Summer’s Just Around The Corner

Summer’s just around the corner and here at the centre we’re already getting excited about sunny days, long leisurely rides with pub lunches – and exciting gallops on the beach.

All our summer activities are great fun, but the highlight is our holiday in Wales. We’ve been going for four years now and we have a fabulous time. The horses enjoy it as much as we do!

We are based at Abergwynant Farm, near Dolgellau, for three days of beach and mountain rides and swimming the horses in the sea. We stay in comfortable self-catering cottages on the farm, and your horse is exactly that – yours to care for and ride for the whole of your stay.

And we have a brilliant time in the evening too. The social side is great and our riders have all become firm friends.

The holidays are so popular that last year we branched out and ran two – one in July and a second in August.

That experiment was such a success that this year we’re doing the same – and have come up with another new plan to ensure that as many of our clients as possible can join in the fun.

I will be based in Wales with the horses for a whole week in July and another in August, and the riders will come to me.

There will be a three-day holiday on July 13th, 14th and 15th (cost £510), followed by another on July 16th, 17th and 18th.

A third three-day holiday will be on August 8th, 9th and 10th.

August 11th will be a one-day beach ride (£150), something we are doing for the first time. I hope this will be a real treat for any riders who can’t make one of the three-day breaks.

Then the horses will have a day off before we finish with another three-day holiday on August 13th, 14th and 15th.

We still have some vacancies, so contact the centre for more details. This will be Cannock Chase on tour – come and join us!

I have another plan for short riding breaks – but this time we’ll be staying on the Chase. The idea is to do some two-day weekend trail rides, staying overnight at a lovely B and B that we have used before. We’ll stop for pub lunches or have a picnic delivered to us on the trek.

We’ll be catering for small groups only and my ultimate aim is that at some stage we will be able to let experienced clients ride the trail by themselves.

We haven’t set any dates for this yet, so please contact the centre if you are interested and we will put our plans into action.

Retirements At The Trekking Centre

What an emotional time we all had recently when we said goodbye to our beautiful Megan, one of our great favourites.

Megan had been here at the centre for 12 years, a tall and elegant Andalusian grey who captured a little piece of the hearts of everyone who ever rode her.

She was – and still is – the perfect horse, a steady confidence giver to beginners or the nervous and a forward going and eager ride for the more experienced. What fun our clients have had with kind and gentle Meg over the years, especially those lucky enough to take her on the Wales holidays or the Sheriff’s ride.

But she was slightly lame after the last Sheriff’s, and after thinking long and hard, the decision was made that she needed a different life in a five-star home.

When the day came there were tears from the staff, the clients were in bits and I wasn’t doing too well myself! But, as I explained on our Facebook page, my emotions were mixed. I was so sad to drive her away to her new home, but so happy that she has moved on to a bright future in a perfect place.

Her new owner is lovely, she has a best friend called Pia and she is spending her days taking leisurely hacks around the bridleways in Worcestershire where she now lives, with an occasional fun ride thrown in if she fancies a reminder of her speedier youth.

All our clients were interested to hear about her new home and that prompted me to think you might like to hear about how some of our other ‘pensioners’ are getting on.

I am sure you all remember Kara and Billy. They were sold together to a family, who unfortunately had to part with them. But they moved on to a fantastic home together where they are happy and settled. They are not too far away and still enjoy their rides over the Chase. Kara is busy learning a new skill and recently came second in her very first dressage competition. I hope there are lots more rosettes for her.

Millie was another of our favourites and is now the very best friend of 13-year-old Lauren Brown. Lauren lost her confidence after a bad fall a few years ago and Millie has restored her love of riding. They are doing well in the showing ring and enjoy hacking out around the lanes. Millie shares Lauren’s fashion sense and surely must be the best-dressed pony in Staffordshire. She has an extensive wardrobe – most of it pink!

Tommy Tucker taught so many children during his years here at the centre and is still caring for young riders. This little chap was bought by Rosie, one of our guides, and now looks after her grandchildren. He is spoiled rotten.

Tammy was bought by one of our clients, Lucy Giles, and went to live with her in Stafford. Lucy kept her with a friend, whose horse then sadly died. So Lucy’s friend bought another of ours, May, as a replacement.

These lovely girls were insperable when they lived here so now they are reunited in their retirement homes. They come to visit us regularly and join in our treks over the Chase.

We still have May’s sister, Mel, here and there is much excitement whenever there is a visit. They clearly remember each other and it’s very sweet.

So it’s happy endings all round. It’s always sad to say goodbye, but as you can see, all our old friends are still loving life, and don’t forget, there are five babies coming along who will soon be new favourites.

Horses For Sale At The Trekking Centre

All our horses here at the centre are much-loved members of our family, so the prospect of parting with any of them can be heart-breaking.

But, like us, there comes a time when they need to take life more easily.

Just thinking about horses for sale is enough to give me sleepless nights, but sometimes it has to be done and my priority then is to find my old friends wonderful forever homes.

The horses here have to be up to full fitness and able to provide a terrific experience for everyone from beginners to knowledgeable riders. I always promised myself that I would never have horses that can only do part of the job and when I see the signs I know I have a tough decision to make.

Retirement day comes at different times for different horses. We have a couple of older boys at the moment, Emrys and Tom, who have been here for many years but still enjoy every moment of their work and show every week that they can still keep up with anyone on a trek.

On the other hand, we have two younger lads who both need a new life and so I have had to make the dreaded ‘horses for sale’ decision. One is PJ, a great favourite with our clients, and the other is Tally, a boy who really needs an experienced one-to-one home.

We have had lots of enquiries from people who want them, but I have to make sure they are going to ideal homes and I’m not afraid to say no.

PJ is just gorgeous – I call him Peaches after the cuddly little mammoth in the Ice Age film. He’s a young-at-heart 16, 14 hands and a lovely chocolate and white. He has such a lot to offer the right owner. Ideally I want him to go to a lightweight adult or to a young rider who will have lots of fun with him. He wants to be someone’s best friend.

He has loads of experience, he’s done our Wales holidays and been on the Sheriff’s Ride, and he is a big favourite on the yard. There will be many tears when he leaves.

We thought we had found his forever home, but unfortunately that person sold him to a horse dealer and we had to act quickly to buy him back. He’s worth his weight in gold and he deserves a lovely family to spend the rest of his life with.

The other horse for sale is Tally, a very handsome seven-year-old Welsh Section D, who is 14.2hh and won in the show ring with a previous owner. He is a lovely pony but he needs a home where he can receive lots of individual attention. He had a little bit of a rough start before he joined us and he wants a special friend who can regain his trust. Experienced hands will be the key and patience and love will bring out the best in him.

If you think you can give PJ or Tally the perfect home, please contact the centre.