Tag Archives: hacking

British Dressage (BD) Young Persons Award deadline extended

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Horse Scout Blogger nearly missed the boat with this one: A not-to-be-missed opportunity for those looking to begin or develop their dressage career, the scheme is aimed at young professionals aged 18 – 25 with grants on offer ranging from £4000 for the winner to £100 for runner ups!

U25s, are you looking to build a career in dressage? Whether it’s riding, coaching, judging or yard management, British Dressage would love to hear from you!

U25s, boost your dressage career with the Young Persons Award for 18-25 year olds. The deadline has been extended until Monday 20th April 2015 to apply for the Young Professionals Award workshop. With a total prize fund of over £7,000, plus the chance to showcase yourself in front of dressage’s elite, don’t miss this great opportunity to boost your dressage career today.

The Young Professional’s Award (YPA) scheme focuses on finding talented young people who have what it takes to develop a successful career within the dressage industry. It’s not necessarily about discovering the best rider – it’s about unearthing those with the dedication, talent and qualities to be the complete professional.

Interested? To help those who are considering submitting an application, want to improve their CV and interview technique, or just want more information about the award, we’ve created the perfect workshop for you.

Held at the Windmill Village Hotel, Coventry on Wednesday 22 April, the day will run from 10am-4pm and will include presentations and workshops on the award’s history, marketing and the different media available, planning for the future, running your own business – plus much more.

Tickets for the workshop day are £25.00 per person and include lunch/refreshments and the workshop pack. Application form and booking fee must be returned to the office by Monday 20 April 2014.

The workshop covers:

  • The history of the award, its aims and how it has developed
  • Key note ‘Surviving in the Sport’
  • Sponsorship, Marketing, Media and Social Networks
  • Qualifications, Planning for the Future and Personal Development
  • CV’s and Interview Techniques
  • Running your own Business (Book keeping, Tax and the Law)

So, whether you’re working as an apprentice at a professional yard, running a yard or developing your own activity with horses click here for more information, get in touch and take your career to the next level today!

Working in the Horse Racing Industry? : A quick run through the courses available to you

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Is your head in the clouds? Do you dream about being there? Follow your Passion and work in the Horse Racing Industry.

As we sat and watched Many Clouds win the Grand National a few days ago those people in the industry are more than aware that it is the culmination of a huge number of people and organisations that make this race work.

From the starting point of the horse as a foal and its journey through life to all those involved in looking after it, right through to the teams of people that make a race day happen.

Horse Scout has opportunities in racing listed on its pages.  Follow this link to Grove Farm Racing Stables and start with the best, John Gallagher, and start searching for that placement to take you where you want to go.

The career paths in the industry are many, the common theme of all is a passion for horses, racing and the community around it.

The British Racing School has joined forces with Warwickshire College to bring you the first Foundation Degree for the Horseracing Industry.  The qualification itself is made up of ten core modules, which are common to all routes in addition to up to seven optional modules.  As a flexible distance learning programme, you will not only choose what you study but when and where.

All foundation degrees have a strong accent on vocational study or in other words educational content with a practical bias, ideal for those whose interests lie in achieving a greater depth of knowledge and understanding as related to the highly practical business of training racehorses, managing facilities and the commercial aspects of training.

For those with the desire to add to their knowledge in areas such as equine nutrition, physiology, biomechanics or applied business management, the problem has always been time, space and place.

The Foundation Degree in the Horseracing Industry is a programme that is predominantly delivered by distance learning so anyone who joins the course continue their career development without even leaving the yard!

So students can, for example, be studying aerobic/anaerobic thresholds by night and in practical terms understand the difference between the two on the gallops the next day.

Entry requirements and routes

Consider – the art, the science and the potential combined power of the two. With four study routes – the Racehorse, Breeding, Business and General Studies, candidates taking up a place on the Foundation Degree have a direct hand in the design their own study programme.

Route 1 – the Racehorse

This option will have a broad appeal to racing enthusiasts, trainers or those aspiring to be trainers.

Route 2 – Breeding

Will be of particular interest to stud managers, stud grooms, stud owners or those involved in owning breeding stock

Route 3 – Business

Provides ready access to the knowledge and skills required to manage a professional business whether a commercial training operation, racecourses or other multiplex sporting venues?

