Firhill Stables

We are a non commercial small unique stable that provides specialised and person centred tuition of any kind, to a range of individuals. We taylor make our learning to encompass each persons learning outcomes, whilst supporting the rider progress and achieve in the future. We offer a wide range of ongoing support in the form of members Riding Club activities, social engagements, clinics and workshops, veterinary talks, even holiday care for equine partners. We are aware of the importance of ongoing support and sound advice. Our stable aims and strives to provide a non judgemental, confidential base for all that enter our gates.
We have a strong affiliation with the British Horse Society and their connections to welfare, access, rights of way, education and riding road safety.
We are happy to work with other organisations to provide riding opportunities thus allowing us to offer the stable as a location for clients with emotional and physical disabilities involving children and adults overcoming trauma of any kind during their lives.

Working with:

  • Smart Goals ( Specific, Measureable, Achievable, Realistic, Timed )
  • Long term and Short Term Athletic Development
  • Career planning
  • Education
  • Raising owner awareness
  • Building a network of support through the Equine Community

Our Aim

Our aim is to rebuild the lives and self esteem of the individual whilst they help rebuild the lives of the animals they care for. We are a place where you can gather your thoughts !
Have some time !!
Chat with friends ,meet new ones !!
We are disorganised ,hair brained and Human !!
We understand confidence issues ,We appreciate how life changes can knock confidence,
How a comment might change your life !!
We only are here because horses heal us too !!!
Horses choose us ! They are non judgemental ,liberating, empowering and unique,
The magical attraction that they have to us is a wonder!
We are passionate about sharing what our horses give too all and have an aim to share this with others.
We will be offering apprenticeships as well as training for BHS examinations and the new horse owners certificates. We offer off peak reductions with special rates for mothers wishing to get back into riding during school and term time, Pony Club, Saturday and Sunday clubs for children that wish to learn about how to look after their ponies. Members rates and Happy Hackers club for those of us that just want a quiet life.
Other Members of our team, all of which are admin on site, offer a range of talents, experience of working and counselling a variety of conditions. We can cater for a wide range of clientele, from mental health, physical and learning disabilities, confidence building, sports physiotherapy referrals and the opportunity to have an assessment onsite. Contact us directly to discuss your needs.

What's it all about...

We are privileged to have several very well known instructors on board all of which have taught and trained in a variety of settings .Colleges ,Riding for the Disabled , Pony Club and commercial Stables .
Our aim is to give time , Listen to each learner, Not be governed by the clock . To be versatile to adapt and to be honest about our limitations.
We have ongoing training sessions and mentors in autism and challenging behaviour , Makaton training if we need refreshers to work with those that have limited communication skills .
We don't know it all but aim to tailor our skills and find out if the need arises.
Ongoing e-learning and regular training facilitated by the NHS and links to other training providers in the South West.
Our main aim is to see all riders whatever ability achieve their personal goals and fulfill ambitions. Not only do we facilitate for all able riders, all our instructors are experienced and qualified in dealing with children with disabilities, behavioural issues .Please feel free to contact us and browse our website for more details and information.


Firhill Stables in Bodmin, Cornwall set in 5 acres of the most beautiful Cornish countryside. Firhill is a Victorian cottage that we are lucky enough to call home, it is from here that we have based ourselves with a small but talented team of equine partners offering both riding, hacking and therapeutic horsemanship.


Firhill consists of a 25 x 60 outdoor sand ménage, with stabling for up to 8 horses and our furry pony fleet that have their own separate accommodation. The new barn which houses four horses is an ideal area for stable management training.

All weather covered Dutch Barn

  • Stable management tuition
  • Pony time
  • Practical sessions
  • Therapeutic hands on sessions

The Vision

  • To see our clients achieve their full potential and gain understanding, whilst feeling the power and the freedom we experience from these amazing creatures.
  • To expand and grow widening public awareness of the beauty and teamwork required in the equestrian sport.

Events and Workshops

We will be holding a variety of workshops throughout the year for skills such as stable management, horse welfare, plaiting, clipping and much more. We have a wealth of knowledgeable people around us who are all more than happy to pass on their experiences and wisdom with relaxing and fun talks to be had, maybe over a drink or two. We will also be setting up a Firhill team for next years events using our beautiful outdoor arena and amazing woodland rides. We will also be able to host a variety of events such as gymkhanas, show jumping, dressage etc... and for those of you who would just like to explore the countryside we will hold pub rides, snowdrop rides, easter hunt rides and much much more.


