New Season

Hello to all our regular and new readers.  There has been exciting news at the farm since our last update!  There is to be another wedding in the valley this year.  Bryony and Steve have announced their engagement and plan to marry later in the summer, after the show.  We give them warmest congratulations.  Bryony has a beautiful engagement ring and much planning is now taking place.

The horses are nearly all back from their winter away.  Tom has his work cut out with lots of schooling of his various horses, and, great news, Joey is back as Centre Manager.  Kelly will be returning, too, after her finals.  And Joey’s best mate, Alex, has got a job as a canoe instructor at nearby Symonds Yat for the summer, and so he too will be around when he’s not paddling!

We look forward to seeing you soon – Remember to check out our Llanthony Riding and Trekking Facebook page, as more photos are being added all the time.

Can’t wait for the season to start now!

Love Karen, and all at Court Farm

New Year 2011

Happy New Year from all at Llanthony Riding and Trekking!

2011 started in the traditional way with the New Year’s Day charity river jump and duck race.  There were a few sore heads after the partying the night before but most people made it down to the river for 1pm as the brave souls leap into the icy water!  Bryony jumped in again, joined by many other maniacs!  As usual hot mulled wine from Cordelia warmed them up afterwards.  Duck racing then took place to round off the fundraising.  The previous evening had seen the Half Moon packed out with revellers in fancy dress – Court Farm had a nursery rhyme theme, Baa Baa Black Sheep (Tom) was particularly impressive along with the Cat and Fiddle (Bryony) together with Toni as the Cow that jumped over the moon!  Annabel and Jamie were Little Miss Muffet and the spider complete with bowl of curds and whey (very scary costume from Jamie).  Karen and Paula’s crowds this year had the theme of Cocktails, some had a twist (not of lemon) and as well as Snowballs, Tequila Sunrise (x2), a Pink Lady, a Black Russian and a White Russian there was a Molotov Cocktail and a Prawn Cocktail…..

Joey, Joey, Joey….what are we going to do with you.!?? After a short time in France and Italy in the ski resorts Joey broke her arm, and has had to return to our island! We all wish her a speedy recovery and send not too strong hugs.

Great news – we now have a Llanthony Riding and Trekking Facebook page!  It is still very new and photos are still being uploaded but this is going to be a more interactive way for everyone to keep in touch. Please check it out and if you have photos from your riding with us feel free to add them!  Don’t forget to tell us who you are though.  We will still continue updating our website too, so keep checking for newsletters.

Riding for 2011 starts on 8th April, so get booked in if you want a particular date for treks or hacks, especially during holiday times.

We look forward to seeing everyone for the new season.

End of Season 2010

The 2010 riding and trekking season drew to a close with wonderful weather and some lovely rides. 

The horses have now all gone to their winter homes. Hartpury College have yet again had a number of our horses to help teach the students a thing or two, this year they have; Duchess, Aroha, Ace, Seren, Gossip, Monty, Bramble and Queenie, let’s hope the horses and students have a fun and productive time. Holme Lacy College are looking after Cracker and Brandy, Cracker is already making lots of friends and proving his worth, and it’s Brandy’s first time away from home so good luck to her. Fortune, Whiskey, Warrior, Murphy and Sparks are living near Paula under the watchful eye of Emily. Lady and Morwyn have returned to Carolyn and Inca for the third or fourth time where they get very well looked after. Bo and Kitty have also gone to private homes that we hope work well and are enjoyed by all. Some of our young horses are spending the winter out on the Sussex Downs at Church Farm, Coombes, with Grannie, Auntie and Uncle Passmore. The rest of the horses stay here and make Tom get out of bed every morning to shovel poo and lug feed sacks around.!!

The chickens have a wonderfully luxurious new house for the winter to keep them warm and cosy – Tom is hoping the egg supply will continue – Oh no wait, it has already dried up, damn! 

Harri has started work again at the local racing yard while still searching for the apprenticeship she needs to complete her farriery training.  Kelly has gone back to uni, Joey and Alex will be working the winter ski season in Italy.  We hope to see them all next year.

Everybody had a great time at the Annual Show Dinner and Dance held on bonfire night, a great way for staff and friends to finish off the season in outfits that we don’t recognise each other in!

The next day was a day of fun and games.  Organised into teams with Cressy captaining the Pinks, Bryony leading the Purples, Tom’s team was Sunshine Yellow, and Annabel was captain for the Brown team. Colour coded hoodies embroidered and printed with a great design showing all the different things we have done throughout the year – show jumping, rodeoing, canoeing, climbing, galloping on the beach, 4X4ing plus the cats and chickens also featured – a great souvenir of the season.  Challenges included Mega Crazy Golf, obstacle races in the manege, blindfolded, tied together, egg and spoon, all sorts!  Lunch and dinner in the farmhouse kept us all going through the day and then we had quizzes in the pub in the evening, quiz mastered skilfully by Harri and Bryony. 

