his stable.