May Newsletter 2023

Hi everyone and welcome to our May newsletter – we’re all so pleased to get to May and see the horses out for their summer grazing and the grass starting to grow – it feels like it’s been a long winter with the cost of living crisis, mud and ice!

We thought we’d put Snip’s pic in the newsletter this month as more of you are getting to know him now as he is doing more lessons – he’s a lovely chap who is enjoying his time with us on loan as his owner moved to Azerbaijan.


As everyone knows, ARC is a members club and everyone’s membership is due for renewal on or before 1st June 2023. There are many benefits to riding at a not-for profit centre, but here are the main ones:

  • Your lesson fees are always reinvested back into the club – for tack, horses, equipment e.t.c.
  • There is no owner of ARC – it is in effect owned by the members, meaning that decisions on strategy, pricing and activities are always made for the benefit of our users (you guys).
  • We subsidise many sessions for those that need it in order to make horses accessible – your lesson fees contribute to subsidised therapy sessions, allow us to provide subsidised rates to 2 RDA groups that use our facility and also support charities like Befriend a Child to encourage young people to spend time with ponies.

We are pleased to be able to freeze membership pricing for the fifth year in a row, despite the hugely increased costs we have experienced in the last year – our board made the decision early in 2022 to use the surplus (small profit) we had made in 2021 and 2020 to keep pricing the same for membership. We will need to increase lesson pricing this year, having held it at same price for a considerable time, but we are delighted to keep membership the same. So, membership fees (if paid before 1st June as a prepayment discount applies) are £125 for a Single Member (any age) and £230 for a Family Membership (up to 2 adults and 3 children). Membership forms are available (in paper format or electronic if you want to request one from Ali) in reception and please remember that we need a new completed membership form for everyone – even though you filled one in last year, your riding ability may change and it is a good chance for us to check that emergency contact details are correct too.


Liam held a very successful careers info evening in April, which was a fundraiser for Befriend a Child (Liam’s chosen charity). We had some great speakers – vets, rider physios, farriers and coaches and we also covered the BHS career pathway and SRUC course in Equine Studies. Thanks to the entry fees and raffle tickets sold, Liam raised £750 for the charity and this was very generously topped up by another £2000 by a livery family business, so we will be transferring an incredible £2750 to Befriend a Child this week – a huge thank you to everyone involved and those of you who attended or bought raffle tickets!


The week long Pony Stars courses (with riding) are now full after they opened last week, but we have spaces for the grooming/stable management sessions still available on all Pony Stars courses – the grooming/stable management sessions run from 10.00a.m – 12.00p.m and are £30.00 per session – you can book however many sessions you like from the 4 days available.

We also still have some space left on the advanced stable management/horse explorer awards course which runs from Monday 31st July – Thursday 3rd August. This course will cover the horse explorer awards which are designed for teenagers – they involve some leadership skills, team work and then horse knowledge too and this course also costs £185.00 for the week and includes a riding lesson each day.

If you would like to book any of those activities, then just give Ali a ring (01224)733111 or drop her an email –


We are going to be starting a Changing Lives course later in May, which is a course designed for young people (under 25 years) who are struggling in Education – for any reason from non-attendance, to being excluded e.t.c.

The course follows the Curriculum of Excellence and works through some specific awards which are built around key skills and are recognised by the majority of schools as an approved provision to encourage young people back into education.

The course will run for a 2.5 hour session each week initially and we are about to put the information out to City and Shire schools to see if they have any young people they would like to refer onto the programme, but we thought we’d mention it in here first in case any parent wishes to make a private referral. The course will cost £50 per 2.5 hour session and quite a few schools in other areas are funding this for non-attendees, so it is very worth checking with your school first. If you are interested in this course, then please again email Ali –


We are going to start the “Leadership Awards” course on a Saturday at 4.00p.m (1 hour long). The leadership awards are the sessions that are like mini Duke of Edinburgh awards – they are all based around key skills of team work, innovation, leadership e.t.c.

For those of you who are interested in the sessions, we are going to run an initial intro session on Saturday 20th May where you can come along, find out about the awards and do some example exercises. If you then like the sound of it, they will be running weekly from Saturday 27th May (4.00p.m) – whilst attendees need to be fairly regular, it doesn’t matter if you miss a week here and there. They are ideal for teenagers from 12 years – 18 years and are a great way of making friends/building confidence e.t.c. If you would like to book into the intro session, then drop Ali an email or give her a ring.


We hope you are all looking forward to the coronation weekend – just to ensure everyone is updated, we will be open as normal throughout the coronation weekend and on Monday 8th May.


Scrufty was born in 2003, and was bought by the club as a 4 year old in 2007, so he is now a 20 year old very experienced riding school pony.

Scrufty was named because he arrived in the winter and in the winter he is………… well……….. a bit hairy and scruffy looking! Although he transforms into a beautiful sleek cob in the Summer when his summer coat comes in! Scrufty was newly backed when we bought him from a dealer in Cumbria, so he did some work and training with one of our staff back in 2007 and proved to be a forward, happy little guy with a very good jump. When he was younger, he was the top of the pecking order in the school boys field and ruled with a rod of iron! He was always first to the gate, first to the hay feeder and if any other school boy stepped out of line (regardless of size) Scrufty would put them right back in their place.

Scrufty was one of the jump horses used for the uni competitions for many years and held a very consistent record of jumping clear with a variety of riders around the 90cm course – he was also the first pony picked normally for the bigger showjumping class at the August Show.

Due to his jumping ability, Scrufty is able to change leg in canter when he changes direction – so if you are riding a change of rein and mean to trot to change lead, but you find Scrufty pulling you along in canter and not wanting to trot, it’s because he finds changing in canter easier and has a tendency to show the rider how to do it properly J

Scrufty had to move out of the school boys field around 4 years ago when he got a bit older – this is quite common in that as a horse gets older, the younger ones start to challenge them to become top of the pecking order, so Jaffa was starting to bully Scrufty a bit, so we created a new field group with Mr T and Trojan who also didn’t like the school boys group, so Scrufty is much happier in with them and none the wiser that he in effect was pushed down the pecking order in the old field!

Scrufty is comfy in all paces, likes doing flat as well as jumping and tends to do Novice – advanced children’s and small adult lessons. He still likes jumping but doesn’t jump so big now he’s a bit older.

Our eagle-eyed members will have noticed that Scrufty doesn’t wear normal “nailed on” shoes – he wears glue on “Imprints”. He has been wearing these for many years now – for some reason, Scrufty goes lame in front when he has shoes nailed on – he had his front feet x-rayed years ago and lots of vet examination and we never got to the bottom of why this happens, but he stays sound and happy in the Imprints – so we keep those on him. The Imprints are quite challenging for farriers to put on, so we are lucky that we have a very experienced farrier who is good at it! They cost £190 for a pair of front ones (as opposed to £65 for a pair of metal ones) due to the skill and time required to put them on, but Scrufty is worth it!

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