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Just one more… by Charlotte Wadley Equestrian

How often do you open a packet of biscuits and say to yourself after the first two ‘just one more’ but shortly after the entire packet has gone!? This doesn’t just happen with biscuits but with all foods that are bad for you, if there is one thing you will learn about me, it’s that I love a sugar cube as much as any horse! Alcohol is another classic, ‘just one more drink’ turns into ‘just one more bottle’ (if you are with likeminded friends) and this ends with very sore heads in the morning and still the same amount of stables to muck out. However, this post is not about having one too many to drink or gobbling a whole packet of biscuits, but more an addiction that is almost impossible to shift…. horses, collecting horses.

Why is one not enough? A question I frequently get asked and I can’t deny that sometimes it’s me asking myself. So for those who don’t have horses I will give you a brief insight into what happens, or at least how it happened for me.

Having been bought Ash (my first pony who I have mentioned in previous posts) at the age of 11, I thought my dreams had been fulfilled. I pledged I would never ask my parents for another thing, I had been begging them for a pony since the first time my bottom had sat in a saddle and when Ash arrived, life felt complete. Quite quickly the whole family were captured by the charm and magic of this very badly behaved pony and it became evident that he would be ‘a Wadley’ forever. As Ash began to get older I was becoming a better rider and as time went on the need for a bigger, younger horse was inevitable. The cycle of events began to repeat and I hounded my parents for a new horse at every opportunity. I think I speak for lots of horse owners in saying that this is how a collection begins.

So you now have your beloved and ancient best friend plus a second stead who will hopefully make all of your riding dreams come true! BUT it might turn out that you still had rather a lot to learn and you haven’t bought a horse with quite enough scope to take you round Badminton or horse number two is accident prone and following multiple lameness issues is now not fit for purpose, but also un-saleable. OR horse number two might be fantastic, you may climb up the competition ladder and your competitive nature and drive to achieve leaves you wondering if a third horse is just what you need.

As a total addict these thoughts might lead to the purchase of number three. Having spent vast amounts of money on your second horse and now with experience on your side you might decide to look for a ‘rough diamond’ or you might even be given a horse by someone who admires your dedication and ability in the saddle. The chances are it will be a little quirky, but there is nothing like a challenge! Once you have three horses you are ‘in up to your neck’ so to speak! The addiction has well and truly taken hold and although the thought of a forth is entirely ludicrous it might begin to feel necessary and even possible.

At this point I would like to admit that I have recently purchased my forth horse. Oggie is a 4year old Warmblood x TB, I have had him 6 weeks and we are still getting to know each other. I hope he will be my next event horse, he has a long way to go but he is talented and I am excited for our future together. A forth horse for me was to sadly replace my third, a lovely mare who unfortunately has soundness issue and will never be fit to compete.

In danger of trivialising owning horses, just like it is of utmost importance to eat biscuits and drink alcohol with some thought of the consequences, it is also highly important to ‘buy responsibly’ when you are purchasing a horse. There are a huge number of factors to consider, horses don’t come with a handbook and ensuring you have finances in place, suitable grazing with or without stables depending on your horses’ requirements, and a reliable support network including vet, farrier, physio, trainer and suitable insurance, to name a few, is paramount!

Having one horse always felt like an impossibility when I was younger, knowing how much they cost not just to buy but to care for is frightening and the responsibility is a huge one. I was lucky enough to have the chance to have my own horse and for that I am forever grateful. So now, I always think that yes, I can have that one more biscuit, if I work hard enough tomorrow to burn it off, perhaps I can have one more glass of wine if I drink plenty of water before I go to bed and perhaps with huge amounts of hard work, dedication and budgeting, I can have a small team of horses to help me reach my goals.

Stay tuned to my blog for updates on my journey with my horses and handy tips to help you with yours!

Caring for my 29 yr Old Christmas Present by Charlotte Wadley

Caring for my 29yr old Christmas Present by Charlotte Wadley

British people are well known for their incessant love of animals, dogs are considered a man’s true best friend and most children grow up with some sort of pet whether that be a fish, hamster or perhaps a pony. The British compassion towards animals is depicted by a number of things such as the numerous animal charities to the Queens recognised adoration of Corgi’s and undeniably horses. So it comes as no surprise that a huge number of us have beloved elderly pets that we have spent years caring for, shed many a tear over and spent many a penny on. I certainly have one such pet, Ash, my delightful 29year old pony. I do not generally consider horses ‘pets’, they are somehow just a little more than that, I’m sure most horse owners would agree! However, Ash really has become a pet, a member of the family, and it is only due to my house being too small that I don’t have him laid by the fire in the evenings, that would be the real dream!