Route 4 – General

This option provides a pick and mix approach which may be the preferred choice for those who have completed their Level 3 and want to progress into HE.

Also potentially for those with an interest in racing, owners of a horse in training or a mare at stud who want to know a bit more, and those already working in related areas of the industry who simply want to develop their knowledge.

The qualification itself is made up of ten core modules, which are common to all routes in addition to up to seven optional modules. As a flexible distance-learning programme, candidates gaining a place on the Foundation Degree not only choose what they study but when and where they study.

The distance learning or ‘open university’ model is further enhanced by the opportunity to study a selection of modules via short/one week study blocks at the British Racing School, a fantastic opportunity to experience the top class education delivered at the very heart of racing in the UK.

Those wishing to apply will need the normal 180 points or the equivalent in addition to GCSE (or equivalent) passes in Mathematics, English and Combined Science. Mature students who do not satisfy the formal entry requirements can also apply as they can be given exemption in some cases. The only other qualification required when applying for the programme is a strong equine base and a determination to succeed.

Horse Scout has opportunities in racing listed on its pages.  Follow this link to Grove Farm Racing Stables and start with the best, John Gallagher, and start searching for that first placement to take you where you want to go.

 

 

Dream Job Working With Horses? Make sure you know the answers to the right questions.

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Looking for work in the horse world? Having been on both sides of the fence Horse Scout Blogger knows just how it’s not just an interviewer who needs to know about you. You need to know about the job. And both of you need to know you are the right person for that job, by establishing expectations and measuring this against experience.

 

Having been contacted by a prospective employer or when searching for a job make sure you do your research.  Find out as much as you reasonably can about the yard where you will be working and your employers.  If they are professional riders they will have a track record and more than likely a website, and social profiles.  Make sure that their line of work suits you, it sounds obvious but if you want to show ponies don’t apply to be a jockey!

 

Top Tips to make sure you get the most perfect job you can.

 

  1. Be honest about your experience
  2. Be honest about your ability
  3. Be open abut your expectations

 

Ask questions about the things which are important to you

 

  1. What are your duties
  2. What are your hours
  3. Speak to other members of staff if you can

 

Understand the job you are applying for by finding out

 

  1. The employers expectations
  2. Your level of responsibility
  3. Who you speak to if you have problems
  4. Will you be in sole charge
  5. If it is a live in position make sure you see your accommodation
  6. Find out about transport links if you do not have your own transport or a car is not available
  7. Ask about the horses you will be riding, grooming handling
  8. Ask about pay, sick pay, time off and holidays
  9. What insurances are in place in case of accidents
  10. Who pays for PPE equipment, is there an equipment allowance

 

Other things which both employers and employees need to consider are:

 

  1. Pets
  2. What are normal hours and what is considered overtime
  3. Probation period and payment terms
  4. Working towards accreditation and the implications for both employer and groom
  5. Use of own vehicle; fuel and upkeep for business use
  6. Visiting friends/family (if it is a live in position)

 

Both parties should consider a period of consideration before accepting offering a job to a candidate.

 

Are you looking for work? Horse Scout professionals often have a STAFF REQUIRED badge against their profiles you can click through and contact them directly.  If you are looking for work riders or grooms then check out Horse Scouts specialist pages here. or look below at two grooms listed on our pages who are looking for placements at the moment.

Experienced freelance groom available for yard cover and competitions. Kirsty Borriello, from New Zealand is presently in Wiltshire and has worked extensively with international eventers, show jumpers and dressage horses. She confirms, in her Horse Scout listing, that she can turn out to a high standard and is happy to work as part of a team or on her own. 

17 year old Tori Owen, is looking for a live in position says she has been working with horses since a young age and that her forte is producing horses to compete in show jumping. She writes that she is a very hard worker and love what I do. 

