March Newsettter 2024

Welcome to the March newsletter and finally we are starting to see the daylight hours starting to stretch a bit now! We still have March weather to get through though (when historically we have had some snow still!).


As Boyo is doing a great job of demonstrating above, we are still running some great Pony Stars sessions both weekly and in the kids’ holidays and everyone who attends is having a great time. We run Pony Stars sessions weekly on a Saturday at 3.30p.m with Liam (for those who are newer to Pony Stars) and on a Monday at 4.30p.m with Laura (for those who have completed the Dartmoor Dazzlers and have moved onto Welshie Wizzers).

Our ridden Pony Stars in the Easter holidays are already full – they were very popular this year! But we do still have grooming/groundwork sessions available – these run from 10a.m – 12p.m and are £30 per session. The Dartmoor Dazzlers (beginner level) course is on Mon 1st – Thurs 4th April inclusive and the Welshie Wizzers is on Mon 8th April – Thurs 11th April inclusive. So, if you would like your young person to take part in the grooming/groundwork sessions then just book in through reception or drop Ali an email – you can do as many or as few of the days as you want within the same course for the grooming only sessions.


We ran a really successful educational event at the end of January all about horses and how they learn, and it was lovely to see so many members attending and keen to further their knowledge on how to work best with our horses and ponies. So, we are now going to run an educational event all about the rider! The session will be on Sunday 24th March from 5.30p.m – 7.00p.m and is a dismounted session. We are going to have a panel of qualified professionals who can advise on their role and how it can support riders (of all levels). We are delighted to have the following professionals giving their time for this event:

  • Caroline Frew – Rider Physiotherapist.
  • Nicky Etherson – Mindset Coach.
  • Sally McCarthy – Senior Coach.

The evening will be a great event for anyone with an interest in how to improve their riding and enjoyment of riding and we are going to charge a £5 entry fee, which will be donated to a charity of the presenters’ choice. So, if you’d like to come along and find out a bit more about how these professionals can support your riding, then just book in through reception or drop Ali an email.


As we noted on the club Facebook page, we received a complaint last week from a local horse rider (not a livery at ARC) that one of our customers had driven dangerously close and fast to her horse on the road (from N. Deeside Road to our private road).

So please do remember the guidance that was introduced to the Highway Code last year – horses should be passed at a minimum of 2 metres and a maximum of 10mph. You need to slow right down, wait until it is safe to pass and avoid revving your engine or speeding off once you have passed the horse. We have assured the individual involved that we will keep educating our customers as to how to pass horses on the road – in the same way that we educate all our riders that they should be wearing plenty of high viz when on the road to ensure they are as visible as possible.


We had a great response to our British Horse Society Stage One course which we are currently running over 5 weeks on a Saturday morning. Once the course is completed, we are happy to put on another Stage One course for anyone who is keen to do it and the assessment. In order to be “ready for assessment” riders should be:

  • Happy and secure in walk/trot and canter.
  • Secure without stirrups (without holding the saddle) in walk and trot)
  • Able to carry out basic stable management/horse care tasks.

The training course is normally for five weeks (with 2 hours training a week) and costs £300 for the course, then participants can decide whether they wish to do the assessment and we can advise on assessment fees. The minimum age for sitting the BHS Stage 1 is 13 years old.


Sally is going to be attending a careers event at Bogenraith Equestrian (Durris) on Friday 8th March from 4.30p.m – 6.30p.m. The event is being organised by BHS Grampian Region and there are a group of professionals (including vets, farriers and coaches) who will be there to answer any questions/explain entry requirements/career pathway to any interested parties. It’s a great informal way to find out about careers involving horses, so if you or someone you know would like to attend, the event is free to attend but you should book a space through the following link:

The restaurant at Bogenraith is also open that evening if you want to enjoy your dinner whilst attending the career event – booking for the restaurant is essential and can be done at the following link:


We all said a sad goodbye to Bertha this week, a lovely skewbald mare that was owned by ARC, but never quite made it into lessons! Bertha was a lovely natured horse and was ridden regularly by one of our club members Lee. Bertha had always been challenged by soundness as she has difficult conformation and feet to manage and we had noticed that Bertha was getting a bit uncomfortable getting up after she had been lying down sleeping – her joints were starting to cause her discomfort, so the fairest thing was to put her to sleep to ensure she wasn’t in discomfort. Bertha was a great field companion too for the school mares, so she will be sadly missed by all of us and especially Lee.


Another reminder as we are still finding a few members who are not booking/paying in enough time for their sessions. Our policy is that lessons have to be booked (and paid for) a minimum of 24 hours before the lesson – we know it’s disappointing if you have forgotten to book or pay, but please do remember to be polite to our staff, particularly our reception staff who have to stick to this policy as our horse work hours are already organised and our policy has been payment in advance for several years now. We have quite a few options available if you struggle to remember to pay for your lessons – a block booking card is a good option, or paying by monthly standing order – both of which also result in a small discount on each lesson, so please do remember our booking policy, but also to be polite to our staff who have to implement it.

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