August Newsletter

We’re starting with a big fat “well done” this month to our staff members, Freya and Ali who both passed assessments in July. Ali sat and passed her BHS Stage 1 (ride and care) – whilst BHS qualifications are not a requirement for Ali’s role (she has a business degree), we thought it would be good development for her to sit the assessment as she does all the bookings for our devolved Stage 1 assessments so it is nice for her to do the assessment and see how the experience is for those sitting it. She passed with flying colours, so well done Ali!

Freya also had a busy month sitting her Stage 2 lunge (she already has her ride and care sections) and then her Stage 2 coach. Freya worked hard to get prepared for the coach assessment as we only booked her into it 6 weeks beforehand when we had a cancellation. The Stage 2 coach means that Freya could start coaching some private lessons and walkies, with a senior coach present on site, however we tend to keep coaching pretty light for Stage 2 level coaches – they tend to assist with lessons and take stable management sessions initially whilst they are building up their confidence. Well done Ali and Freya – we’re all very proud of you both!


We hope all our members have had some great summer holidays so far and nobody has been stuck at the airport/delayed! As we all start to return after the holidays, a plea to everyone to double check that you are booked in for your normal group lesson on the date that you want to return. We always find at this time of year that a few riders turn up having forgotten to book in as they’ve been away on holiday and we can’t always guarantee there will be a horse or pony available at short notice so do please let us know in advance when you will be back – even if you think you have booked in, just double check!


August sees us with a few coaches taking annual leave and Martin having some time off with his family (exact timing unknown J). So, we have limited the private lessons available this month with Sally, Liam and Laura and have created “provisional” slots with Martin which we won’t take pre-payment for, but you can pay on the day. This is so that if we need to cancel the provisional lessons as Martins leave starts on those dates, we won’t have to run credits forward for everyone. If we need to cancel your provisional private lesson, we will ring you and let you know asap – so if you don’t hear from us, you can assume your private lesson is going ahead. We will also update the Facebook page when Martins leave starts so that you can check that way too.


We’ve had busy holidays so far with Pony Stars courses on most weeks and all our junior riders having a great time. Our Pony Stars sessions continue on a Monday (4.30p.m) with Laura and a Saturday (10.30 a.m) with Liam and both groups are now preparing to move onto the Welshie Whizzers (next level). This means that we won’t be able to accept new “Pony Stars” attendees once the Welshie Whizzers start (junior start with “Dartmoor Dazzlers”) but if your child is keen to get started with the weekly Pony Stars sessions, then if you let reception know, if we have enough demand, we are happy to put on an additional weekly session starting with the Dartmoor Dazzlers again for new attendees.


A big well done to everyone who took part in the dressage competition in July – it was lovely to see everyone enjoying it so much and how nicely all the horses and ponies were turned out. Our judge was very impressed with the standard of everyone’s riding and the marks reflected that so a huge well done to everyone. The “taster days” of a dressage comp and a jump training day seemed to be very popular, so we will look to offer something similar in the October holidays – keep an eye on the Facebook page and newsletters for details!


We are going to be updating a lot of the images on our website over the next three months – the images we currently use have been on the website since 2018 and we’d like to freshen them up and try to reflect more of the types of sessions we offer to a wide variety of members.

We are hoping that a lot of our members would be happy to have their pictures on our website, but obviously we want to check first with everyone as we know not everyone is keen on their picture being in the public domain.

So, we thought the best way to go about it would be to have members who were happy to have their pictures used to let us know in reception. We will have a basic release form for you to sign for you (or your child) so if you or your young rider would like to be part of the new images on the ARC website, then please just let us know at reception and we can give you a photo release to sign – there are never any names/information on website with pictures obviously – just the pics. We are keen to have pictures of members who would be part of under-represented groups in riding– so boys/men, riders with disabilities and riders from ethnic minority groups. We’re also keen that the pics reflect “real life”, so it doesn’t matter if you have all the correct riding gear, or ride in your track suit bottoms and borrow a hat – we want the pictures to reflect each and every member that uses ARC.

