April Showers Bring May Flowers
You might have noticed it’s been raining a bit. Well, at least it is better than snow. Sunshine Riding School is an outdoor facility and that means that we just have to deal with the weather. So when it rains, we will more than likely be riding. We do have a weather policy and you can check it out by clicking here. We do hope that you will be able to join us on either our Lovely Ladies Ride & Coffee with Fiona or our Wednesday Evening Hacks with Beowulf. Both should be great fun and a real chance to enjoy the spring weather, lighter evenings and lovely horses.
Oh, and a quick look at our Spring Show Jumping Show
To all our Muslim Riders, Sunshine wishes you an affirming and blessed Holy Month. You are welcome to ride, but please remember to let us know if you are feeling a bit off when riding. If you choose not to ride during Ramadan, we will see in June!
There’s been a bit of a change…
Due to staffing changes at Sunshine, The Office will be open from 9am to 3pm on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays and the weekend. Kimberly should be in at those times to answer your queries and book you in for lessons and special events. If Kimberly isn’t in the office, please leave a message on our answering machine or with Simon if he can pick up your call from the yard. You can also contact Kimberly during these hours on our dedicated mobile 07806550040 (just in case she’s in the field chasing horses!)
Thank you for your understanding on this.
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Our May Flowers …
There’s been a bit of snow. BUT look what is coming up!
Our specific programmes…
Lessons have started fully again with the weekends beginning at 9am. We are having to split our Novice Class into an Upper and Lower Group. It is very exciting to have as many Novices as we have, but some are almost ready to go up to an Intermediate Class and some have just moved up. The Upper Novices will be at 9am with Kimberly and the Lower Novices will be at 2:15 each Saturday & Sunday.
We are offering a Dressage Clinic on 2nd Sunday of each month. The work we are doing will prepare the riders for participating in Interdressage which will be filmed on the Sunday nearest to the 20th of the month. Interdressage is a British Dressage recognised internet competition where the tests are videoed and then set to Interdressage for judging. Like all competitions, you will receive comments and, if it all goes well, a rosette. Kimberly has done these competitions previously and knows what is expected and what is required. If you are interested in participating, please speak to Kimberly in the Office who will provide you with the appropriate Test.
The Jumping team will again be going out to Bury Farm on alternate Wednesdays for Clear Round Jumping of heights up to 95cm. We are also looking at attending the local non-affiliated shows at Caddington or Twin Trees in the late spring and early summer. Our own special jumping shows, the June Jump and the Accumulator Cup will go ahead on the last Sunday of July and July respectively. Please speak to Fiona or Kimberly if you are interested in participating in any of these.
Often treated like the poor cousin of the equestrian world, both Ridden and In Hand Showing are a lot harder than one would think. This year we are making a serious effort with our ex-racer Flo in the Racehorse to Ridinghorse (RoR) Class with her being trained by our own Fiona. We are planning to attend several Showing Shows across the spring and summer. As we would hate for our Flo to go alone, we are looking for those of you who would like to try this discipline out and show either ridden or in hand. If you are interested, please let Shannon or Kimberly know.
Sunshine Riding offers our regular riders the opportunity to practice what they are working on in their lessons or to prepare for a show by offering After School and Early Evening Schooling Sessions. Unlike a lesson, there will be no teacher present to correct what you are doing, but you will have supervision. These sessions last 1 hour and must be booked in the office at least 24 hours in advance. Schooling is a great way to move forward and to get the most out of your lessons for both children and adults.
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THE VALUE OF IN-HAND TRAINING
This might not seem important or necessary, but in fact it is one of the most vital skills in the equine world. Being able to lead 1 or 2 horses in walk and trot, open and close gates while holding a horse, controlling the animal from a ground position through a obstacle course is not just a competitive sport but a daily occurrence for horse people the world over.
Anyone who wishes to loan a horse during a school holiday needs to know this skill. So we are teaching it. Riders who are Novices and above must know this skill. So we are teaching it. Pony Club, British Horse Society Levels, NVQ Levels 1 & 2 require and assess this ability. So we are teaching it. Oaklands, Shuttleworth and Hadlow Colleges all require In-Hand training. So we are teaching it.
We believe at Sunshine that riding lessons are more than just the work you or your child does on the horse’s back. Riding lessons are about developing a complete understanding and skill base for handling horses. It develops coordination and confidence. It makes the time spent with the horse so much more full and enjoyable. We aren’t making riders, we are making Horsemen and Horsewomen.
Sunshine Riding has an active and educational volunteering programme. Volunteers are important to us, so we respect what they have to offer us in the way of time, energy, and experience. In return, we will train them in horse care, horse handling and riding. Sunshine has stringent Workplace Health & Safety guidelines as well as a full Sickness Policy and Grievance Procedure. An Adult Volunteer who would like to work on the weekends or be part of weekday lessons must under take a DBS.
What is required of a Volunteer?
We ask that a Volunteer would be willing to work at least a ¾ Day; for example, 10am to 4pm.
We ask that a Volunteer chose at least 1 day a week to work. (We are closed on Monday)
We ask that a Volunteer agree to work that day(s) for a minimum of 6 weeks.
We ask that a Volunteer is neat and clean in appearance
We ask that a Volunteer is willing to follow the Staff Code of Conduct.
What can the Volunteer expect of Sunshine?
We will treat you with respect and help you as necessary.
We will teach you the basics of horse care: feeding & water, grooming, hoof care, stable care (mucking out), proper tying up, and spotting when a horse is unwell.
We will teach you the basics of horse handling: how to approach a horse and put on a head collar, how to lead a horse in and out of a field, how to walk with a horse, how to trot with a horse, how to handle a difficult horse.
We will help you to start riding or to continue to ride. This is an earned privilege and will granted after every 5th visit for the first 6 months. After that point, riding will be included as schooling not lessons. For more information about this, please speak with Kimberly.
The riding school has 2 ménages. field working facilities, and has direct access to several bridle-paths.
- Horse riding operates 6 days a week, Tuesday to Sunday
- Direct bridleway hacking for experienced riders.
- We have a selection of group lessons, private lessons and hacks throughout the week.
- Jumping lessons and birthday rides by appointment.
- After School horse riding and evening lessons are available.
- Half day hacks and experience days available by appointment.
- A full programme of half day and full day activities takes place every school holiday and half term.
Sunshine Riding operates a blanket 24 Hour Notice for cancellations. Any cancellations in this window will incur a £20 charge payable immediately on your debit or credit card. Refusal of payment will result in suspension of riding.