Head of Riding Anne Bolton and her team at Knighton strive to promote confidence, enjoyment, independence and responsibility, with a hands on understanding of pony care (stable management) and riding. Riding is available to all pupils in Year 2 and above, whether you own a pony or not, are a beginner or very experienced rider.
An accredited Pony Club Centre and BHS approved Riding centre, Knighton are members of the NSEA, with close links with Portman Hunt and Pimpernel Beagles, offer Pony Camps, riding clinics and hire of our facilities for Trec events and the Pony Club.
Introducing Anne Bolton – Head of Riding at Knighton House.
Anne has a degree in equine dental science, she is UKCC Level 2 in Equestrian Coaching (she is currently undertaking Level 3), she is a practicing equine dentist and a qualified B test instructor and assessor. Growing up, Anne competed in Pony Club teams and at Endurance, was part of the GB Young riders squad for 3 years, has taken part in Trec internationally and now competes in British Eventing combining dressage, show jumping and cross country on her horse Dusty.
What is typical day for the stables at Knighton?
Our day begins with the pony bell at 7.30am when the boarders catch the ponies and bring them in. From around 10am until 3.30pm we are enjoying lessons in the arena or out on hacks in 100’s of acres of glorious Dorset countryside.
Some of the girls join us for grooming at lunch and break times and from around 4 o’clock, the ponies are rugged and turned out. On weekends, some of the boarders enjoy relaxed rides, our equestrian team might be out at an NSEA event and we run termly school competitions.
What do you think is special about the riding at Knighton?
I think it is fantastic that we are an accredited Pony Club Centre. All the children love being members of the Pony Club and enjoy earning their badges etc. For me, I really enjoy teaching them new skills and preparing groups for their next Pony Club test – they feel such a sense of achievement and progress which I think is so important as children learn to ride.
In addition to lessons and hacks, all the girls have the chance to earn extra rides, lessons, rallies and activities as they work on their Riders Star Charts. It gets quite competitive!
What does the Riding Committee do?
Year 8’s who ride at school can join the Riding Committee and help arrange activities, rallies, trips and competitions. The girls enjoy this responsibility and in their final year, the riders have the chance to design their own riding programme to focus on what they really want to learn and achieve.
What the pupils say:
“I love seeing my pony every day and the fact that I can catch him and groom him at school is great”.
“I don’t own a pony so it’s really nice to get involved around the stables”.
“It’s great as I come from Spain that I can do riding and enjoy ponies here”.