And so the valley quietens now for the winter months.  Our next planned event in the valley is New Year celebrations, with our fancy dress in the Half Moon and the charity River Jump the next morning, everyone and anyone is welcome to attend….but be warned….it’s COLD.!!

Everyone at Llanthony Riding and Trekking and Court Farm wish you a very happy and healthy Christmas and a prosperous New Year.  We look forward to seeing you next season.

Love from everyone at Court Farm (and from those who have temporarily left us)

Karen and Tom x

Tom’s birthday beach ride

On Tuesday 31st August nine of the horses from LR&T were loaded up on to two lorries and Paula’s trailer and set off on the long journey to Rhosilli at The Gower.  Why?  For Tom’s birthday beach ride the next day of course!  Most loaded up fine as they knew something different was happening.  Murphy virtually ran on to the trailer!  Rosie took her time, but eventually decided to walk on the lorry, much to everyone’s relief.  The other horses were Ace, Flame, Sparks, Saira, Monty, Aroha and Oscar.

Colin, Cordelia, Harri and Trip the lurcher accompanied birthday boy Tom, with Cressy, Bryony, Annabel, Paula, Joey, Kelly, Polly and me to the Pilton Moor livery yard, where we pitched our tents – more glamping than camping with Tom’s mattress – and had a great evening around the campfire with games of pass the parcel and a wondrous chocolate cake made by Cressy in the shape of a hen house complete with Tom’s four chickens!  The horses were also accommodated in luxury with a lush paddock to graze in.

The day of Tom’s birthday was fabulous weather so after a hearty breakfast we set off on some very excited horses for an hour’s ride to the beach.  Only one problem.  Tom forgot his jodhpurs so had to ride in his PJs!  We found an empty stretch of sand and let the horses run – an exhilarating feeling to gallop along the sand, canter through the surf and in Cressy and Flame’s case get as near to swimming as possible!  They were soaked from head to foot but beaming!  We all were, and nobody fell in the water this time.  When we felt the horses and us had had enough excitement we found a spot nearby to have a snack and a drink, sharing with the horses of course.  Murphy enjoyed my flapjack and apple, Sparks tried to get Paula’s apple juice off her!  We found our way back to the yard (our guide to the beach had left us playing!) where we had some wonderful homemade Minestrone soup to set us up for the long journey home.

We made it back just as it was getting dark so unloaded quickly and sorted everything our the next day, tired but happy.  All the beach horses had a day and a half off after that, but none seemed any the worse for all the fun and excitement.  The tack was all cleaned and oiled to get the sand and salt out – it gets absolutely everywhere.  Until Paula’s trailer was moved off the yard Murphy kept stopping and looking in when he got to it when being turned out as if to say “lets go again!”  He loves travelling to do different things.

A big thanks to everyone who made it possible, with organisation, catering, driving lorries or towing trailers, lending of camping gear and sorting B&B for the horses – it was a brilliant time, especially for Tom on his birthday and for Joey who rode on a beach for the first time ever!

Love from Karen and all at Court Farm.

The end of the 2010 season is coming!

Only a short while left now to get booked up for treks or hacks for the remainder of the 2010 season. The trekking book is already filling up for half term week so let us know as soon as you can about your riding requests. Last day = Sunday 31 October.

The weather has been glorious, it’s a pleasure to ride on a crisp sunny day and see the stunning autumn colours – make sure you bring your cameras. Even if the weather does break we can lend protective clothing if you don’t have any. The horses are already in their winter rugs to keep them warm and cosy against the chilly nights.

Tom is busy sorting out winter loan homes for the horses, who are looking forward to their winter break. Hartpury College are having a number again where they get very well looked after and swap trekking for dressage and indoor schooling.

Kelly is back from university for this half term holiday, after which Joey leaves us to prepare for the forthcoming ski season when she will be working in Italy. We hope both will be back next season.

The valley has been busy this week with film crews working on the movie of “Resistance”, Owen Sheers’ wartime novel based around the Olchon Valley and the Black Mountains, starring Michael Sheen (award winning Welsh actor) and Andrea Riseborough (Made in Dagenham). We will be watching out for the release of that film!

Llanthony staff have a weekend of fun and games to look forward to after the end of the trekking season. The Llanthony Show Dinner and Dance gives us a chance to actually look like humans out of the jods and boots! Followed by a day of team games, challenges and adventures.

We look forward to seeing everyone, familiar and new, in our final week of trekking.

Love from Karen, Tom, and all at Court Farm