November Newsletter

Hi everyone and welcome to November’s newsletter! We thought it might be nice to have “Lord Harris” picture on this month’s newsletter. Harris is the Highland pony that we rehomed after his owner sadly died and initially, we thought Harris would just be retiring as he had struggled with staying sound due to laminitis. However, the fields/management/shoeing that he has settled into at ARC obviously agree with him as he is completely sound and enjoying being ridden by one of our liveries and Freya at the moment, so we think he may end up doing some therapy riding and private lessons so look out for Harris soon!


Just a reminder for everyone that our policy at ARC is that lessons need to be paid on booking, which means if you pay by block booking card, you need to ensure that when your card runs out you have purchased your new one before the next lesson. The block booking cards are discounted for bulk buying which makes a great saving for members who use them, but it does mean that you need to pay for them prior to riding in order to benefit from the discount. As with other lessons, Block Booking Cards can be paid either by card (in person or over phone) or by bank transfer – just chat to Ali in reception about the best way to do it for you.


Yup – we’re going to dive in there and mention the Christmas word now that we’re in November! As normal, ARC will be going onto a skeleton staff/lesson timetable over Xmas and New Year to allow our hard-working staff some extra time off and because so many members go away over Xmas/New Year.

Our skeleton period starts on Friday 23rd – Thurs 5th Jan inclusive and as normal the riding school is closed on 24th, 25th and 26th December and then 31st Dec, 1st Jan and 2nd Jan. So the days “in between” those will have skeleton lessons and private lesson availability.

The private lesson diary for private lessons in December opens on Monday 28th November as normal if anyone would like to book some extra sessions in the Xmas holidays.


The diary for JANUARY (only) private lessons will open on Tuesday 20th December (as the last Monday we’ll be closed) so for January only we are moving the day of bookings opening to a Tuesday – we will put a reminder on the Club Facebook page to remind everyone though!


We are still working hard to control costs and reduce lost income due to cancellations in order to try to keep the cost of riding lessons the same over the Winter. As we have noted in previous newsletters, we decided in the Summer that we would do everything possible to try to avoid a riding lesson price increase for as long as possible this Winter, as we feel quite strongly that whilst we are experiencing much higher costs from suppliers, if all companies just pass the price increase onto customers, the end user (in our case riders and liveries) suffer most. Our measures so far have included a hiring freeze, controlled use of the lighting, changing feed and bedding suppliers and ensuring that cancellations within 24 hours are subject to our cancellation fee. The majority of our members have been understanding of cancellation charges and that they are necessary when the horses’ hours have already been allocated and the coach is booked for that time – do please continue to remember that whilst nobody likes a cancellation charge, it is far better than a price increase across the board for lessons and it’s an important part of our battle against the cost of living crisis.


We don’t run Pony Stars week long courses in the Xmas holidays, as it is too tight time wise to fit in around the public holidays and our staff extra time off. However, this year we are going to run a beginner level activity session on Tuesday 27th December. This session will be ideal for newer riders and those who want to build their confidence around the horses and ponies – it is aimed at 13 years and under and includes the following:

  • Pony Themed Treasure Hunt
  • Learning to groom and handle/lead the ponies
  • “Unicorn competition” – the children will be split into two teams to create a “Unicorn” with one of our lovely ponies and the best unicorn wins J

The day will run from 10.30a.m – 1.30p.m and costs £25 per child. It is open to both members and non-members (non-members will complete intro membership) and is our way of providing a fun morning for the kids, but also trying to have a session that is cheap enough for any local kids who want to learn a bit about ponies!


We are going to run a couple of training sessions in December online as it’s a good month to do some online sessions as it’s cold and wet normally!

The following sessions are available for anyone to book and cost £15 for attendance – if you would like to attend, then drop Ali an email and let her know you would like to attend – we won’t be offering recorded version of the sessions in December, until we assess the popularity of it as we are now using Teams for video calls and will decide which package to purchase once we have used it a couple of times. As with previous sessions, attendees can either attend in person or by live video call.

Saturday 3rd December (4.30p.m) with Sally

Horse behaviour – Sally will be presenting on how horses think/behave and how we need an understanding of that to train and ride horses. This session will be a mix of theory presentation and then working with some horses on the yard which will all be visible on the video call as we have WIFI in the building.

Friday 9th December (5.30p.m) with Sally

“What makes a good riding school or livery yard”?

Sally will cover legal requirements and best practice for riding schools and livery yards and the session will be beneficial both for those who are thinking of buying a horse (and therefore looking for a livery yard) or looking for a riding centre. The session is suitable for both recreational riders/owners and career professionals who may be looking to start up a riding centre or livery yard.


As noted on our Facebook page, Country Ways are hosting an ARC “shopping event” on Friday 25th November at their Aberdeen Store (Holburn Street) from 5.00p.m – 7.30p.m.  At the event, ARC members will receive 15% off any purchases which is a great offer in the lead up to Xmas! So, we will hopefully see lots of you there!


Sally bought Kevin from Cavan Performance Sales along with Jaffa Cake. Kevin was rising 4 years old when we bought him, and he is now 11 and has grown into a big strapping lad!

Kevin didn’t have a name when we bought him and Kevin wouldn’t be the first choice Sally would have made J However another livery was horse shopping with Sally and had promised her children she would call her purchased horse Kevin – until she bought a mare J So step forward Kevin, who took one for the team and was named after a character from “The Incredibles” J

Kevin was very suspicious of humans initially – he hadn’t been badly treated; he just hadn’t had much groundwork e.t.c. with humans. So, the first few months we spent building Kevin’s confidence in handling and ridden work, which worked well as he progressed to being a confident chap. Laura rode Kevin a lot initially and then he started to do lessons – he has always done intermediate/advanced lessons as he is quite forward and likes a rider to be in balance. He also has a sense of humour and will have a wee buck if the rider isn’t paying attention in the warm up J Kevin loves his jumping and is a great all-rounder with a massive canter stride (and even bigger feet).

Kevin arrived with Jaffa and the pair have remained best friends – they can always be found together in the field and are commonly known as “the lads” as they’re always up to something!

Kevin has to watch his weight as he likes his grub and can tend to get a bit fat if he isn’t in hard work.

He has been off for the last 5 months as he went lame in front and on vet investigation, he was found to have chronic issues with a branch of his suspensory ligament. The treatment for this is box rest, steroid injection and then a gentle return to turnout. So, Kevin has now done his 3 months box rest, then was sedated to be initially turned out in a small field, then a slightly bigger field and now he’s back out with his pals in the school boy’s field.

The prognosis with Kevin’s injury is guarded – he will certainly be sound enough to do some work, but we will have to manage his jumping/type of work to ensure that limb isn’t over stressed – he already had specialist shoes on in front as he is such a big guy, so he was fitted with shoes that gave him a bit more support at his heels.

So Kevin will be coming back into work in December at some point and we will see how sound he is and then get him slowly fitter if he is sound enough – will be great to see his big face back in lessons at some point as he’s such a nice all round good guy. 

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