Weekdays or weekends? Part time grooms for two very different yards

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Horse Scout has two wonderful yards looking for part time staff. Dressage specialists Labazordiere Dressage in Surrey are looking for a groom to cover weekday mornings (but are flexible) and in Chiddingfold, also in Surry, Southern Schoolmasters, who specialise in western riding and reining are looking for a groom to cover weekends

Labazordiere Dressage in Bramley, Surrey are looking for either a part or full time groom to join us in their new dressage training yard in Bramley, Surrey. Monday – Friday mornings preferable, but can be relatively flexible on days / times Candidate must be experienced and confident as we have youngsters and stallions. Training can be given. Candidates must be capable of taking occasional sole charge on occasion. This is not Live In position so own car a must. Friendly owners, good atmosphere and beautiful location

Labazordiere Dressage is the exclusive equestrian training centre on the spectacular 1000acre Wintershall Estate in the heart of the Surrey Hills and conveniently located to the nearby town of Godalming. Offering premier Livery, Facilities & Training in the art of Classical Dressage. The Stables are located at the heart of the Estate, surrounded by the pastures and some of the estates many lakes. The boxes are large and airy in an indoor barn complete with automatic water drinkers and with rear windows opening out to wonderful views of the Estate. There is a wash bay as well as a farriers bay within the indoor facility. The tack room is spacious and secure, with a washing machine, hot & cold water and offers tea and coffee facilities. The secluded Arena is nestled within the hills and is a 20m x 60m outdoor with a sand & passada surface for optimum riding with the peaceful outlook over the surrounding pastures and lakes. Exceptional Hacking on the doorstep to enjoy the stunning scenery either up quiet country lanes, across the Surrey Hills, fields and woodlands or within the neighbouring Wentworth Arboretum.

Specialising in the French Classical Dressage methods of training. Jean is a freelance, experienced registered Coach & Instructor and has benefitted from some of the highest classical training in Europe – Trained by and Son of Jacques Papin (student of Maitre Nuno Oliveira and taught to the highest level at the National Equitation School in Saumur). Jean has been a professional rider & trainer in the French National Stud in Rennes, France and has trained horse & rider in classical dressage and for modern competition from beginner levels up to Grand Prix. Nikita Mitson participates in British Dressage competitions and is qualified in Equine Science and Management as well as a Degree in Law with a focus on Equine Law. They collaborated together in England to establish a livery yard to produce horses both for the art of equitation and for modern competition.

Southern Schoolmasters in Chiddingfold, Surrey are looking for a weekend groom. Are you looking for an opportunity to be involved with horses at the weekend and are keen to learn more about Western Riding. then this may well be just up your street.

Southern Schoolmasters ‘Centre of Horsemanship’, run by a professional team offers a range personalised equestrian services, including livery, training, rehabilitation and tuition. The yard is situated Chiddingfold, Surrey, surrounded by acres of farmland. It offers 5 spacious stables, all weather floodlit school, round pen and all year turnout on well-managed grazing. There are miles of off road hacking, wooded bridleways. Southern Schoolmasters provides you and your horse excellent livery and training facilities with knowledgeable care and first hand access to our team’s experience and guidance. The aim is to provide a safe and relaxed environment that welcomes everyone from competition riders to happy hackers who want to learn, and work with their horses in a respectful way. Options are available for full, part or DIY livery as well as training and sales livery.

We are looking to recruit a reliable confident and experienced groom to join our existing team. We are a professional working livery yard with up to 20 full liveries. The position is yard based and all normal duties are required to be performed to a very high standard. The ideal candidate will have a good standard of horsemanship and have a quiet manner around the yard and horses. The candidate will require a basic knowledge of horses, be outgoing, quick thinking have initiative and lots of common sense. Having a keen eye for details, being physically fit and not afraid of hard work is a must . The yard team work on a 4 days on 2 days off rota which includes weekends. Own transport is essential due to early starts and lack of public transport locally.

