A long held desire to ride a horse …

In August 2010, at the age of 56 years old, I decided to fulfil a long held desire to ride a horse!

None of my family had any connections with horses whatsoever, but having grown up watching John Wayne, The Lone Ranger and my hero Clint Eastwood; I wanted to learn to ride like them too!

A quick internet search of riding schools in the area, a few phone calls later and Sally March, owner of Alstone Court Riding Establishment, was the friendliest and most encouraging when replying to my enquiry. I had once been on a 45 minute pony trek, but that was at least 15 years previously and comprised my entire lifetime’s experience of horses!

The welcome I received was so warm and friendly that all my fears about horsey people were soon quickly dispelled. Alstone Court is a real family business and the numbers of us that turn up every day we can, are testament to the warm, caring, friendly, family feel to the yard.

Sally’s relaxed cheerful attitude belies an extremely knowledgeable, highly experienced and totally professional approach. Just when you think she’s not noticing you, she suggests a simple but fundamental teaching point that suddenly improves everything or a quick reminder to do the thing you’ve been previously taught! Everything we do is fun and relaxed and yet every time I ride I come away having learned something new.

All the staff and family are so very friendly, helpful and encouraging I cannot thank them enough. Alstone Court Riding Establishment is like my second home these days!

Nearly 2 years later and I am completely smitten: so much so that I now have my very own horse (the beautiful and highly talented Sioux, who is teaching me so much) and can’t keep away from the place!

Peter Williamson

After a break from horse riding of almost 30 years …

I started riding at Alstone Court in January 2010 after a break from horse riding of almost 30 years. I began by riding just once a month but enjoyed it so much that I am now riding 3 times a week. The horses at Alstone Court are beautifully cared for and it is obvious that they are happy in their environment. The horses have their individual personalities and I soon found my favourite – Hardy – a liver chestnut Welsh cob. The staff at Alstone Court are so supportive and encouraging. My riding technique was very rusty when I began but, thanks to the expert instruction that I received from Sally and Erica, I soon found my confidence. My riding improved so much that I have been able to join Alstone’s jumping lessons and can now manage to complete a clear round. Before I started riding again I looked at several local riding schools. I chose Alstone Court because the facilities are simply outstanding – a large indoor arena – so you can ride indoors when it is freezing cold and pouring with rain – and wonderful outdoor riding, either in the outdoor arena or across the Somerset farmland to the sea. I wish that I hadn’t waited 30 years before getting back in the saddle and had visited Alstone Court so much sooner.

After a five year break from riding due to illness …

After a five year break from riding due to illness, operations and trying to find a nearer riding centre, I eventually found and started riding at Alstone court riding centre back in August 2010. And in that short time I have achieved things I never thought possible with my disability. Apart from many physical and internal problems, I am a right leg amputee with not much of a stump left to help when I am in the saddle, but Sally my instructor has taught and helped me to improve my balance and regain my confidence to be able to master riding in canter, also having a go at small jumps. Occasionally we have also been out riding on a hack, cross country riding through the fields, which I must say is really enjoyable. I ride a horse called Genghis every Wednesday morning, he is quite a character, but a lovely horse to ride.” Marcus is a disabled rider.