Hello and welcome to the testimonials
We have many riders who have ridden with us before on Skye and who are already converts, however since we reopened we are delighted to be able to share with you some unsolicited emails and letters which have been sent to us. I hope they are helpful.
Hello Annie and Tim,
Thank you for making Mo's day out with you a memorable one. Thanks especially to Tim, your enthusiasm and fun approach really made the day. Mo particularly liked the fact that whilst having a wonderful experience riding Hamish, you took time to teach her some new riding techniques to help her enjoy the day more.
Thank you for being professional and fun.
Hi Annie & Tim,
I wanted to add a review to you web site and to say thank you for such a wonderful day.
Background: We saw your Cumbrian Heavy Horses on the Country Life programme and I have a love for shire horses and having seen your heavy horses gallop along the beach I said to my husband how wonderful I thought that looked.
He looked you up on the internet, contacted you and in kahoots with my sister booked a 2 hour ride for my sister and me without me knowing. When he told me the weekend before I was thrilled, we came down for a recce and Tim showed us some horses in the stables and gave us their background.
On the day; we travelled from Preston. The weather report was not good, rain all day, we were fully prepared with waterproofs, as we approached the area it was raining but as we came over the hill to see the valley where you are based, the sun shone down on you. You matched us with our horses, my sister was very nervous and you paired her up with Gypsy a gentle lady-like horse who doesn't like to be dirty, my sister's personality to a tee, you matched me with Brogue, I had said to my husband I hope they give me the biggest horse and you did, mind reader...spookie! They were all so gentle. Robin took us out, he was lovely company, checking we were all ok at all times. He tailored the ride perfectly to everyones requirements as we all had different needs. My sister wanted to walk round, 2 of us did a little trotting and one girl with more experience did some cantering. My sister was never left and did not feel any pressure to do anything she didn't want to or made to feel inferior. So the balance was excellent. Natalie walked around with us and moved up and down the line ensuring everyone was ok. We went on the lower hills, again we loved the different terrain and stunning views of the Cumbrian area.
On arriving back in the yard, everyone was attentive as they had been when we left the yard, your enthusiasm was infectious.
My husband and brother in law went in your cafe and they were impressed with Graham who was friendly, helpful and infomative. When going into the cafe afterwards, Annie said it was lovely to see my smile and said 'I Iooked like the cat that got the cream' . My husband said it was worth every penny, my smile is still on my face. I keep looking at my pictures and the small videos my husband took.
I took some photos to work to tell everyone about my exciting experience. My friend said she checked the web site out that evening and is interested in booking for herself, her son and nephew for a ride.
Thank you for your professional, enthusiastic service from all involved, and for the every lasting memory.
Sorry it's been so long since our ride before I have been in touch. I would just like to thank you and your team for a fantastic ride. I absolutely loved riding Tommy, he was so well schooled and David adored Gypsy. We had a wonderful time and a few canters. The whole experience was a pleasure. Your yard is so well run and the horses all beautifully cared for. We will definitely be returning soon.
Hope you are well. I wanted to drop you a note to say thank you for an AMAZING beach ride on Saturday. Diane and I had a FANTASTIC time and just loved the beauty of the area, your yard, your staff & most of all, your wonderful horses. Thanks again, please give Hamish & Sparky a tickle from us & hope to see you again soon!
Hey Annie and Tim,
Just to say a big THANK YOU for last Monday's ride; the gang loved it and letting them all have a little trotting lesson and the girls as walking accompaniment was brilliant.
I think they thought my judgement was somewhat clouded as a horsey freak but they were all genuinely bowled over by their experience, both horses and countryside, Dougal thinks he's a cowboy now but also a very big thank you to Tim for letting me ride his baby I am truly flattered, Major is a star!
Finally I have managed to bag some tickets for half term and so my friend and I will be coming up and would love to go for a ride on either the 27th/28th let me know what the possibles are please.
