Pony Fun – by Lisa Gregory

I can’t believe that we are already into the second month of 2020 and we are about to start our special programme of activities for our young riders.

We have a popular programme of pony fun for every school holiday and, as February brings half term, of course, we will kick off next week.

Pony Activity Sessions

Our Pony Activity Sessions are fun and informative;they are for four-year-olds upwards. The two-hour session includes a riding lesson, grooming, helping to tack up, and lots of pony games. It also includes a drink and a small snack. I think these ‘My Little Pony’ mornings are perfect for introducing the joy of riding and pony care to children who do not yet have riding lessons, but we also find that our young pupils who are already learning to ride enjoy them just as much.

It is a chance to really get close to your pony and begin to learn handling skills in a supervised and controlled environment. And, of course, it’s lots of fun too!

Our first pony activity session is on Wednesday, February 19th, from 10am to 12 noon and the cost is £45. Don’t worry if you can’t do this first one, as we have lots of other dates throughout the year, which are Wednesday, April 15th; Wednesday, July 22nd; Wednesday, August 5th; Wednesday, August 19th; Wednesday, October 28th; and, finally, Wednesday, December 30th, for a fun-filled festive morning.

We have a very special themed session planned for October 28th! Dress up in your Halloween costumes and enjoy pony apple bobbing and lots more spooky pony games. The morning includes a riding session.

Magical Unicorns Experience

Lots of children love the sparkly world of unicorns, so we are also offering a magical unicorn experience on the last Sunday of every month.

Aimed at children from the age of four upwards, this 45-minute session starts at 2pm and costs £40, which includes a special unicorn hot chocolate in our Ranch Bistro.

This is a fun-filled experience that children will love. They can dress up the ponies with sparkly accessories, paint their hooves with glitter and then ride their ‘unicorns’. This activity can also be booked for parties.

Children’s Riding Courses

And, of course, throughout the year we will be running our weekend children’s courses. Each course lasts for six weeks at a total cost of £150 and each lesson last for 30 minutes.

Our highly experienced instructors guide our youngsters from our Intro To Riding course, through Riding Improvement, on to Intermediate and, ultimately, our Advanced level. Again, we accept children from the age of four upwards.

The timings for these courses are as follows:
Saturdays – Children’s Riding Improvement, 9.30am; Children’s Intro To Riding, 10.15am; Children’s Intermediate, 11am; and Children’s Advanced, 11.45am.
Sundays – Children’s Intro To Riding, 9.30am.

Private lessons can also be booked.

Paddock Rides

On Sundays, we also have paddock rides for children aged four upwards. These are available at 10.15am and 11am, and each lasts for 30 minutes. They are perfect for giving children their first experience of sitting on a pony. The cost is £20.

Daily Treks

Of course, alongside all our special children’s activities, we mustn’t forget our daily 1- and 2-hour treks. Our 1-hour trek, costing £40 per person, is perfect for younger riders (from seven years upwards), and is walk and trot only. Older children (those ten years old and above) are also welcome on our 2-hour mixed ability trek, and those children with more riding experience may be able to join our 2-hour experienced trek. Both 2-hour treks are £60 per person.

25th Anniversary Celebration

This is a very special year for the trekking centre. We celebrate our 25th anniversary on Saturday, 20th June, and we are planning a full day of celebrations that promise to be lots of fun for children, and for mums and dads too! So keep watching our website and Facebook page for further details.

And please don’t hesitate to contact the centre directly if you have questions or need further information. A full list of our activities can be found on the website.

Tyri – by Lisa Gregory

It’s time to choose another Horse of the Week and, as it’s my turn, I am opting for our beautiful Tyri.

I know this strikingly marked big boy is a great favourite with many of you, so he deserves to be in the spotlight.


I bought Tyri in August 2018. My yard manager, Sonia, had spotted an advertisement and, knowing I was in the market for a new horse, alerted me. My aim was to find another big horse, a Brodie type, and so I rang up about him and then went to have a look.

He was from the Isle Of Man originally, but had been brought over here to be sold from a riding school, which, unfortunately, was then closing down.

Tyri was 16.2hh, eight years old and had been schooled in dressage up to elementary level, but my first impression of him was that he was very quiet. He stood quietly to be tacked up but wasn’t fussy or particularly interested in people.

I rode him in the arena and he was quiet in there and was very laid-back when I took him for a hack. I liked him, but thought he might be a little too quiet for the trekking centre. People always assume I look for quiet horses, but I actually like something forward going and enthusiastic, and they then become more laid-back when they are working here.

Although I liked Tyri riding-wise, I wasn’t 100 per cent sure, so I decided to take a gamble. I made an offer to his owners and then walked away.

A few weeks later I had a call from his owners. They hadn’t found the sort of home they wanted for Tyri, so they had done their research on me and the trekking centre, and decided to accept my offer.

They brought him over for me and were over the moon when they got here and saw the sort of home he was going to have and the life he would lead.

A different horse

And as for Tyri, well, he was over the moon too! The horse that came off the box was nothing like the one I had gone to see. His head was up, his eyes were out on stalks when he saw all the other horses and he clearly thought he had died and gone to heaven!

Quite quickly, I decided to fit him with new tack and I couldn’t believe the difference. He was a real attention seeker, wanting to snuggle with me and generally behaving like a big dog. In fact, my instructor Lucy Powell says he is the equine equivalent of a Labrador puppy!

I got straight on and took him out to show him Cannock Chase for the first time. I didn’t know what to expect because the horse I had gone to try hadn’t excited me when I hacked him out.
This version was quite different! Tyri was switched on, excited and happy to lead the way. He loved being with the other horses and was full of enthusiasm. Being out on the Chase was already working its magic!

When we turned him out with the herd we found he was the most playful boy ever! He costs me a fortune in ripped rugs, but I wouldn’t have the heart to take him away from his friends. He just loves to play!

In the stable Tyri is noisy and greedy. He soon lets us know when he has eaten all his hay!

Our Mr Versatile

After his arrival our priority was to hack him out as much as possible, because much of his previous life had been spent schooling and we wanted him to benefit from a change. However, as time has gone on he has become so versatile.

He now works beautifully in the school and he just loves our saddleless riding sessions, our Western lessons, polework clinics and – his special favourite – barrel racing! For a big horse, he is really agile and he gets very competitive! In his previous life he had done showjumping, but in the summer we introduced him to cross country and he loved that too.

Tyri is my Horse of the Week because he has become such a fabulous all-rounder. He has taken to everything we have thrown at him with real enthusiasm.

We are so excited to see how far he has come – and how far he will go. He loves his life here. He is one happy boy!