As each Christmas and New Year comes round I think how lucky I am to have my wonderful Ash still by my side. With my birthday being very close to Christmas he was a joint present from my parents 17 years ago, horses really aren’t ‘just for Christmas’. Ash is still in great condition and although I think this is mainly down to his amazing aptitude for self-preservation, I would like to take some of the credit. So what can you do to keep your lovely old pony or horse in tip top shape?

1. Keep them in work. Keeping your old horse ‘ticking over’ is the key to ensuring they stay feeling young. If your old friend is still sound enough, a hack out once or twice a week to keep a level of fitness will keep them mentally fresh and will help maintain some physical condition.

2. Feeding. Change your horses feed to fit their age and perhaps new slower pace of life. Older horses are often more prone to conditions such as laminitis and colic, most feed companies now have advice lines so make use of talking to nutritionists to make sure you are feeding the appropriate things for an aging equine.

3. Keep them warm. As with older people, older horses will not be so efficient at keeping themselves snug in the winter. Layers are a great way to keep them toasty!

These are just a few points to consider when caring for your old friend, every horse is individual and they all have varying needs, recognising this and knowing your horse inside out is the best way to ensure they stay happy and healthy for as long as possible. Ash would argue that extra treats, cuddles and letting them ‘rule the roost’ along with great Christmas presents, also helps!

I would like to wish everyone a very Happy Christmas and Prosperous New Year!

Charlotte Wadley Equestrian – The Clocks Go Back

I have been thinking for a while that I would like to share more of my personal horsey adventures with you all. I have been trying to decide when to make a start with this blog, January seemed too far away and the end of my season has been and gone so the clocks going back seemed a good deadline to aim for. After all, this is a prominent change in the year for us horse mad folk. I hate to admit it, but true to form I managed to miss that deadline too, time keeping is a weakness of mine, although I hasten to add this is not through laziness but more through squeezing too much into my days!

As winter approaches I do find myself doing slightly less rushing around, thus having more time to reflect on the various good and bad results I have had throughout the summer and think about what next year might have in store for me and the horses. However at risk of delving into the successes and failures of 2016 prematurely, first I would like to share a bit about how I came to be ‘living my dream’. This sounds terribly cliché but honestly, shovelling horse poo has always been my calling.

Despite a degree in International Relations and History and a lot of advice to do anything, I mean literally anything, but work with horses, being slightly strong willed as I am, I’ve done it anyway. Why the negativity towards a job with horses? There are so many pro’s and cons… I will save this for another blog entry. I do still have a fair passion for politics, in fact, I often find there is a degree of similarity between the equine and political worlds. Imagining the occasional politician on my yard in a stable and giving thought to what training techniques I would use to straighten them out often keeps me watching the news… perhaps I will let you in on a few of them. For now, back to the horses…

My equestrian journey began with Ashford Prince, my first love. The love of an animal is for many children one of the most important relationships of their childhood, and this was very true in my case. At the age of twelve I had frizzy orange hair and teeth that rivalled those of the ponies I adored at my local riding stables. I was the girl who was too shy to flirt with the boys, dance at the school discos, get my ears pierced or dye my hair. However as I watched Ash plunge off the lorry and parade around the yard, his arrogant confident nature was so pronounced, I knew if I had a chance of fulfilling my riding dreams I’d have to take some personality tips from him! Our first few years together were not plain sailing; Ash’s incessant rearing, bucking, refusing and all other backward movements lead to howls of a defeated young girl who could not out think her pony. In the horsey world this scene is far from uncommon, day after day children demand new ponies because they cannot ride their current mounts, and frighteningly their reckless parents buy them new ponies only for this to be repeated in another few months when said new pony also realises it’s new owners are completely incompetent! Luckily for me my parents cannot be accused of recklessness and I was to stick with Ash or not have one at all, which to me was a threat never to be forgotten!