Margie, Laura, Dougal, Anna, Darren, Penny and John
I booked this date not at all sure what I would be in for. I was pretty sure that the ride on one of these magnificent animals was going to be a pleasure, but the weather and all other aspects were of concern. As it turned out, the weather was absolutely fantastic on the day. Couple that with the immediate welcome on arrival at the farm (even though we arrived a bit early) and the very pleasant, friendly and helpful attitude of all your staff in the yard, and out on the ride, just made it all a perfect experience.
Thanks also for introducing us to Carol and Richard Filby, with whom we stayed for two days. A wonderful couple, who also made us very welcome.
I hope one day we may get to see you all again.
Once again, many thanks to you and all your staff.
My partner Pete and I came for a 2 hour farm ride yesterday, our first time visiting Cumbrian Heavy Horses, Petes first time riding and my first time riding a Clydesdale and I just wanted, actually felt utterly compelled to let you all know just how much we thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience and to say a huge thank you to the staff who were involved in our ride.
I have ridden before but been out of the saddle for a number of years and my most recent riding experience was of a clients horse bucking and rearing on a hack, I needed a confidence boost.... which is exactly what I got and more from Emma, the stunning girl who was so kind to me and looked after me a treat - she even nearly made me cry with joy cantering through the stunning farmland.
Pete had never ridden before and was nervous before hand to say the least, but came for me. He was doing a perfect rising trot within half an hour of the ride starting. Afterwards he said he would have felt confortable enough to canter! Pete was riding Ben who showed him the ropes of this riding m'larky and demonstrated a great active walk for him!
None of this would have been at all possible without the brilliant staff, Robin, Andrew and Issac. Not only were they possibly the most professional equestrian personnel that I have encountered but they were so friendly, knowledgable and such a pleasure to spend an afternoon with. I can not rate these guys high enough. Robin's riding skills alone gave me the confidence that I was in superb hands. Andrew was so suppotive and informative with great knowledge and a brilliant way of explaining things, his passion for the horses was so evident. Issac, now what a remarkable young man, he was supportive to the ride and a joy to chat to. The tutition overall that we got was amazing, I have had years of schooling lessons with instructors telling me things that I never really understood at times but the riding techniques that I was shown by Andy 'really' did feel that I had acheived and understood so much!! I have to say though what the guys did with Pete, a never riden before and nervous about being up on a huge horse kind of guy was remarkable. Down to them (and Ben!) he was trotting on open farmland and they have provded him with some solid basic riding skills. As we got into the car he said he wanted a Clydesdale!!
I have ridden many riding school horses and for my job have been in the company of many breeds and types of horses from racing thoroughbreds to Friesian Stallions but to my utter astonishment your horses really do have a majestic and gentle presence. Riding Emma, I got that feeling that I get when in the company of my best friend and I can imagine owning a clydesdale to be an amazing experience.
I have always wanted to own a horse, not taking horse ownership lightly it is something that I have considered and dreamed about for years but wanted to get it right. I am going to do my BHS stage 1 soon to give me the knowledge and skills to equip me for having a horsey family member, It is something that both Pete and I have discussed and considered as it's a big responsisblity but one that we are both happy to take, as when I get my horse it will be a part of our family for the rest of our lives. The point is I always wanted a Friesian horse, since I was a young teenager but now I am thinking that I would love to have a clydesdale so I can ride with my best mate every day!
Thank you all so much, we will be back..................soon!
Debbie and Pete
Hi Annie & Tim,
This is just a short note to say a massive thank you for a fabulous day out. Although I have ridden with you before this was my first trip to the beach although it will not be my last! There was something truly magical about going full throttle across the massive expanse of the beach on such a powerful and impressive animal.
Ecco was an absolute gent and a perfect example of a Clydesdale for his temperament; bold, sensible and enthusiastic all rolled into one. If only all youngsters were like him they might tempt me away from my usual preference for an older horse.