We would take pictures (of those who are happy for them to be used) during normal activities – group lessons/private lessons/Pony Stars/Assessment training e.t.c. Our website is a real opportunity to increase diversity in equestrianism – we all know that visual representation of a sport or activity is a powerful tool when people are deciding if it’s the right activity for them, so we want to ensure our website truly reflects our very diverse membership base and wide range of activities we offer, so please – if you can, let us know if you’re happy to be a website star!


A gentle reminder that there is a strict speed limit on our access road and car park of 10 mph. Whilst the car park does not have any equine foot traffic, by the very nature of what we offer, the car park often has a lot of people arriving for lessons and a lot of younger visitors and dogs. We also have the trampoline area for younger members to enjoy and it is concerning when we see some of the speeds that some members arrive in the car park at. We also cross the access road with horses to turn them out and despite wearing high viz, we have had a few incidents lately where people arriving have been driving far too fast along the access road. If you are running late for your lessons, we know it’s frustrating but please do remember the speed limit – we have very high-tech cameras on the building with number plate (and speed) recognition on entry, so we are very aware if there is a “repeat offender” on the speeding front – please – stick to the 10 mph to ensure everyone using the facility is safe.



Holly is a 21-year-old 13h.h. grey mare who is more commonly known as “Princess Holly” due to her fondness of pink, being treated like Royalty and being a firm favourite with our younger riding school members.

We met Holly in 2003 when we moved to Oldfold – she was a 2-year-old filly at the time, who had been born at Oldfold as a “mistake” when the previous owner bought a mare that was pregnant (they didn’t know she was pregnant) and Holly was the end result. When we arrived at Oldfold, Holly was just hanging about in a field and hadn’t had much handling or care, so we took her on and backed her for the riding school. We then bought her when we bought the existing horse stock at Oldfold when we were taking over the lease.

Holly is a healthy, very nice natured pony who tends to live in as she is very sensitive to too much sugar in her diet (grass is high in sugar) so she keeps Abbey and KoKo company as the “girls who like a nice hotel room”.

Holly has had quite a lot of treatment on her teeth – when she was a 6 year old, she developed a swelling on her face which was because of a tooth root abscess so she had a molar tooth removed which took the vets 2 days of “wiggling” – equine dentistry has moved on a bit since then and Holly had another molar tooth removed a couple of years ago, which was far easier and faster due to development in tools and techniques!

Holly does beginner/novice level lessons and is very polite and willing with our youngest riders. She is also a popular choice for Pony Stars and Stable Management as she enjoys being groomed and fussed over. The only thing Holly isn’t keen on is anyone walking beside her flanks (towards her back end) whilst she is being ridden – she doesn’t mind them walking there, but if they start brushing against her she isn’t a fan – she will start walking faster to get away from them 😊

Holly has one phobia – the hose. She literally hates getting washed or bathed, which is unfortunate when she is a light grey that enjoys lying in her own poo in her stable. It takes a brave person to hold Holly at the hose – she will jump about, stamp her feet, try to run off and generally make everyone aware that she is not keen on the process. It is possible, but it’s normally Sally or one of the other Senior staff who have to roll their sleeves up and wash Holly with the hose to ensure it’s done safely.

Holly is also a bit of a snob – she has a very limited list of “friends” amongst our horses and ponies. She tolerates Brewster because he is her neighbour, but Brewster is completely and hopelessly in love with her and watches her every move – he is definitely keener on her than she is on him! She likes Abbey and KoKo and whinnies when they go into a lesson and her best pal is Gemima as they normally work one behind the other in a lesson. She isn’t a fan of the “cobbier” ponies – she thinks they are like mongrels and not in her class. Poor Ozzy 2 tries to make friends with her regularly in lessons only to be completely ignored or to get her angry face as she feels Ozzy 2 and his breeding is well beneath her. Princess by name……. Princess by nature 😊

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