A number of years later I began to grow out of Ash so the decision was made to purchase Moscow, a gorgeous ex racehorse who unfortunately we lost to colic 18 months later. Following Moscow we bought beautiful Fearless Frank. Frank was incredibly quirky, I loved him dearly and we had a great partnership. He gave me my first taste of eventing (we were not terribly successful!) and induced my love of dressage. He taught me all I needed to know about high maintenance and hard to handle men. I would like to mention here, that my boyfriend is a real English gent (with the occasional lapse!) it really is just horses I like to be slightly thuggish! Frank was sold when I went to university.

For me like most people, the end of university brought a lull in ‘life plans’ and an avoidance of making any decisions about my future, well any sensible ones at least. It was at this time that Teddy came into my life.

Destined for a life in the hunting field, bred by great friends of mine, Ted disgraced himself out cubbing on a number of occasions and it became quite evident hunting was just not his thing. Finding myself jobless, penniless and spending most days with dear Ash and considering if he might have a couple more competition years left in him and might still grow another hand or two… I did what any normal horse obsessed person would do, I took on Teddy. We had a ‘try before you buy’ arrangement so Teddy came to stay for 3 months and the rest is history. I must mention here that this was totally against my parents will, sneaking Franks old things out of the shed was a challenge without causing suspicion! Hiding a 16.1hh bay gelding was even more challenging, so when they decided to pop to the yard to visit Ash there was no escaping the scrutiny.

In time I got a job, mum and dad warmed up to the idea and I moved Teddy to a stunning yard, Olivers Stables. I used to muck out at Olivers when I was 15 or so and I had my first rides on ‘proper’ horses there. I remember dreaming how one day it would be my yard and looking at the idyllic stable yard cottage thinking how perfect it would be to live there. Over the last three years I have turned those dreams and thoughts into a reality. I now rent the stables and the cottage and run a small team of horses from there (I have acquired more and ride for a couple of owners). I have met lots of people along the way, many have helped me, some have hindered me, all have driven me. If you want something enough you will make it happen. Work hard, play hard, dream BIG, don’t say no to opportunities, don’t ponder for too long. Be grateful, thankful and positive. This is my motto.

Thank you for reading. Stay tuned to my blog to keep up to date with my news. I hope to post every couple of weeks!

CLIPPING A YOUNG HORSE

As autumn is upon us and winter looms most horse owners have clipping at the top of their job list – A tiresome job at the best of times, what is the best way to tackle clipping a young horse for the first time.

1.      Safety First
If you have a yard full of horses to clip it is easy to become complacent, the ‘old timers’ stand quietly and don’t so much as flinch when you’re being pedantic about getting every last hair from those hard to reach places! However when clipping a youngster for the first time, it is best to assume that they will not be quite so tolerant. Having an experienced person on hand to help is really important, unless you have eyes in the back of your head, when clipping tummy’s, especially, you cannot see the horses head and ears, therefore are unable to judge if they may be worried about what’s going on. Having someone to stand with the horse, to keep him calm but also to be your eyes and warn you if the horse is looking likely to object!
Wearing a hat is also advisable, horses can react incredibly quickly and it’s very easy to be kicked or knocked when clipping. Give some thought as to where is the best place to get the job done. I would suggest a stable or any place too enclosed is not a good idea, your horse may feel trapped and you may actually get trapped, a recipe for disaster! An open wash bay or on the yard with a hay-net is likely the best bet. It may seem a little ‘over the top’ but even the weather on your chosen day can have an impact on you surviving clipping your youngster or ending up flat on your back with the clippers still running and dangerously close to your own head of hair! So try to clip on a calm day, where there is little wind and rain and preferably lots of sunshine to make it easier, and therefore quicker to get any last tufts!

2.      Make it quick!
Don’t be too pedantic, of course you do not want to actually be ‘in a rush’ – in fact you want to leave plenty of time so that you stay relaxed and hopefully your horse will too. However do not spend hours agonising over straight lines and getting to those intricate spots. Even if your horse behaves impeccably you want it to remain that way and not end up with a bored horse who starts to fidget and become agitated. Ensure you have no outings booked up for the next week so if you have to do the clip in 2 halves your horse won’t have the embarrassment of any strangers cracking jokes- we all know they talk between themselves!