Can you also pass my gratitude to Andy and Graham? They made the experience such a great affair, very professional and knowledgeable.
They are a credit to the team. Graham had a camera with him and I wondered if he might be able to email me one of the pictures he took, my camera broke a couple of weeks ago so I didn't think to get any shots on my phone until we got back and I'm not sure my parents are convinced just how big your horses are! I always try to get a picture of every horse I ride to add to the album and I put them on my screen saver at work, it's the only thing that keeps me calm when everything gets pressured here!
Once again, a million thank you for a truly magical day trip.
Dear Annie, Tim & the team,
I would like to give you all a Big thank you for the wonderful day that I spent with you all, I had a fantastic time & am totally in love with your beautiful horses! I hope to be able to come and spend some more time with you in the future. You have a fantastic team who you must be very proud of.
Dear Annie and Team,
Thank you for the fabulous ride you organised for us on Sunday. What an experience! Your horses are incredible - so powerful yet so reliable. I am in love with Eddie - he is a true four-legged gentleman. Robin was a great guide, I hope he enjoyed the day as much as we did. From the debrief we had at the pub (we finished the day with Cumbrian stew and dumplings; Brian even had a lengthy discussion about riding boots with a waiter), it looks as if you haven't seen the last of us yet. Hope to see you again very soon indeed.
Nadia and friends
Dear Tim & Annie,
many thanks for the fun we had on our recent trips with your horses.
Meg and I arrived at your stables without any prior knowledge of your set-up other than what we had read on your website. Our first impressions were very positive, - a very tidy, - well organised tack room, where each and every horse had its own saddle, and bridle labelled clearly. The registration process was quick and easy, yet thorough also. There was also a very good selection of boots and helmets to borrow for those who needed it.
Meg's first impressions of the horses (much more technical than mine of course)...
My first look always goes to the horses faces and backs, as it tells me a lot about how people treat them and if the tack fits. All of the horses looked relaxed, some of them a bit bored, but I think that is part of the saving energy :o), and you cannot expect horses, that have to carry different people every day, to be open towards each and every one. They were definetly not stressed! Most of the horses had good backs, Prince the Shire, had a natural curve, Brutus I was a bit concerned about, but I could tell afterwards that you did everything to make the saddle fit and Charlie, well, he had a strange shape anyway. You never know the history of these horses and it has a lot to do with the temperament of the horses, too. Brutus for example is easily excitable and then takes his head up, which results in a hanging back. They all had shiny coats, I was positively suprised that all got fresh numnahs! And you guys made extra sure that all saddles where positioned correctly and were at all very careful with the horses. One could really see the love for them, the responsibility towards the rider regarding safety and concern that everybody was feeling absolutely comfortable with his/her horse.........
My impressions were something like this....
Wow, pretty big eh... Brutus was very well behaved where he stood patiently waiting. He didn't seem overly sociable, in fact he kind of gave me a look as if to say "here comes another punter expecting to be bosom buddies in the course of five minutes, - if I ignore him he might just go away". Tommy, on the other hand seemed much more happy to have some human contact, and soon showed signs of appreciation as I stood and stroked his head and neck. Well we were soon tacked up, and as I listened to the banter between the crew members I felt there was a relaxed working atmosphere where everyone seemed clear and comfortable with "who was doing what". I felt somewhat amused and excited when one of the members asked me "are you riding Brutus today" followed by a half hidden grin, hmm. What do I have in store for me today I thought. Not too concerned I already had faith in Tim & Annie that this would be an enjoyable and safe experience. Still the expectations were growing. Finally it was my turn to climb the steps and mount my steed. There was my first challenge, - "double reins", a new and slightly confusing combination. Well I gathered them together and carefully mounted, so far so good. Brutus doesn't like standing still I was told, and it's true, however I was immediately impressed by his sensitivity and his attentiveness. Even though we were doing something he didn't like, he was listening to signals and responding quickly. I had decided to give him extra slack on the second rein, as the last thing I wanted to do was use unnecessary pressure in my ignorance. In fact during the whole trip, I didn't need the extra purchase once, nor any undue pressure on the bit. We moved out to the lower fields to do our trial runs, again carried out with safety in mind, but without any feel of exaggerated control from our leader Tim. He had it all under control, but didn't need to continually prove it- well done Tim.
