Chalkdown Group now has six of its own ponies and four that are brought to us each week by their owners.
We thought you would like to meet some of them.
This is our very handsome bay RDA pony Jimmy. He is 8 years old and is a 14.1hh Connermara X. Jimmy joined Chalkdown Group in the summer of 2016 after a huge fundraising donation from Dulwich Prep School. He is a very genuine, kind gelding and has become a firm favourite with our riders. He lives with our volunteer Jedda and her daughter Hope. Last year he did an endurance ride with Jedda and raised over £500 for the Group.
Lara is a true 'leg at each corner' Fell pony, who is 13.2hh and 23 years young. She's exceptionally quiet and safe and is the pony we trust to look after the most nervous or unbalanced riders. She is on permanent loan to us as her owner now lives abroad. She lives with Fenella and Finn, who she likes to boss around, especially when there is any food on offer!
Fenella is a 14.2hh Highland pony, who is 18 years old. She is our longest serving RDA pony as we have owned her for 14 years now and she is an 'old hand' at the job
She is very comfortable to ride, with really smooth paces and a soft treeless saddle - it's like sitting on a sofa! At home, she is a very kind and well-behaved mare, who loves nothing better than a vigorous groom with a curry comb to get through her thick hairy coat. She is generally happy to live out in the field with Lara (who always tells her what to do) and Finn, but when it's muddy she prefers to come into her stable to eat a delicious hay net that she doesn't have to share!
Charlie joined us in October 2018 after much searching and fundraising. He is a beautiful 14.2 hands skewbald cob with a sensible, calm temperament who has adapted to his RDA role very quickly. He lives with our volunteer Kay and her other ponies and is ridden by all the family. He is now 7 years old.
Merlin is much loved by his owner Karen who has been bringing him along to Chalkdown since last September. He is a handsome 16 year old piebald cob who spends most weekends competing with Karen and then transforms into a quiet, dependable RDA pony for us each Thursday. Merlin is strong enough to take fairly large adults but we can also trust him to take smaller riders. We are very lucky to have him as a member of our pony team.
Comic is a tiny bay pony and is perfect for our smallest riders. Although he is an elderly little chap he is fit and well and just comes along for an hour or two each week. He is brought to us by his owner Claire who is very experienced and volunteers for us as his leader. We all adore him.
Little Custard Pie (or Pie for short) is the sweetest natured pony. She is our newest recruit, having joined Chalkdown in March this year. She is 13 hands tall and so is ideal for our younger riders. As her name suggests she is a piebald pony, 9 years old, and she loves people and having a jolly good cuddle. She has already become a big favourite with the riders and volunteers.
Tinker is the most handsome 15 year old piebald cob who joined us in 2018. He is kindly brought to us each week by his owner Claire. He is a wonderful gentle giant, standing at 16 hands tall, but with an unflappable totally dependable temperament. We always know we can trust Tinker with our disabled riders and we are so lucky that he has joined the team.
We borrow Maverick from Kate every Thursday for our tiny riders as he stands and just 11.2 hands tall. He is 18 years old and lives at Duckhurst Livery so it is easy for him to come across to the indoor arena to join in our riding sessions each week. He is much loved by his young family and we can trust him at RDA to behave perfectly with our most severely disabled young riders. We are very grateful to Kate for allowing us to use him.