3.   Don’t do a full clip
It goes without saying that doing a full clip on a horse who has never been clipped before is really not recommended. Despite the time that it takes (and we are trying to be swift remember!) you may also have an incredibly lively youngster on your hands the next time you decide to saddle up. Leaving your horse with no hair on his back will feel incredibly strange for him, he will feel the cold more, especially when being ridden and this is likely to cause some undesirable reactions. It is advisable to do a simple ‘neck and belly’ clip for the first time, if your horse is well behaved perhaps increase the amount you take off in the next session, however leave the full clip for next year.

4.    Lunge before you next hop on
I always lunge my horses after their first clip of the year, they often feel very fresh afterwards and with youngsters this freshness coupled with the strange concept that a few hours ago they had a full winter coat can be rather explosive. It gives them time to have a hop, skip and buck with the saddle on without a human on board complicating things further.

5.   Fight or flight
If you begin clipping your youngster and he becomes stressed and impossible to approach with the clippers you may be tempted to battle with him or simply retreat, neither are the solution. For those horses that are truly petrified and difficult to clip you can of course try to desensitise them. Having them tied on the yard when other, more amenable horses are being clipped so that they get used to the noise, stand near them with the clippers on but do not attempt to actually clip them and generally spend time working through their anxiousness.
I have also found that if you have a particularly flighty youngster who you can predict may be a little hesitant about the whole thing, having some sedation on hand and giving it to them before they become frightened works well (of course consult your vet before giving your horse sedation!). The down side of sedation is that if your horse is already on red alert it may not work and horses often become sweaty so being quick becomes even more important! However this can work very well if your horse never gets to the frightened stage, he will not associate clipping with fear the next time and you may just work through the problem.

The long and short of clipping a youngster is to make the whole thing a nice experience for them. If you are quick, efficient, not too ambitious and have appropriate help on hand this should help ensure clipping does not turn into something stressful or that you and your horse dread every autumn.

Happy clipping everyone!

Making the Most of Your Schooling Sessions

Relaxation, expectations and productivity

Training from the bottom up is of key importance when schooling your horse and skipping crucial stepping stones will leave you in hot water later down the line. Although all horses are different, having a horse relaxed in mind and body is the firth thing to achieve; a happy horse is a trainable one. Having realistic expectations is also greatly important, don’t run before you can walk, or half pass before you can leg yield might be more appropriate! It is very easy to simply drift around the school, walk, trot, canter and perhaps a few metre circles. However, to make your sessions as productive as possible, you will need to have a plan! Before you even get on your horse think about what you need to work on that day and which exercises you will include in the session to help achieve this.

Attention to detail and consistency

I’m sure we have all heard it said that attention to detail is one of the key things that set the professional riders apart from the amateurs, but being pernickety when schooling your horse is something we can all do to achieve better results. When giving your horse an aid, however simple the exercise you are working on might be, ensuring you get the exact response required, every time, is crucial. Although a varied routine is important for any horse, lack of consistency when schooling can lead to problems.
Which is not to suggest that you work solely on one thing when in the ménage but more your expectations and methods are consistent. For example, a horse may perform bad or inconsistent transitions because the rider has accepted this rather than repeating the exercise until you achieve the desired response. Of course sometimes your horse may misunderstand your aid or be unable to perform the movement you are asking for, if you get stuck in a rut rethink your expectations, go back a step and think about how you can make it easier for the horse to respond correctly.

When to up your game

I personally am often too slow to start asking for a little more from my horse in schooling sessions. However, this is preferable to asking for too much too soon. For me, knowing that the horse is very established at lower levels is the most important thing and only when the basics can be consistently performed with suppleness, relaxation and to a high standard, do I up my game. When you reach this point it is a wonderful feeling to be able to reflect on the progress you have made. However remember that horses enjoy a sense of achievement as much as we do and if you make them feel stupid they will often switch off! So, when you start asking for a little more complexity ensure you mix your sessions well with the exercises your horse finds easy. They key thing when schooling your horse is to listen to him and then he will listen to you!

What to look for in a Pony Club pony

There are few societies which rank as highly as the Pony Club. Established in 1929, it has been the making of many a young rider, combining hard work, fun, friendship and the great outdoors. Many ex-members look back at their time with great fondness and it’s with glee that they encourage the next generation to take up membership in this prestigious, character-building and non-exclusive club.

