Chalkdown Group has five of its own ponies and five that are brought to us each week by their owners. We thought you would like to meet some of them.

LARA

LARA

At our RDA sessions Lara has the patience of a saint! She will stand at the mounting block for ages without moving a muscle and she will keep the most nervous riders safe and boost their confidence. She is a rather beautiful black Fell Pony and although not too tall she is sturdy and strong. She wears a Long Service Medal on her bridle as she has been teaching children and adults to ride at Chalkdown for over 15 years now. At home she is queen of the paddock and is very choosy about who she shares her field with!”

FENELLA

FENELLA

Fenella joined Chalkdown in 2005 which makes her our longest serving pony. She is a beautiful example of a grey Highland Pony with her strong neck and long flowing mane. In 2019 she won the title “RDA Regional Pony of the Year” for all the work she has done over the years for RDA and because she has a disability of her own. A few years ago she had to have an operation to remove her left eye but this hasn’t affected her quality of life and she manages perfectly well. She has a broad back and an incredibly smooth trot, riding her is like sitting in a comfortable armchair. In 2021 our Coach Emma took over the care and ownership of Fenella as we thought we were going to have to retire her. However, after 6 months’ rest, she found a spring in her step and came back into light RDA work.
FINN

FINN

Here is the handsome Finn who loves having his photograph taken. He is our largest horse, standing at 16 hands and he has lovely brown and white markings, making him a skewbald. He was born in Ireland in June 2006 but he has been in the UK for many years now so has lost his Irish accent but still has that Irish twinkle in his eye. Finn has a wonderful disposition. Although he is a big lad he is kind and gentle and will wait patiently for our most disabled riders to mount and dismount. He does a very important job for our Group as he takes our heavier riders but we can also trust him with someone much smaller. Much loved by all, Finn is also a very sociable chap and enjoys having a good time with his friends
CHARLIE

CHARLIE

Charlie joined us in November 2017 as a six year old and he lives with our Coach Kay and her other pony Chase. He is a sweet and gentle chap, a Cob X standing at 14.2hh tall, with beautiful brown and white markings and a special brown heart on his back. He loves hacking out with Kay and friends and follows her all around the field when she is working at home. He loves treats and cuddles and jumping into the neighbour’s fields. He finds brooms and puddles particularly scary.
CUSTARD PIE

CUSTARD PIE

As the name suggests, Pie is a black and white piebald pony and she joined us at the beginning of 2019 as a nine year old. She is 12.2hh and a hairy little pony who gets quite itchy in the summer so she wears a special rug to keep the mosquitoes away. She can be completely trusted with our most nervous riders and is a great confidence giver. Out on the roads nothing bothers her. At home, she lives very happily with the other Chalkdown mares and she has a cheeky nature and can be very comical.
MERLIN

MERLIN

Merlin is a 14.2hh mid-weight piebald cob, although more white than black. He also has a tail that is at least 4 times the size of a normal pony’s tail. He was born in 2002 and was given a birthday in March as the exact date was not known. Karen bought him as a 4 yr old and he had not done much, just a bit of hacking. They learnt together and have had great fun over many years. He loves to show off in dressage, he especially enjoys dressage to music. He loves to jump and always jumps each jump much higher than he needs to. He goes to hunter trials and has done Le Trec. He has taught many people – young and old – to ride. What he absolutely loves are the RDA days. He is the perfect RDA pony although with some of the volunteers he does “hound them down” for treats! He is a once in a lifetime pony and Karen is so proud to share him with the Chalkdown Group.

COMIC

COMIC

Comic is a very easy-going character, little in life phases him and he is generally a pretty accommodating little chap! He loves food and treats as he is on a very managed diet to control laminitis, which he is quite prone to – so a rare carrot/apple treat or an excuse to get onto good grass goes down very well! He loves attention and being cuddled by his riders at RDA. He dislikes being on his own and being out in bad weather.

Comic is Chalkdown’s smallest and most elderly pony so he looks after our tiniest riders. A very important job indeed.

TINKER

TINKER

Tinker, who is brought to us each week by his owner Claire, who is a volunteer. He is a chunky 15.3hh piebald cob, making him ideal for most of our adult riders. He has a wonderfully calm temperament, giving his riders confidence and he will also stand patiently while we all get organised. He knows his job and adjusts perfectly to the abilities of our different riders.

He loves to jump a few fences, take a hack round the forest but most of all he likes to chill in his field with his friends and eat!

CHASE

CHASE

Chase was born in Wales in May 2010. He belongs to Kay’s daughter and he comes along to help us out if we need an extra pony for our younger riders. Kay has owned him since 2014. He is very cheeky, has a lovely nature with little children and loves hacking out and sponsored rides. He is a rather pretty 11.2hh palomino Welsh Section A Pony with a very fancy full name – Waithwind Wind Chaser. Chase loves being groomed and fussed over and he loves food, especially bananas! He doesn’t like large men.

BUTTERCUP

BUTTERCUP

Buttercup (aka Bee) joined Chalkdown in July 2021, aged 6. We weren’t too sure we liked her name but as it is unlucky to change a horse’s name we just shortened it to Bee. She is a 15.1 middleweight cob and a beautiful dark liver chestnut colour. She has a kind nature and loves lots of fuss and people’s attention. She lives with the other Chalkdown girls and is quickly learning her RDA role and becoming a valuable member of the team.