Going Dutch? – Opportunity for Living and Learning with Ron Smeets in Holland

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Learning and living in Holland with Ron Smeets Dressage Horses There are many different programmes available at Ron Smeets dressage horses in Hulsberg , Limburg. Trainer Ron Smeets is a FEI Grand Prix rider for almost 20 years and is offering a fantastic opportunity to a working pupil to join his team in Hulsberg, Limburg. He says on his Horse Scout profile, “We offer a simple boarding/ livery with a lesson or training session included once a week. We also take horses at all levels for training; from breaking to Grand Prix. With a wide range of international clients and contacts, you can also place your horse with us to be sold” He says that their working student program focuses on teaching training techniques and philosophies of dressage and barn management. This program* helps the rider learn to “train” and not just to “ride” horses. We invest a lot of time every day in training and developing our working students as professional riders. Working students will be provided with full room and board along with meals. References are available from previous working students. Please note that this is not a program for a novice rider. ‘Ron Smeets Dressage’ provides quality top horses that are sold around the world. Ron Smeets started his riding career training with Sjef Janssen (trainer of Anky van Grunsven, and he is currently training the Dutch Dressage Team). He became extremely successful at a young age showing in many different national and international competitions. At 18 years old he joined Young Riders and competed with them till the age of 21, representing Holland in many different international competitions. Now Ron has been a Gold Medal rider for 20 years. Currently he is focused on his training, selling, and breeding programs at home. He travels several times a year to teach clinics in various places in the United States as well as England. Charlotte Osborne – is currently the yard manager and rider at the fantastic private dressage barn in the south of Holland where Ron Smeets is based.

Lauren Shannon and Horse Scout

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Welcome to my new fortnightly blog for Horse Scout!

My name is Lauren Shannon and my team of Shannon Eventing horses are based in Leicestershire at Mushill Farm.

I have ridden for British Young Rider teams, after spending 13 formative years in the United States-and picking up an American twang to my voice in the process. I have also competed horses that I have produced from youngsters all the way to four star at Badminton and Burghley horse trials.

My team and I built the stables at Mushill Farm last year, and moved in just after the beginning of the season. We have settled in well, and are now looking forward to a bumper year of competition both at British Eventing and FEI events. We are a fairly small yard by competition standards with only 14 stables, but I’m lucky enough to compete a select few very talented horses and train students who are based with me along with helping out the competitive amateur liveries here at Mushill. It’s a great mix of people, and we all get on brilliantly because we all love bringing horses on and competing!

I’ve got three lovely girls who work for me, Mollie, Bex and Amber who all have horses based here competing and I couldn’t get anything done without their constant help. My other half Tom also gets roped in to all the maintenance jobs around the place, as well as being affectionately called our “catering manager” at events!

So with the eventing season fast approaching, we have become very busy at the yard with schooling and show outings every weekend and most of the week too. I have a couple stunning young horses to sell in the next month or so, so they are out learning what life is about while the older horses get their eye in before our first event at Oasby in the middle of March.

Alongside all this I am teaching a fair bit and trying not to freeze to death, as I tend to stuggle in the cold quite a bit! So do keep checking back for more updates as we brave the last of the winter and head into another exciting year of eventing!

Are you looking for work as a Groom or Work Rider?

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Are you looking for work as a groom?  Horse Scout has several trainers looking for new staff.

You can advertise yourself FREE on Horse Scouts Website. Click here to see the great set up we have and register your details with us.

However we do already have some professionals looking for work riders and grooms, so if you are thinking of becoming a groom or looking for a new placement there are several professional trainers and riding establishments who have open positions at the moment check out Justine Armstrong Small in Essex who is a professional show rider who has won at all major county shows including royal international and horse of the Year Show over the past 20 yrs. Her passion is particularly focused on showing working hunters.  So expect jumping and a high standard of turnout to be on her list of priorities.

Another high profile trainer is Event rider Lucienne Elms who is based at in the south ‘Blackwater Equestrain Centre’, which is potentially one of the most prestigious equestrian centres in the South West. Lucienne offers professional training up to CCI***, and is aiming for Bramham  again in 2015. Luciene has trained and worked with numerous world ranked riders including world number 1 2009, and UK number 1 2014 Oliver Townend.  She produces horses for sale, training & competition.  So this would be a great opportunity to be part of the Event world in a fantastic location.

Also, if you live in Scotland and are looking for a busy producing and competition yard there is Horse Choice based near Edinburgh who are also looking for experienced riders/grooms to become part of their team.

Go Gadget review- Being Safe Rider SOS ALERT

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All this talk about endurance riding and hacking out safely has sent me off to see about keeping riders in touch when they are off the beaten track…or indeed out in the fields and in trouble. I came across this clever app called “Horse Rider SOS”

How does it work?

The concept is simple. Before you head off for your ride, open the ‘Horse Rider SOS’ app on your Android or iPhone, press the ‘Start button’ and now ‘Horse Rider SOS’ will begin to monitor your every move and track you while you ride.