There are two types of Pony Club membership: Centre and Branch. Centre membership doesn’t require you to have your own pony; instead, you can use one which usually belongs to an associated riding school. Branch members, on the other hand, have their own pony or one that they can borrow.

If you or your child are looking for the ideal PC pony for sale, here are a few tips:

Schoolmaster/mistress

While not a pre-requisite, buying a schoolmaster provides a level of reassurance that the pony has experience in many disciplines and usually a lovely temperament. This sort of pony may be older in years, but has been there and got the t-shirt – ideal for educating young riders and being a safe mount.

‘Outgrown’

Another thing to look for are PC ponies that are being sold because the rider has outgrown them, and not through any fault of the animal’s. Most of these adverts will be tinged with sadness, revealing what a beloved pony it is and how reluctant the sale is.

Easy to do

Part of being a Pony Club member is caring for your animal, learning about its health, grooming and keeping it safe. Hence why a pony that is easy to shoe, box and clipped without any fuss is most certainly preferred. A native type that’s happy to live out is easier to look after than a TB, so think about your facilities and what stabling you have access to.

A good all-rounder

Pony Club activities include jumping competitions, dressage, cross country, polo and equine care, so if you want to dabble in everything, you’ll need an all-rounder. There’s little point buying a pony who is frightened of water, timid and spooky if you want to beat the competition on the XC course. Your pony needs to be content participating in a range of activities to get the most out of the PC experience.

The right size

This may seem like an obvious consideration, but when it comes to size, there’s a tricky balance between finding a pony that isn’t going to dwarf your child and one they won’t outgrow in six months. There’s no point buying a pony which is so big that the rider is intimidated; or their legs are left swaying about. Yet you want to consider the longer term – a pony is a big commitment, it’s not like you can simply buy a new one every year.

Ask a qualified instructor to help advise on size and ensure you try out different types to see which best suits you or your child. Better still – take your instructor out when trying ponies. They can help you reach an objective decision, rather than one based on pony cuteness and emotion.

Being part of the Pony Club can be an incredible experience, enabling youngsters to ride and complete activities they might otherwise be unable to do while helping them develop key characteristics and skills which could equip them for life – not to mention meeting lots of new life-long friends.

If you’d like to discover more about buying a Pony Club pony, please get in touch on 01245 239013 or have a look through our site for inspiration.

This summer’s must-attend equestrian events

“And [insert your name in here] wins the Grand National riding… a sofa!” We’ve all done it; imagined ourselves winning some of the UK’s top equestrian events behind the comfort of a TV screen. But you can get a bit closer to the action by attending one of this summer’s top equestrian events.

We’ve put together some of the best events the UK (and beyond) has to offer. So don the Dubarrys, pack some Prosecco and sling your wet weather gear into your muddy car!

Scotland

Royal Highland Show, Edinburgh, 23 -26 June: Containing a number of qualifying classes for the Horse of the Year Show (HOYS), this agricultural show naturally attracts some of the biggest names in the industry. Visitors can enjoy 16 showjumping classes plus feats of fantastic farriery.

The Scottish Horse Show 19 July: Also held at the Royal Highland Showground, you can expect to see many riders competing again in HOYS qualifiers (some 100 classes).

Wales

The Wales and West Hunter Show, 9 August: Taking place at the David Broome Event Centre in Chepstow, the Hunter Show sees the Ridden Horse Championship, Championship for Lightweight and Heavyweight Working Hunters and 16 other classes, all on the same day. Reviewing the schedule for this is a must!

The Royal Welsh Show, Powys, 18-21 July: Includes sections (if you’re quick) still open to new entrants that might like to compete in several HOYS classes and offers foal showing. Aww!

Equestrian events in England

The North

Bolesworth CSI*** International, Chester, 16-19 June: If world-class showjumping and Express Eventing wasn’t enough, there’s also celebrity camel racing (we kid you not), plus music from 5ive and Atomic Kitten.

Aintree National Show, Liverpool, 24-26 June: This flatwork-orientated event features the SEIB Working Show Horse Qualifier and the Total Impact Equestrian Ladies Show Horse Qualifier.

