So sadly, you will all have heard by now that we lost Murphy to colic last month, so we thought it was only fair that his super cute wee face got to grace another newsletter. Murphy was (roughly) 28 years old, so he was a good old age but these things are always sad both for our staff and members – however it is something that you have to accept if you have involvement with horses and ponies – your last real responsibility to them is to make sure that they live a happy old life and are put to sleep at the right time.- Sally always says that horses don’t know if they are dead – they only know if they have had a good life and Murphy certainly did! A bit more about Murphy and his legacy further on in the newsletter though!
We have now opened bookings for the stable management in the October holidays – we are running a beginner course from Monday 14th October to Thursday 17th October inclusive and a novice course from Monday 21st October – Thursday 24th October. Both courses cost £165.00 and include a riding lesson each day (1 hour) a stable management lecture (1 hour) and supervised grooming the rest of the time. The beginner course is great for riders who are just starting stable management training and getting their confidence, whilst the novice one is good for those who have already completed their beginner stable management and are starting to canter in their riding lessons. If you would like to book a space on our stable management, then please visit or call reception – we take a £50 deposit on booking and you just need to let us know which horse or pony you want and we’ll check if it is still available.
Seth and Delilah then arrived nearly two weeks ago – they are part of a project between the British Horse Society and the RSPCA. These two charities are working together to rehome horses and ponies from rescue centres into BHS approved centres. We were asked if we would consider taking two and we immediately agreed and then waited for Seth and Delilah to be allocated to us. ARCs view is that we should all do our bit to support horse welfare and try to help horses and ponies who have fallen on harder times. Seth and Delilah are in great condition now as they’ve been at the RSPCA centre in Wales for nearly a year, but they were in a bit of a sorry state when they arrived there. Seth is seven years old so has started lunging and the process of being backed to be ridden, whilst Delilah is only three (we wouldn’t back a pony till it was four) so she will spend a year learning how to lead, behave in hand and stand for farrier e.t.c. So both these ponies are quite a long way off joining lessons yet, but its nice that our members know that some of their riding fees go towards making sure these ponies have a good future education.
Another new purchase is Gizmo, who is an adorable wee 17 year old 13h.h. grey gelding. We knew Gizmo well as he belonged to a local family who came to Pony Club training, so when he was looking for a new home we were delighted to be offered to buy him as he is really experienced at teaching smaller children how to ride and learn to canter.
Lastly, just a couple of days ago, we bought one more pony – Teddy, off of one of our livery families. Teddy didn’t settle as well with her family as had been hoped and because she’s a smart cookie, she had learnt how to be a bit naughty both when being caught and handled. Often the best thing for ponies like Teddy is to join a centre like ARC as she will be handled by experienced staff all the time, so once we have some of her less “nice” behaviours managed, she’ll be in lessons soon. She is super safe to ride and keen to please, she just needs to learn to be a little more polite when handled.
Oh its that time of year again……… Oh no it’s not………. Oh yes it is……….
We are running a panto (we do one every two years) on Friday 20th December at 6.00p.m The panto is called “Strictly come Prancing” and any of you who have been to our previous pantos will know it’s a great laugh and a good fun night out for all the family. There are horses and ponies taking part and lots of funny acting, but best of all you get to come and see all of our staff making complete fools of themselves!
Tickets will go on sale for the panto next week and are priced at £5 for children, £8 for adults and £15.00 for a family ticket.
As always, the riding school will be closed on 24th, 25th and 26th December and the 31st December, 1st and 2nd of January. We go down to skeleton lessons from Saturday 21st December to Friday 3rd January inclusive, meaning that we still run lessons, just one per hour and at slightly different times. This is to allow our staff to all get some well deserved time off over Xmas and New year – there is still a member of staff on each day the riding school is closed – the horses and ponies still need fed and mucked out e.t.c so just think of us whilst you are eating your Xmas dinner or sleeping off your party head from Hogmany! One of us will be in at 8 each morning to look after our hairy workforce!
So, as some members have mentioned on our Facebook page, Murphy was such a special chap, he deserved a legacy of some type so we have a couple of things organised.
Firstly, we recently purchased a trophy for British Dressage (Scotland) for their awards ball at the end of this month and we requested that the trophy be called “The Murphy Champion Pony Trophy”. The trophy goes to the BD Champion pony that year and we actually organised it a few weeks before we lost Murphy – they were requesting donations of trophies and we like to support local groups that encourage good training for young people, so it was a sensible fit and we thought at the time that Murphy would enjoy having his name on a trophy that went to fancy privately owned ponies ☺ It’s even more fitting now as it’s a legacy trophy for Murphy.
The second thing is hot off the press….. Our plan for the last few years has always been to start a big fundraising project in 2020. We want to buy a very expensive horse – it costs in the region of £80,000. Only it’s not a live horse, it’s a mechanical one ☺ The “simulator” is a life sized horse that moves exactly like a horse, does all the fancy movements up to Grand Prix dressage level and is able to measure your weight distribution on each seat bone, how you apply your leg aids and what your rein contact is doing and it gives you real time readings on a big computer screen in front of you.