As long as ’Horse Rider SOS’ continues to detect your movement and progress it will be ‘content’ to watch over you and will remain in’ tracking mode’.

However, In the event that you are unseated and fall off your horse, are unconscious or unable to move, Horse Rider SOS will immediately enter ‘Alert Mode’ and begin the rescue process.

At this point your predetermined guardians will be notified immediately that you’re in trouble and will be sent your location so that you can be rescued without delay.

It even has a false alarm fail safe system so no unintentional wolf crying! How clever is that?

Below are some testimonials for riders who use the system….one even found her phone using the app, so its useful in other ways too.

Check it out on http://www.horseridersos.com/

Rider Testimonials

Once, I fell off my horse miles from home and was unconscious for over an hour…worst of all, nobody knew I’d even fallen off! Luckily some hikers found me and were able to call for help. Now I always make sure I set Horse Rider SOS before I ride.” Michelle C.

Katie R.“When I get home from work I have to get the horses in from the field and sometimes they can be a bit naughty!…Now when I’m on my own I always make sure I set Horse Rider SOS to watch over me just in case something happens.” Katie R.

Nicki M.“I know it’s not what it’s designed for but once my phone fell out of my pocket when I was out riding and thanks to Horse Rider SOS I was able to pin-point exactly where I’d lost it! …I love this app!!” Nicki M.

Georgia S.“Whenever I ride alone, the one thing I’ve always worried about is falling off miles away from home! …now I’m reassured that if the worst should happen Horse Rider SOS is there to raise the alarm and rescue me.” Georgia S.

Susi P.“Horse Rider SOS is so simple to use and easy to set up…Now when I ride I’m much happier knowing that if I fall off, my husband will know where to find me.” Susi P.

Hacking Hoedown – One to the right or two to the left?

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There is nothing more lovely than hacking out on your horse, for some it is ‘What they do’ and for others it’s a welcome break from the training schedule and a time when hair can be let down (metaphorically).

If you are new to riding and thinking of buying a horse it is a good idea to check that the horse is quiet when hacking out. Most all-rounders should, by rote, be exemplary hacks. Find out how good the horse is in traffic and whether it has particular dislikes i.e. does it turn and run when the smelly dustbin lorry is doing its rounds or if you live in an area where there are frequent bike races … or tanks are driven… is it likely to worry? Or do you ride a horse that has these problems already? If so making your horse safe to ride out has to be a priority and finding a trainer who can help with these issues if very important.

Safety out hacking

Some of us are lucky to live in the wilder areas of the UK and have almost unlimited hacking across some stunning, often deserted, heath and moorland in our National Parks but most horse’men hack their horses wherever they are, be it urban roads or countryside tracks,and the same precautions should be taken wherever you hack and whatever your ability.

Traffic is a horse’man’s nightmare. As a rider we have to hope that the motorist will first see us in good time and second react sensibly to the presence of a horse. It is a shame that this awareness is not part of driver training but s it stands preemptive strategies can help mitigate the dangers of traffic (and also bumptious horses) to the rider.

The basics: meaning The Minimum consideration before venturing out on top of a horse

  • Ride with someone else if possible
  • Tell someone where you plan to go and how long you are likely to be
  • Take your phone with you
  • Inspect you tack before setting out
  • Dress sensibly – Wear your PPE including High Viz
  • If you intend to be out for a “long ride” take some water with you
  • A map if you do not know the country you are riding

Here are some very sage words from the Ordenance Survey guys:

Consider your mount

Make sure you plan your ride according to yours and your horse’s fitness and ability.

If you have a recently-backed youngster, it’s probably not a wise idea to go out exploring on your own for hours. In this case it may be best to ride in company along a well-planned route. Likewise, if your horse is unfit, it’s not worth risking a trip or fall by taking him out on a canter-filled ride instead of an appropriate fittening round-the-block walk.

All the gear….

Ok, so hi-viz isn’t the most attractive riding attire – particularly when emblazoned with ‘Please pass wide and slow’ – but it really is essential if you’re going to be doing some roadwork. For added visibility, consider purchasing other reflective gear for your horse, such as leg bands or tailguards. Anything that helps you stand out is worthwhile and could help motorists spot you much earlier.