Bramham International Horse Trials, Wetherby, 9-12 June: One of the UK’s – if not Europe’s – leading events, covering four international classes. It’s well regarded as an outstanding equestrian event and a great day out.

The Midlands

The Rutland County Show, Oakham, 5 June: This agricultural show includes classes which qualify for the Royal International Horse Show, including Ridden Hunter, Amateur Ridden Hunter and Small and Ladies Hunter, among others. Entry is still open for competitors.

Midland Counties Show, Grantham, 4-5 June: Billed as one of the most ‘prestigious events in the showing calendar,’ you can watch the best of the best compete. Maybe it will inspire you to enter next year.

British Showjumping National Championships and Stoneleigh Horse Show, Stoneleigh Park, Warwickshire, 9-14 August: Though the 2016 schedule is yet to be announced, this prestigious event features a wide range of national showjumping classes. In September, this is also the venue for the National Dressage Championships.

Burghley Horse Trials, Stamford, 1-4 September: This famous 4* CCI event has taken place since 1961 in the glorious grounds of Burghley House. This year, they expect 80 top competitors, each hoping to join the ranks of previous winners, such as Pippa Funnell, Andrew Nicholson and Princess Anne.

Equestrian events in Wales

South

South of England Show, Ardingly, West Sussex from 9-11 June: This event covers international showjumping and a variety of other competitions which include – brace yourself – the Shetland Pony Grand National, plus lots more going on besides equestrian events.

Royal Ascot, Berkshire, 14-18 June: Probably one of the most recognisable events in sport, Royal Ascot brings together some of the world’s finest horses, riders and discernible spectators for this heavily televised series of races. Just remember to consult the style guide before turning up.

Hickstead Derby Meeting, Hickstead, 23-26 June: British showjumping at its best on a course which is as well-known as the riders, this derby meet is one of the highlights of the equestrian calendar. A month later, Hickstead also hosts the Royal International Horse Show (26-31 July).

Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials, Woodstock, 8-11 September: Set in the wonderful grounds of this 18th Century house, this three star event is likely to attract some of the big names in eventing.

Festival of British Eventing, Gatcombe, 5-7 August: Visitors to this summer event can watch the British Open, the Corinthian Cup, plus Intermediate and Novice Championships, all while trying to catch a glimpse of Gatcombe Park resident, The Princess Royal.

International

Olympic Games, Rio de Janeiro, 5-21 August: Of course there are hundreds of events taking place around the globe this summer, but you can be sure that all eyes will be on the Rio Olympics, with Team GB competing for gold in dressage, showjumping and eventing competitions.

For other international events, including Tattersalls in Ireland, Montelibretti Horse Trials in Italy and Le Pin Au Haras in France, Equestrian and Horse has a detailed timetable.

If owning a horse is your dream, or perhaps you have tack to sell, we can help. Browse our site or give us a call on 01245 239013 and we’ll get your ad published.

5 of the most beautiful beach rides

The fresh breeze; the golden sand; the soothing sound of the waves as the tide rolls in and out; there’s really nothing quite like taking your beloved horse for a ride on the shores of some of the UK’s beautiful beaches.

We’ve had a think and put together a list of our five favourite beaches that we know both you and your horse will simply adore. Enjoy!

Holkham Bay, Norfolk

the best beach in Britain in 2015 by more than 100 travel writers and editors, Holkham Bay in Norfolk is quite simply a breathtaking place to ride. You might even recognise the coast when you get there; the closing scenes of Oscar-winning film Shakespeare In Love starring Gwyneth Paltrow.

The sandy shores here go on for miles, so your horse is guaranteed to have a great time stretching its legs. Along the way you’ll enjoy the views of the bordering pine woodlands, and the natural wildlife on and around the beach.

Studland Bay, Dorset

Keel Beach, Achill Island

Over in Ireland, the wonderful Keel Beach (also known as Trawmore Strand) on Achill Island in County Mayo is considered one of the finest in the country for horse riding. If you’re nearby or you’re ever in the area with your horse, you owe it to yourself to pay a visit!

The bay boasts glorious white sand that your horse will love to gallop through, and stretches for some four kilometres. You’ll never get bored of riding here.

