February Newsletter 2024

Welcome to the February newsletter! We thought a pic of a nice sunset would be refreshing for everyone after all the snow, ice and wind! As always, thank you to our members for being so understanding when we had to cancel lessons for the snow and then the weather warnings for wind – hopefully February will bring less weather warnings!


So, the Easter holidays will soon be upon us and we have more Pony Stars sessions planned! We will be running Dartmoor Dazzlers in the first week of the Easter holidays (the first level course which is suitable for riders who are from beginner to learning to canter and from starting out with stable management through to having done a couple of courses).

The Second week we will be running Welshie Wizzers, which is the second level – suitable for children who are cantering in their lessons (without holding the saddle) and have completed the Dartmoor Dazzlers book.

So, dates and prices are as follows:

Mon 1st April – Thurs 4th April full course (including group riding lesson from 10a.m – 2p.m) – £185 with £50 deposit payable on booking.

Mon 8th April – Thurs 11th April inclusive full course (including group riding lesson) from 10.a.m – 2p.m – £185 with £50 deposit payable on booking.

We are also as with previous holidays able to take bookings for stable management only on each day detailed above for £30 per day from 10.am–12p.m. Participants on the stable management only days can book any amount of days (e.g. 1 – 4 days) and payment for these is due on booking.

If you don’t yet have a Pony Stars pack for these courses then the pack is available for £25 which includes a bag, stickers and activity book for the course which has loads of fun puzzles and information in it.

Bookings for the Easter Pony Stars will open on Monday 12th February at 10.00a.m


Just another reminder to everyone that lessons have to be booked and paid for a minimum of 24 hours in advance. We are still experiencing some members trying to book in on the morning of their lesson or paying by bank transfer on the morning of their lesson.

The horses’ hours are obviously strictly monitored (as are our staff hours) and the worksheet is done the day before so we can’t take bookings on the day of a lesson. Our policy is also that lessons need to be paid on booking, so we can’t book a rider in until payment has been made – so do please remember to book in (and pay) with more than 24 hours’ notice to avoid disappointment. Block booking cards are a great way to pay for your lessons as you don’t need to remember to pay each week – you just let us know if you will be attending and you also get a discount on block bookings cards of £1-£2 per lesson depending on the size of the block booking card. Standing order is also a good method, which again offers a discount – if you would like more info on block booking cards or standing orders then either drop Ali an email or pop in to see her when you are here for a lesson.


We had a great turnout for the educational event in January which covered “how horses learn”. It was great to see so many members interested in the topic and learning lots to ensure they get the best from their horse/pony in sessions. We are currently organising another educational event in March, which will be based around different professionals that riders can use to help with their confidence, fitness and ability – it will be a great session and we will provide more details in the March newsletter and on our Facebook page as soon as we have firm dates.


We have had a great uptake for new participants in the new Dartmoor Dazzlers Pony Stars session that Liam is running on Saturdays at 3.30p.m – we do still have some space in this session, so if any other young members want to come and build their confidence with the ponies and other key skills, then just let us know and we can book you in. The Pony Stars sessions are a great way for our youngest members (under 12) to meet new pals and have some pony/learning time. The session runs each Saturday for one hour and you just book in when you can attend – no requirement to attend each week.


Again, we had a great uptake for the five week Stage 1 course with Sally, so it starts early in February and will run each Saturday for 5 weeks, after which time we will look to put on an assessment for those who did the course. If you are interested in doing your Stage 1 in the future or taking part in the training course, do let us know as whilst this one is full, we are happy to put on another course in the future if we have demand for it.


Just a reminder to everyone again to please ensure when you are taking a horse out/putting them back into their stable that you make sure that the door is fully open (as in pushed all the way back against the wall) – you may need to hold the door as you take the horse through it so it doesn’t close, but we have had a few incidents in the last fortnight where members have squeezed the horse through a half open door and gotten the saddle or stirrup caught on the door, which gives the horse a fright – so please just be aware that the horses and ponies are a) wider than us and b) longer than us so have to start turning their front end whilst they are half way through door, which means their bum swings wider.


Both Holly and Cyrus are now back in light work – so they will both be appearing in lessons near you soon! Holly was off after she damaged a ligament in a back leg whilst walking in a lesson and Cyrus had a slightly embarrassing issue, where a part of his (male) anatomy became swollen, which made him move oddly with his back legs J The swelling is all down now, and he is back to moving normally so he’ll also be in lessons again soon.

We are also hoping to have some exciting “pony” news next week so do make sure you keep an eye on our Facebook page, so you get the info hot off the press!

Read on to find out the answers to last months quiz!


1. What colour is KoKo (school horse)?

KoKo is an appaloosa.

2. Who’s nose is this? (Current school horse or pony)

This is Trojan’s nose

3. Horses often have a “full” or “competition” name in their passport, which is different to their everyday name.  One of our very well know horses passport name is “Convinced Ya” – which horse do you think it is?

“Convinced Ya” is Henry.

4. What should the temperature be of a healthy horse at rest? (in degree Celsius)

37.5 degrees.

5. Most of our school horses are shod in front and barefoot behind. However we have 2 horses/ponies that wear back shoes as well. Guess which two! (We will explain why they wear back shoes next month!)

Brewster and Achil

6. Who is the tallest school horse – Achil, Cyrus or Mr T?

Cyrus is the tallest at 17.3h.h.

7. How many stomachs does a horse have?

Just the one stomach – and it’s very small (considering the size of the animal). It’s the size of a small rugby ball.

8. “All fat brown mares can hardly ever kick” is poor grammar, but an important sentence when trying to remember something – but what does it help you remember?

It’s the letters of the arena.

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