April Newsletter 2023

Welcome to our April newsletter – our pic this month is our beloved Hamish, who we sadly lost to colic towards the end of March. Hamish had been suffering from colitis for a couple of weeks and we’d been working really hard with the vets to make sure he was getting his medication several times each day. Sadly, despite starting to recover from the colitis, he then started to colic, and we had to make the sad decision to put him to sleep.

Thank you to all our members for their kind comments and support during what was a very sad time, but we take comfort in the fact that Hamish had a great life with us.


We have now released information about the exciting new “Leadership Awards” that we are going to be delivering to teenagers.

 The Leadership awards are designed to help build key skills in teenagers, in a fun, safe environment. The awards cover teamwork, innovation, goal setting and leadership skills and are delivered to a structured format, with self-study and activity for outside the sessions too. Participants don’t need to be riders – all we ask is that they are teenagers, keen to learn and happy to sign up to our code of conduct to ensure the sessions are a safe space for all.

We have an informative video on our closed Facebook page and Ali can also send out the information video to anyone who is keen to take part – we will be aiming to start the sessions at the end of April/start of May and they will run weekly.


As you all know, ARC is a not-for-profit members club and all riders pay an annual membership. The fees from which go towards supporting the club/allowing us to invest in new equipment and also ensuring we can continue to subsidise activities which make riding more accessible for those who need it.

Our membership year runs from 1st June, so annual fees are due on or before 1st June 2023. We are going to freeze membership prices again to recognise the cost of living situation so they will be the same price as they have been since 2019.

So single membership is £130, with a discount to £125 for if you pay prior to 1st June (it becomes £130 again on 1st June) and family membership is £240, with a discount to £230 if you pay prior to 1st June (it becomes £240 again on 1st June).

Ali will have membership forms available from 1st May in reception and payment can be made at any point during May (will still run for full year from 1st June). Please do remember that we need new forms each year to ensure the correct contact details and as your riding experience changes from year to year – so please complete the forms (either electronically or in paper format) and return them to Ali before making payment. Payment can be made in person by card, over the phone by card or by bank transfer.

As our members know, we have worked really hard over the last 12 months to prevent a cost increase to riding lessons (price review should have been due August 2021). Our view as a board is that the club had made a small surplus in 2020 and 2021 due to our Covid strategies and our online provision during lockdowns, so we felt that rather than put lesson costs up to cover the increased costs we would initially use the small surplus.

We will be reviewing prices in July 2023 for lessons as we have delayed it as long as we can to help everyone, but at this stage we would anticipate a lesson price increase of around (or less than) 10% as we continue to try to manage costs and keep sessions affordable.


As part of his professional development, Liam is organising a careers evening at ARC which is open to anyone who has an interest in equine careers – school age and above!

The careers evening will be on Friday 21st April at 6.00p.m and we have a vet, farrier, riding coach all presenting about their careers and then Sally will present a bit about BHS qualifications (coaching qualifications) and the SRUC course (HNC/D in Equine Studies). The professionals presenting will talk about the training/qualifications required and the route they took to their qualifications, along with a bit about what their average day looks like.

It will be a great relaxed atmosphere where attendees can ask as many questions as they want or just come along to listen, and it is part of ARCs commitment to those people looking for a career with horses. We are going to charge £5 entry to the event but use it as a fundraiser for Befriend A Child, which is a great local charity that we already provide free riding for, so all income from the event will be given to the charity.

If you would like to attend the event, then please just let us know in reception or drop Ali an email.


We have lots of fun activities for the Summer holidays for all, so please see below for more info. Bookings for these courses and days open on Wednesday 26th April at 10.00a.m.

Monday 17th July–Thursday 20th July inclusive and Monday 7th August–Thursday 10th August inclusive – Dartmoor Dazzlers Pony Stars – the riding option is from 10a.m–2p.m each day and includes an hours riding and we are also offering the stable management/Pony Stars only option (with no riding) from 10a.m–12p.m. As this course is normally popular, we would encourage members to book one week or the other initially and then if we have space once bookings have opened, members can book a second week if they like.

The riding option has to be booked for the whole week (Mon–Thurs) and costs £185, and the grooming only option costs £30 per day for the 2 hour session and attendees can do the full week, or just specific days. Attendees need a “Pony Stars” Dartmoor Dazzlers pack, so if they don’t already have one then these are an additional £25.

Monday 24th July–Thursday 27th July (inclusive) – Welshie Wizzers Pony Stars – options and prices are the same as for Dartmoor Dazzlers (above). The Welshie Wizzers course is for children who have completed their Dartmoor Dazzlers course previously and the Dartmoor Dazzlers are suitable for anyone from just starting out with Pony Stars to having done a bit of Dartmoor Dazzlers already.

Monday 31st July–Thurs 3rd August (inclusive) – Teenage Explorer/Leadership Awards. This course is specifically aimed at our teenage members and takes the place of the “old” advanced stable management. The course will be delivered by Sally and runs from 10a.m–2p.m each day. It will cover some of the Leadership Awards criteria and also the Explorer Awards, which are structured Equine awards for teenagers. There will be a riding lesson each day with this option and the group limited to 6 to ensure each teenager has enough time for their personal development. This will be a great course, with a mix of horse skills and key skills like teamwork covered and we will look to complete a bronze award within the week. This course also costs £185 for the four full days and doesn’t have a shorter option for non-riding as we want the teenagers to really bond as a team during the week.

The Story of Ozzy 2

Ozzy 2 is one of our very popular ponies who works with beginner – novice junior riders. We have known Ozzy 2 for a few years now as he was bought by a local family who ride with us and liveried with us initially as he was their first pony, so he stayed at ARC until the family had learnt enough to keep Ozzy just along the road at home.

So we were involved when the family were looking for their first pony and saw lots of videos of Ozzy and advised he would be a sensible first pony to purchase. Ozzy then came on livery and settled in great, giving his owner a huge amount of fun and learning through Pony Club and lessons at ARC.

When the time came for the family to look for another horse as the rider was much taller, we offered to buy Ozzy 2 as we thought he’d be great in the riding school and it suited the family as they wanted to ensure Ozzy 2 got a great knowledgeable home (and meant they could come and see him whenever they were over for lessons).

Ozzy is a very safe, solid little chap who is ideal to learn on – but he can be quite determined to stay beside his friends when in a group lesson J So he needs clear steering aids and a rider who sits nice and tall and looks where they want to go. Ozzy also works regularly with the ARC Hippotherapy group and Deeside RDA, so he works with everyone from tiny toddlers who are having physio through to some taller riders who need a quieter session due to sensory requirements.

He is also a very clever pony – when it is his turn to have a canter, or do something specific, he nearly always decides he needs a wee or a poo which means he can have a little rest before he does it J So if you find him going into the corner and stretching his legs out just before you want to canter, don’t be alarmed – he’s just going for a wee!

He is a very friendly pony in the stable and is trusted with the smallest of children to groom him and tack him up and he lives out with the school boys and likes to play lots with Jaffa/Kevin/Mario and the rest of the ”lads”. He needs sun cream on his little pink snip at the end of his nose in the Summer as it can get sunburnt, but any attention is good as far as Ozzy is concerned!

He wears a grackle noseband as it helps with his steering, but we tend to keep it very loose so if you are tacking him up, make sure it doesn’t feel too tight – particularly where it sits beneath the bit.

He only became Ozzy “2” when we bought him – he was always just Ozzy before, as was Ozzy “1” – we bought Ozzy 1 a couple of months before Ozzy 2, hence the numbers! A really sweet little pony who is always happy to have a pat and a carrot if you are passing!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Call Now