Our horses and their carers and handlers have long needed a safe place for their education, an ambition which we have waited for many years to fulfil. Now it is a reality! This manege was started at the end of November 2020 and finished in time for Christmas. The construction was done by a local contractor, Richard Sampson, in collaboration with Sportrack Synthetic Surfaces, who did a thoroughly efficient and professional job at a fair price.
We put in many bids for grants and at last, Animal Rescue Live came to our aid with a substantial grant; this, with the aid of an additional donation from a supporter enabled us to go ahead with this important project.
Our facilities until now have not been adequate for much of our work of training and assessments; sloping, slippery paddocks and a concrete drive and yard areas are not conditions in which to develop skills and confidence in our horses and staff. We are hugely grateful for the kindness of a local farmer who has lent us his paddock during these last few years, without which the task would have been almost impossible. We can’t thank him enough.
However, a purpose-built arena with a dedicated, secure surface will enable so much more. Our horses will now be able to make the steadier progress of which each is capable. The ridden horses especially will have a better chance of advancement. Our staff will have much better conditions in which to develop their skills. Also vitally, potential adoptive families will have the opportunity to make the right choice and find the best match between them and their chosen equine friend. We try hard to avoid a horse going as an unknown quantity to a new home and then being returned if the match does not work out; this change of homes is unsettling and unfair on the horse. This excellent facility of a superb training space cannot of course reveal all about a horse and his/her behaviour- we rarely know our horses’ history- but will make a substantial difference to our programme of assessment, education, potential rehabilitation and successful re-homing.
It is a success story for our horses and ponies, current and future!