Chalkdown Group has four of its own ponies and three 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 18 years now. At home she is queen of the paddock and is very choosy about who she shares her field with!”

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.
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.

DAISY

DAISY

Daisy is a 16.1hh, 15 year old, Irish Sports Horse who, in her younger days, used to be a hunter and show jumper but needed a change to a slightly slower pace of life. She has a fantastic friendly nature and tries her best to please her riders, so is adapting really well to her new career as an RDA horse. She loves nothing more than a good groom, especially on the ticklish spot on the underside of her neck and chest, although her 2nd favourite thing is to roll in the field (even better if it’s muddy) preferably straight after that good grooming session.

IN MEMORIAM

FENELLA (2001-2023)

FENELLA (2001-2023)

Fenella was a beautiful example of a Highland Pony with classic long flowing mane and thick bushy tail. She was donated to Chalkdown as a 4 year old and spent the next 18 years loyally carrying out her RDA duties. In that time, she stole the hearts of so many riders and volunteers. Always dependable, she was able to carry the heaviest riders but equally we knew we could trust her to keep even the smallest children perfectly safe. Her trot was incredibly steady, balanced and smooth which made her feel safe enough for even the most nervous, or wobbly, or physically disabled riders to have a go – giving them the opportunity to discover the joy and freedom of sitting trot.

On the yard she was one of the easiest horses to look after too. She was kind, gentle and patient, and loved nothing more than a good groom with a nice stiff brush.

All RDA ponies are special but our BALLEROY FENELLA was exceptional in so many ways, not least because she had a disability of her own. Back in 2015 after much suffering she had to have her left eye removed. This was not an easy decision for Chalkdown as we were concerned that her quality of life would be seriously impaired, but she made a remarkable recovery and after a short spell of rehabilitation was back working again with the Group. In more recent years she had been plagued by extensive melanomas which lead to a couple of serious operations but as usual she was the perfect patient and to everyone’s relief she recovered well and was back in work after a couple of months.

Over the last 8 years, Emma has loved and cared for Fenella, and a few years ago she also took on all her costs. Understandably Emma is heartbroken.