We are always looking for enthusiastic people to get involved at the stable. We also need escorts for ponies when we visit nursing homes, centres and schools and side walkers for our less able bodied clients during lessons. If you are interested in learning more about riding and stable management or just enjoy seeing the pleasures that horses bring to all, please contact us.


Make learning fun, make it relevant, make it achievable .
Listen to your pupils, be approachable, be a good listener.
Our goal is not to show you how we do it, but teach you to do it yourself.
To reassure that you are capable of achieving your individual learning outcome not by humiliation but re-enforcement .
You have the talent to do it yourself.
A good teacher does not show how its done but shows how you do it !!!


Wendy Parkins - BHSAI, RDAGI Riding Instructor ,NVQ level 3 Health and Social Care Mental Health and Physical/Learning Disabilities .(Children and Adults)
15years experience working with Cornwall Foundation Partnership Trust, NHS ,Brandon Trust ,Scope ,and Riding for the Disabled

Born in Brighton in the South east of England , Wendy has been involved in horses, training, welfare and imparting knowledge since her arrival in the beautiful county 1988. In 1989 Wendy began work at at Tall trees riding school Davidstow as a working pupil From there she Trained at Duchy College under the watchful and knowledgeable eyes of Josephine Batty Smith. Wendy has worked at many establishments in the South west of England aswell as freelancing in her area of North Cornwall teaching able bodied riding .
In early 2000 Wendy was asked to join the team at Chiverton Riding for the Disabled by the Chairman Sarita Perkins MBE ,who is now a mentor for her Dream to open the stables at Firhill. Saritais a forerunner in her work with disabled children and adults and her experience and imput confirms our ability to develop unique packages for all of our clients .
Whilst with Chiverton Wendy Gained her RDAGI certificate .Wendy continued her work with the disabled when asked to manage the therapeutic Animal intervention site of Churchtown Farm in Lanlivery ,which is where she met her now project manager Andrew Mullen.
When the farm closed in 2011 both Wendy and Andrew joined forces to re open a site that has potential for working for both able bodied and Disabilies.

Wendy has a flair for teaching and is never happier when her clients achieve their personal goals .The light bulb moments as she calls them are indications of a persons achievements and awareness into their journey of understanding these wonderful and magical creatures .
Each one re-enforcing the addiction we all strive for "to be at one with our horse "

Below are several clients opinions of the lessons had at Firhill Stables :

Keen to improve my flatwork with a view to competing, I began having lessons with Wendy Parkins at Firhill Stables a couple of years ago. Wendy is friendly and welcoming, a very honest and real trainer with a genuinely lovely way with horses and people alike.
Lessons are interesting and varied and I found them very motivating. George gets bored quite easily and has the attention span of a gnat. He preferred to lean me, pull himself around using his powerful front end, rather... than engage and power himself forward from behind.

Wendy's lessons guided us along giving consistent improvement from horse and rider and we're now a much more balanced combination. George is more supple and correctly muscled now and can work comfortably in an outline (most of the time!). And my riding, understanding of my horse and of equitation is hugely improved.
Based on her many years of experience in all things equestrian, Wendy's sound depth of knowledge, natural affinity with horses and fun and uncomplicated teaching methods mean Firhill Stables is a real asset. I'm lucky to have them so close by.

Thankyou for my riding lesson last weekend i really enjoyed it and learnt so much more than I have done with any other instructors can't wait for my next one smile emoticon
  • Level 2 Coach
  • NVQ3 Health and Social Care
  • 15 Years Experience Working with Learning/ Physical
  • Disabilities and Mental health
  • Ongoing Assisted Animal Therapy Qualification

Andrew Mullen -  Project Manager

Andrew joined the team in September 2014 and brings with him his extensive business development, administration and management background, as well as keen interest in riding and all things horsey.  He runs his own business consultancy, Alusen Ltd, and acts for Firhill both as a member of the Project Team and in his professional capacity.
http:// andrew.mullen@alusen.co.uk
Andrew’s interest in horses is lifelong and has involved him in equitation sports from polo to dressage and show jumping.  As a Commander in the Royal Navy he sat on the committee that oversaw equitation matters for the Royal Navy and was the senior officer responsible for the running of the Royal Navy Saddle Club and its associated stables and their management.  He has ridden with the Household Cavalry exercising their ‘Blacks’ in Hyde Park during a tour in the Ministry of Defence and these days is often to be found hacking on Bodmin Moor

Sarita Perkins MBE 

Firhill are privileged to have Sarita on our team of mentors .
After spending a number of years building riding for the Disabled in Cornwall,
Sarita was awarded an MBE for her work with the Riding for the Disabled and her services to the people of Cornwall.
Sarita has empowered and enriched the lives of many and is still very involved in the Pony club, whilst producing and training young stock some of which are ridden by Lucy Wiegersmere