It goes without saying that you should be wearing a riding hat of PAS 015 standard. Some riders don’t think they need one when schooling in an arena on a safe horse, but the fact is, no animal is completely bombproof and accidents can happen. Getting hat hair is better than getting knocked unconscious or worse…

If you’re riding a young or spooky horse, it’s also worth considering wearing a body protector. This type of protection is mandatory for most cross country competitions – including British Eventing-affiliated events.

Aside from safety wear, make sure your tack is in good condition – yes, this does mean getting out the saddle soap once in a while! Watch out for any frayed stitching or cracked leatherwork. Keeping your tack soaped and oiled will help it last for years to come, so don’t underestimate the power of good cleaning.

Sparkly tack is all well and good, but it needs to fit well. Ensure your horse receives regular visits from the saddler – particularly if he’s a growing youngster or has gained/lost weight recently. Any changes in shape will affect your saddle’s fit and a poorly fitting saddle could cause pain – resulting in potentially dangerous bad behaviour. You should supplement visits from your saddler with back checks from an equine physiotherapist or sports massage professional to ensure that your horse is completely pain free and fit for purpose.

Plan your route

It’s easy to make a spur of the moment decision to go for a ride without really planning where you’re going, or telling anyone for that matter. Those of you that remember your Pony Club days will know that you should always carry a hoof pick, baler twine, some change for a payphone and remember to tell people where you’re going. Things have moved on a bit since – you’ll be carrying your mobile phone for a start – but the old adage of informing someone of your route and how long you’ll be out still stands.

For the explorers among you, it’s also wise to plan your route on a map beforehand and, better still, carry one with you on your ride – just in case you happen to get lost. If you don’t want to carry round a paper map, try OS MapFinder – although bear in mind that you might want to dismount before consulting either version!

Other useful apps include Horse Rider SOS which uses GPS to track your position and alerts a designated contact if you have an accident which renders you motionless. This is particularly useful if you enjoy hacking alone in more remote locations.

Be safe on the roads

We’re not all lucky enough to be able to ride straight from the yard out into the countryside – riding along a quiet lane or busy road is essential for some riders to access bridleways, so thank you OS Guys for your in put here.  Safe Hacking

North South East or West…or somewhere in the middle?  Here are links to just some of the livery yards with fantastic hacking on their doorstep.

Clumber Livery – Worksop, Nottinghamshire

Glanmire Farm Stables – Epsom Surrey

Alcott Farm  – Birmingham, Worcestershire

Firecrest Liveries – Sandwich, Kent

SYCAMORE STUD – Stoke St Michael, Somrset

Delny Riding Centre – Invergordon, Ross-shire

 

Looking for Livery?

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Livery review

Ewelme Park Stables, Nettlebed, Oxon

Kate Lockwood who runs Ewelme Park says the yard is set, very peacefully,  in the heart of the Chiltern Hills. She goes on to say “We are very friendly and have a very relaxed atmosphere with amazing off road hacking directly from the stable door for miles and miles”

The yard has great facillitites with a lovely 20 x 40 outdoor school that never floods or freezes (although because Ewelme Park is in an area of outstanding natural beauty lights are not allowed on the school). All horses are turned out in single sex small groups. We don’t do grass livery but all horses are turned out everyday throughout the year. There is 24 hour supervision which is always reassuring.

As a bonus there is a lovely coffee room with a wood burning stove for those chilly winter days.

Kate Lockwood herself specialises in the treatment of horses and their riders. Using equine osteopathy along with the structural assessment of the rider she can make sure that you are both functioning at 100%, helping to increase your overall performance together as a team.

She is an ex Veterinary Nurse and has been a keen horsewoman all her life regularly competing in eventing and dressage.  She is currently bringing on her own young Warmblood.

I note that she has had a variety of interesting clinics hosted at Ewelme Park Stables including Pilates for Horses. Other sell outs last year where Equine First Aid, Lower Limb/Foot Anatomy and Dissection, Equine Dentistry, Bitting, and Saddle and Tack Fitting and also very usefully an Equine Massage for Horses course. All facilitated by experts in their own fields.

This sounds a charming well run stables in an exceptional setting for those who want to get out and enjoy their horses. A stables with the care of the horse and rider team at its heart.