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Holidays with Your Horse

A Happy New Year to everyone!

In this, my first blog, I would first like to say a big ‘thank you’ to everyone who helped launch our ‘Holidays with your Horse’ business and look back at the major stepping stones in 2012.

P1010970NYI was extremely lucky to be awarded Defra/EU grant funding for the stables for our guests’ horses. This was a WARR Partnership project under the Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE) which I ran as Project Manager with a lot of support from Melanie Robson and Linda Hutchinson of the WARR Partnership. This funding enabled Adds Farm to put up a purpose built block of 6 beautiful ‘Scotts of Thrapston’ stables together with an integral feed and tack room. These have been much appreciated by both our guests and their horses!

John Stone and his son Mark who renovated our now superb riding arena the year before returned to do all the groundwork for the new stable block and yard and I still remember the expression on his face when he came back to fit the automatic water drinkers in the pristine newly erected stables – “are you really going to allow horses in here!”

A bed and breakfast for both people and horses – what a fun job it has been setting this up and looking after my guests and their horses. It’s been lovely to meet so many nice people and make new friends and to be able to show our guests the wonderful riding and spectacular scenery around the Ashdown Forest. Many thanks to our guests for your lovely comments and testimonials and also the pictures – many of which are now on our website.

We also ran two residential training courses where we combined training in the Adds arena with hacking out on the Forest. These were very successful and also great fun. We already have three more arranged for 2013 and I’m getting enquiries to organise some others too – so watch this space.

All in all 2012 has been a busy year and not much time to spare to even think about taking Trevi (Travelling Trevor) eventing – although we have been working a lot on our jumping this Winter (with lots of help from Martine Weber, Janine Lamy and Angie Wittington) so I’m hoping at least to get out to try a BE80 or even a 90 this year! We have also become great fans of Equipilates and have been attending regular clinics with Lindsay Wilcox-Reid who will hopefully be holding a residential course here at Adds Farm during 2013. Trevi’s flatwork has come on in ‘leaps and bounds’ and I am definitely feeling the benefit of Lindsay’s personal exercises.
However, I must confess though I am not at all unhappy at becoming a ‘happy hacker’. The Ashdown Forest has just got to be one the most beautiful places I’ve ever known to ride – how lucky we are to have it just on our doorstep.

January also sees the launch of our new website. I do hope you all like it. I’m very pleased with it and hope it will be our flagship to show off Adds Farm ‘Holidays with your Horse in the Ashdown Forest’ to a wider audience and encourage even more people to visit us. Many thanks to Kevin Uwins of Thames Web Design for creating this innovative and stylish site and also for his unending patience with the design of my logo and branding!