May Newsletter 2024

Hi everyone and welcome to the May newsletter – as you may have noticed we have been celebrating “National Coaching Week” this last week with posts of all our coaching staff on our public Facebook page, hence the picture above – only Liam is missing as we don’t actually have a group pic of all our coach team together so apologies Liam!


As you will be aware, the club membership year runs from 1st June – 31st May each year, therefore membership is due during May (to qualify for the pre-payment discount) and expires on 31st May, so those who haven’t renewed their membership will not be able to ride after 1st June 2024.

Membership forms are available now from reception and we need a completed form handed in prior to payment being made, so please either pick up a hard copy from reception or email Ali to request an electronic copy. Please make sure that you have filled in the form fully – including all emergency contact details (other than just one number) and riding details.

Membership fees have been frozen again, so prices are as follows:

Single membership – £130 (£125 if paid before 1st June)

Family membership (up to 2 adults and 3 children) – £240 (£230 if paid before 1st June).

ARC is a not for profit members club – so all our income from lessons and membership is used to firstly pay all the costs of running a centre then also to purchase new equipment (including horses e.t.c). We are a unique business model for a riding school, with no proprietor or Directors taking dividends from company profit – it is all reinvested back into the club. So do please make sure that you visit reception during May to get your membership forms and get them completed and back to us with payment prior to the end of the month.


We currently have quite a few young riders who are enjoying coming up at weekends or in their spare time to build their practical skills on the yard by grooming/skipping out e.t.c. We are always happy to support our members in this way by providing a safe environment for them to come up and spend some additional time with the ponies, but we wanted to provide a reminder as to what we require prior to young people coming up and helping:

  • The “volunteer” needs to have done at least 2 beginner stable management (Dartmoor Dazzlers) courses (during the holidays) or a Novice (Welshie Whizzers) course (during the holidays). Alternatively, we are happy if the young people have completed the Dartmoor Dazzlers booklet if they attend the weekly sessions rather than week long holiday courses.
  • We need whoever is dropping them off to visit reception, make sure we know that the young person is on the yard and what time they will be getting collected at – also to check we have the right contact numbers e.t.c.
  • The young person needs to remain within the building and within our staff’s sight – so do please make sure you are letting them know this prior to helping out – we can’t have people walking up track/going to fields e.t.c. without a member of staff for safety reasons.

We are always happy to encourage our younger members to come and get involved and learn a bit more about the work that’s involved with ponies, but equally we need to ensure that the volunteer has a good basic understanding of stable management and yard safety rules e.t.c. before they attend for longer than their lesson to ensure they are safe.


As noted in a previous email, we are going to have to increase lesson prices this Summer due to the increased costs. The price increase will be on group lessons and peak time private lessons, with no change to pricing for off-peak private lessons (Mon – Thurs before 4p.m) and the increase will be £3 on a group lesson and £2 on a private lesson, so we have been able to keep the increase under 10% –  We like to give everyone plenty of notice of a price increase, so the increase will take effect from 1st July 2024 and as we have done previously, we will extend the expiry date on 10 and 20 lesson cards from 3 months to 6 months so that if anyone wants to purchase an additional one prior to the prices going up they can.

We know that nobody likes a price increase, but hopefully everyone is aware of how long we capped lesson prices for after Covid and through the cost of living crisis and that as a not for profit, the cost increases are a requirement due to the cost of provision.


Liam is off down South this week to sit his Stage 4 (event) ride, where he rides 2 or 3 horses on the flat, then 1 horse showjumping and 1 horse x-country. So good luck to Liam – you’ve worked very hard with your training so hope you have a great day!


Some sad news this month as 2 of our junior staff team will be moving onto pastures new!

Freya is leaving us to move to Ireland so we’re all very pleased for her and wish her the very best of luck! She is going to work at a yard in Southern Ireland, so hopefully she will be able to keep progressing with the rest of her Stage 3 qualification.

Ellis is also going to be finishing with us in mid July and we’re all really pleased for Ellis that she feels ready to spread her wings and try a different job away from the club – Ellis has been with us for eleven years so whilst we’re sad to see her go, it’s been brilliant to see how much Ellis has developed since starting with us and we’re sure she’ll be great in a new role.

Sophie, who currently works for the club on a Monday evening on the yard will be moving up to full time hours to fill Freya’s vacancy. We have known Sophie for a few years now as she was one of the students on the first intake of SRUC 3 years ago – so Sophie has an HND in Equine Studies and also holds her BHS Stage 1, so will be training and sitting her BHS Stage 2 as soon as possible. So, a warm welcome to Sophie and we’re sure you’ll all meet her soon as she will be helping get lessons mounted and getting school horses and ponies ready for their sessions.

We won’t be advertising a vacancy when Ellis finishes with us as in Summer, we need less staff on the yard as the horses are all living out – we will most likely have a part time role available coming into Winter, so for anyone interested keep your eye on our social media pages.


We are delighted to be starting our first intake of young people into the Changing Lives Through Horses programme – an equine facilitated learning programme which aims to support young people who have disengaged in education through building their confidence and skills in some key areas. We have been lucky to be awarded £1500 of funding for the programme, so we approached 2 Aberdeen City secondary schools to offer them some funded spaces and one of the schools was very keen and we have 5 young people starting this week.


Wow! We think this was the most popular one yet as the riding spaces all filled up very quickly, which is great to know that our younger members are enjoying the courses and look forward to them in the holidays.

We still have some grooming spaces available – where the theory, lectures and grooming parts of Pony Stars are all covered, but without the riding option (riding numbers are limited for the riding lesson sizes). Hopefully we will get some nice warm weather for the summer holidays!

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