A WOMAN from Mylor who dedicated 40 years to a riding school for the disabled "danced around the kitchen" when she heard she had been appointed an MBE.
Sarita Perkins, 67, has been honoured for her services to Chiverton Riding for the Disabled and the community of Cornwall.
"I was a bit worried that I didn't deserve it but now I'm proud and think it's a lovely thing for the societies I help with," she said, adding: "Everything I've done I've enjoyed, but I've had the most amazing back-up team."
To celebrate, she invited many of them to a New Year's Day gathering to thank them for their support.
She began her association with the disabled charity as a helper but soon began to teach and then took over as chairman when previous incumbent Jennifer Williams died.
Three years ago she added carriage driving to the school activities. "I was conscious there were people who couldn't ride, or were too big or nervous to get on a horse," she said. "This is going from strength to strength. I can't describe it when someone who's never spoken says a word. It also helps the helpers; we get a lot out of it."
In 2009, after four decades, she stepped down. "It's something you can't just dip into," she said. "Some of the children are autistic and they need routine and structure."
However, she has not been idle. In Mylor, she set up a luncheon club three years ago in the Tremayne Hall which her husband Chris, a former High Sheriff of Cornwall, helped regenerate.
Mrs Perkins is also a vice-chairman of the village school's trustees, working particularly with pupils with special needs.


Josephine Batty-Smith BHSI

Jo is a talented and experienced trainer specialising in helping students to prepare for BHS exams and coaching assessments. She will also help horse and rider combinations with their training and dressage riding.
She has dedicated her entire career to equine education and has influenced and supported many of our Counties qualified instructors.
Jo teaches our Instructors at Firhill stables and is also avaliable for advanced lessons holding several clinics a month in Flatwork and Jumping
List 5 Dressage Judge.
Riding Club Qualified Panel Member.

A note From Jo
"I was born in Falmouth. Educated in various establishments in England and France and always wanted to work with Horses. When I left school I initially trained for my BHS Qualifications in Somerset. After gaining experience in teaching children was able to run a riding centre in Austria .I was there for five years and was lucky enough to receive training from Bereiters at The Spanish Riding School. Gain my Austrian Bronze Amateur Qualification and ride horses trained to Grand Prix.
I was also sponsored to compete in Horse Trials and Dressage.
On returning to the UK,I concentrated on helping people train for their BHS Qualifications at a top training establishment in Somerset before finally being able to return to Cornwall and work at Duchy College which was just starting to take residential equestrian students.
During this time I was also Chief Examiner for the BHS edited their definitive guide to horse and stable management and was National moderator a role I still have .
I retired after fourteen happy years at Duchy and now spend my time doing some low vel dressage judging and helping the occasional private client.
I have known Wendy for many years and admire her ambition and drive in finally getting this long held ambition off the ground.
She has considerable experience of helping disabled riders and we cannot have too many centres in Cornwall concentrating on one to one tuition tailored specifically to the individual
I wish her all the luck in the world."
Jo Batty Smith BHSI

Scott Tomkinson on site Physiotherapist

Scott qualified with an MSc in Physiotherapy from Glasgow Caledonian and is a state registered, chartered physiotherapist. During his training he specialized in musculoskeletal rehab and his work placements were mainly in an outpatient and musculoskeletal setting. He also learned about many other aspects of physiotherapy such as:- respiratory, neuro, and community. The city of Glasgow provided Scott with the ultimate learning experience where he shadowed and learned his profession from some of the top physiotherapists in the country.

From an early age, Scott has had a keen interest in the human body and how it functions. He excelled through school in anatomy and physiology. Being a County record holder which stood for 14 years, and competing at National schools level, Scott regularly picked up injuries from swimming and had to undergo surgery in 2000. As a result, Physiotherapy formed an integral part of Scott’s life which developed more interest in the profession.

In 2010 Scott had the opportunity to work within professional cycling at Team Garmin. Here he gained invaluable experience working with top level athletes. Since then he has never looked back, and has a real passion for cycling. Now a fully qualified Cycle-Fit analyst, Scott is one of a handful of people who offer a top line bike fitting service with a Physiotherapy eye. He is able to offer a unique service here at Firhill , Correcting riders in and out of the saddle during one to one sessions.
Scott has also decided to train in equine physiotherapy and Hippo therapy giving us another opportunity to work with less able bodied clients once qualified in this field .It is also a service that at present is limited in this county .http://kernowphysio.co.uk