St. Brides Bay (Nolton Stables), Pembrokeshire

Arguably one of the finest places for newcomers to learn to ride, the Nolton Stables in Pembrokeshire offer rides on some incredibly beautiful beaches along St. Brides Bay.

The Stables provide gentle beasties for riders of all sizes and experience, but if you have your own horse already then even better. Their horse holidays allow guests to stay in nearby cottages and spend an entire weekend or more heading along the coast and countryside for rides.

Kimmerston Riding Centre, Wooler, Northumberland

Another great place for newbies to climb aboard for the first time is at the Kimmerston Riding Centre in Wooler, Northumberland. However, they also offer an exclusive beach ride along Budle Bay and Goswick Beach as one their specialities, for experienced riders only. Guests gallop to the famous Holy Island, where they can trot along the white sand and have a time they won’t forget. The exclusive beach ride is only available from mid-May to the end of September, so it’s the perfect time to book.

Whatever beach you and your beloved horse visit, we hope you have a fantastic time!

How to sell your horse to the right person

By Charlotte Wadley, Owner of Charlotte Wadley Equestrian.

Selling a horse can be a difficult task, especially when it’s your own. The stress and emotional turmoil that comes with parting ways with your equine friend can be tough, but you still need to wash manes and tails, paint hooves and clean tack to prepare for the viewings. So it is really important that you sell to an appropriate buyer, for your horse’s benefit and for your piece of mind!

Don’t settle

When a potential buyer contacts you showing interest in your horse, take this opportunity to not only answer their questions, but also ask plenty of your own – quiz them on their riding experience and find out what their intentions are with the horse. If you are selling a fizzy thoroughbred and they are in the market for a first pony for their daughter, you can let them know that your horse isn’t the right match for their requirements!

Be honest

Honesty is always the best policy, so concealing any questionable traits your horse has is inadvisable. Making a buyer aware of any ‘quirks’ could actually help you secure a sale and more importantly ensure that your horse is going to a suitable home. If a new owner knows about behavioural issues they can be prepared and this will make your horse’s transition to his new home as stress-free as possible.

Get the advert right

Reach the right audience for your ad by ensuring you give as much correct information as possible before your post. For example, putting your Grade A show jumper in the ‘all-rounder’ section may confuse people and slow down the selling process! Giving too much information can also be discouraging – offer an at-a-glance overview of the horse that you can then expand on when they call up for more information. And don’t forget to use images – potential buyers love photographs and videos, so a few good quality images that really show off your horse can go a long way to securing your sale.

Of course, you could follow these tips and think you have found ‘the one’, but upon meeting them you realise they simply gave a great impression over the phone and are clearly unsuitable. This does leave you in a difficult situation, but when you know your horse is on a different wave-length to a potential buyer, it is your responsibility to speak up for them! Be brave and take control of the situation by tactfully suggesting that he may be too sharp for what they are after.

At this point I must remind you (and myself) that the relationship between a horse and its rider is crucial, and when selling a horse it is helpful to consider yourself as a match maker – after all, you are basically setting your horse up on a blind date.

Keep an eye out for my next article offering advice to those in the market for a new four-legged friend.

Charlotte Wadley is a Gloucestershire-based event rider, working with a small team of horses at grassroots and novice level. Her top horse is Teddy (Evening Star) who Charlotte produced herself. Last year they completed Badminton Grassroots Championships and have high hopes for the future! As well as competing, Charlotte teaches, schools and produces a variety of horses at her yard.

Spring forward with FREE ads in April

We’ve got exciting news that will put a spring in your step this April – for the whole month, posting a standard ad on Righthorse will be absolutely FREE!

We’re so proud of our amazing new website that we have decided to celebrate, and we could think of no better way than by giving you the chance to post on our fresh new site – at no cost whatsoever!

Gain plenty of free exposure that will boost your chances of selling (or loaning) your horses, equipment, transport or services. And don’t worry, we haven’t changed our classifieds – you still get oodles of space for a detailed description, plus room for up to 4 images and a video.

Of course, you can still ensure your ad is seen by every visitor to our website by upgrading to featured ad status for just £15 – this guarantees your ad pride of place on our homepage, as well as a spot at the very top of our search results.

You’re in the right place to be seen by the right people when you advertise with Righthorse, so don’t miss out – place your ad today!