Firhill's Promise to Our Horses and Ponies
It is our belief that to achieve our mission statement of treating and training all as individuals, we should also apply this to our horses and ponies, as you become more accustomed to the stable, you will see that all of our equine colleagues have their own individual strengths, weaknesses, characteristics and talents.
After working in many riding establishments, we are committed to never allowing the horses and ponies of Firhill to become just a way of making more money and are passionate that our clients respect the horses and ponies as we do.
Each horse and pony's profile is available for all to read and we encourage staff and clients to read these to gain a better understanding of the horse before riding and working with them. Horses choose to allow us the honour and privilege of being part of their lives, and the deeper our knowledge and more informed and committed to understand and be in harmony with these beautiful creatures, the more we will find our own Individual goals.
Our horses have been hand picked by our team and are considered part of our family here at Firhill.
We have remained in contact with owners of the horses we have bought or rehomed and many visit us if they are in the area. Where possible we prefer to start horses ourselves and once with us our horses remain with us forever.
Once retired the horses are moved to our other farm where they live the rest of their lives at pasture.
Born in 1994 and bred by David Owen at Hopworthy Moor Farm in Devon, Hattie was purchased by my sister and I in 1999.
She is sired by a stallion who is well known in the breeding lines of Welsh Section D progeny Derwen Supreme. I do actually think Hattie is aware of this, as she has always been a bit of a diva and is by far the prettiest horse on this yard.
Hattie is 20 years of age, she is a 16hh Welsh Sec D x Thoroughbred Mare. She taught my daughter Rhianna how to ride, plus being my competition horse for many years, she is an extremely talented lady working at novice level dressage. She enjoys hacking, is bombproof in traffic - safe for even novice riders, she will build confidence in nervous riders and takes her job very seriously.
She works beautifully both on the flat and jumping, and is Wendy's instructor, Josephine Batty Smith's favourite horse.
Cracker is a 9.2 (33 inch high) Miniature Shetland Pony gelding that was kindly sold to us by Silvia.
He is a very talented young man as well as being fabulous to ride, he also drives. Cracker is comfortable in and out of the house and happily goes to nursing homes and schools for therapy purposes.
We are currently trying to raise money to buy Cracker a pony trap as he came to us sadly without his.
This will enable us to use him for non riding clients and those without the body strength to hold themselves upright in the saddle.
Firhill's Lilly Rose is an up and coming star, she was purchased from a dear friend and colleague in the equine industry, Sidney Cox, who sadly due to loss of grazing, had to sell some of his stock. Firhill's Instructor Wendy had worked with Lilly's dad Flash, as well as starting young stock for Sid. Lilly was her Dad Flash's only progeny, and because of this needed a very special home where she would be valued and fulfil her potential, whilst being local enough for all of us to see her progress. We met Lilly when she was just a foal and were aware of how much it meant to Sid to keep in touch with her. Although the yard was overstocked, we welcomed her to the Firhill herd. She was backed at 3 due to her shear size and bone structure. She is a talented and beautiful lady who has a forever home here and a career ahead of her. We are honoured that we are able to see this magnificent horse grow up and blossom and hope that one day she will make both Sid and the stable very proud of her.
(ridden here by Katherine Fiford )
Kindly sold to us by Kelly Hemmings, Stan is Firhill's flagship horse and shining star! Stanley is special in lots of ways. When Wendy's competition horse Perry was diagnosed with cancer, Kelly kindly offered Stan to us, and he has become our mentor, our teacher and the driving force of the yard.
He is evidence of determination and strength to overcome, the power of believing in something enough and refusing to give up.
Sarola was bought by Kelly in Holland and brought home to Bristol. However, in 2005 he was sadly diagnosed with 'Kissing Spine'. This years ago would have been career ending. After a Kissing Spine operation, box rest, rehabilitation and the dedication and commitment of Kelly over several years, he eventually was able to be ridden once more. Stan continued to make a full recovery and competed up to advanced medium level Dressage. He reminds us of the War Horse of Dressage world. He would not do well in the showing ring as he is a walking medical journal but he is talented, sound, and the most Incredible character!
Teasel is a local lad and was sold to us by Kelly and Morely Penter. He was home bred out of a Selle Francaise stallion called Onzo du Forest owned and competed by Claire Beecham. His mummy is an Irish Draft x Thoroughbred owned and competed by Kelly and she still lives not far away from us near Lanhydrock. He is a very striking, handsome lad, but can be a bit of a chicken. He likes to think he is tough but he is a softie really and he thrives on being told when he is a good boy.
Tambo, what would we do without Tambo?! Tambo is everybody's favourite. She is 14.2 hh and has a talent for teaching. Tambo has experience of Riding for the Disabled work as well as able bodied. Her passion however is jumping and despite her age she enjoys this immensely.
Sadly this summer we had to say goodbye to this much loved friend at the age of 33 yrs .She will never be forgotten
Arranz means silver in Cornish. Arranz is a 16yr old, 15.2hh Ardennes mare. She was originally bought from a riding school where she has done Riding for the Disabled work. She is a wonderful mare and has a really gentle personality. She is on loan to us from Brita Parkins and is a valued member of our equine team.
Where in this wide world can man find nobility without pride, friendship without envy
or beauty without vanity?
Here, where grace is laced with muscle, and strength by gentleness confined.
He serves without servility; he has fought without enmity.
There is nothing so powerful, nothing less violent, there is nothing so quick, nothing more patient.
England’s past has been borne on his back.
All our history is his industry; we are his heirs, he our inheritance.
By Ronald Duncan
written in 1954
Jupiter is a new addition to the Firhill Equine team and is owned by the stables .He is a local lad and was born in Wadebridge .
His owner offered him to the stables and felt he would be an asset to us .After watching him with our clients I agree whole heartedly and am grateful to his owner Sally Sanders for giving us the opportunity to have him as part of our team .
Jupiter loves jumping and is a very talented guy he stands at 13.2 hh and loves cuddles
Molly is on loan to the stables from a local family . After successfully teaching all of the Richards -Thomas Clan to ride .
Molly found herself out of a job and a rider .
Luckily for us the family offered her to us and we have a super brilliant pony to help us train more young talented children.
Molly is a great character and much loved by all .
I would just like to say a huge thank you to Wendy & everyone at Firhill Stables. This is my little Shettie Winston, I was given him when I was 11 years old & he was just a tiny 6 month old. I grew up with this nutter & remember telling him my troubles and stories every single day after school. After loaning him out in 2013 to focus on studies, he's had two homes & he's ended up at Firhill & I can only say it's fate. Winnie, when he was growing up had some behaviour issues & bad manners & never ever would I have believed My crazy Winston would be helping the children he does at Firhill. Winston helped me grow up & I feel so so proud to see him helping other children in even great ways, all thanks to the care and love from Wendy & the stables. I'm now gifting Winston to the stables in hope he carries on filling children's hearts the way he did to mine all those years a go. Thank you so much Wendy for everything you've done for him - I feel like a proud mum 😅
Poppy is a very pretty and talented young lady that is on Loan to the stables from a young lady called Zazie
Poppy has a passion for gymkhana games and has had a successful showing career , She is an extremely pretty pony and also has a great sense of humour . She particularly likes dressing up and is a favourite with the little girls .Rumour has it that she may be a unicorn