Once the tials were over, and all 5 riders had shown their ability to handle the horses it was time for a canter. Tim again thinking safety and comfort asked who was ready for a canter, our 3 riding companions preferred to trot at this stage, so Tim took them off down the field while Meg and I waited behind. Meg (the original "safety girl") decided she wanted to ride in front, the horses were new to us, and she wanted to make sure we didn't end up in some kind of race. Brutus was by now doing his immitation of an indian war dance, and was clearly ready to show what a superb lead horse he was. Can you imagine his disappointment at being told he was to take second place the whole way behind Tommy on our first canter together. He cantered sideways a few paces until he understood that his only option was to follow on, and again I was super impressed at this magnificent horse accepting my lead without having to resort to any kind of excessive use of reigns or anything else. We had a lovely controlled, single file canter to meet the rest of the group. I was impressed how easy it was to sit the horses, their huge size doesn't mean you don't sit comfortably, and even though they are capable of beautiful, sometimes very large movements, I still felt comfortable and at one with my horse the whole time. Brutus was enthusiastic, forward going, and very powerfull, yet - once again, - attentive, sensitive and absolutely controllable. Tim invited me to lead off on the next canter, and with horses behind and at the side of me Brutus was really starting to enjoy this ride, the next canter was excellent, and once at the end Brutus stopped on command (more of a request), I love this horse, - maybe it is possible to be buddies in the course of 15 min?
Two of our 3 companions peeled off before the 3 remaining tourists headed off up white comb together with Tim. Tim had to mount/dismount a number of times to help with gates etc. again carried out with the utmost calm and safety (honest - Meg and I notice these things). The climb up was steep and at times narrow, the horses impressed with their stamina and even more their sure footedness. Prince was probably the one who needed a little more time on the way up, but that was a good opportunity for us to take a few seconds to admire the view as we went. Once on the top we took a few photographs out over the bay, breathtaking surroundings. The way down was quite steep at times, but the horses took it all in their stride, and we were - all too soon - down again and back at the stables. An excellent half day ride, and time for me to dismount, - yep it's a long way down. Back on the ground, I noticed Brutus was a little more communicative than this morning, I for my part know which horse I want to ride next time we come to visit together. Our first impressions had been confirmed, - big, loveable horses, very quiet in the stables, lively and fun on a ride. Safe horses, safe owners, well organised, will definitely be telling others of our experiences. I had the good fortune to return on Monday and managed to agree an afternoon ride together with Alan. Brutus had already been out on a ride that day so I had another horse (most sorry I can't remember his name - was it Sparky maybe?). Alan was riding little prince, an interesting young horse - (spirit of a lion if you ask me). This time it was just the two guys out for a fun ride, and fun it proved to be too. We warmed the horses up together and then let them have a good run on the flats together, they really are impressive animals.
Alan - I thoroughly enjoyed the ride, - thanks for the great experience and words of encouragement, hope you didn't freeze too much.
Looking forward to next time soon.
Rick and Meg
Hi there Annie,
Its Kerry here, I was one of the party of girls that rode last weekend! Suffice to say that we all had the best time ever Everyone was so friendly, kind and considerate. The horses were just the most gentle giants (whilst perfectly forward going and so eager to please), and they are clearly so loved by everyone. Both days were just so different and so perfect, the ride along the beach (especially us all grandly trotting through the waves) and then the walk into the fells (the views were something else). The accommodation was perfect - we were able to sit out together (as the outside bits at the back are joined!). Its much better than staying in a B&B (which is what we did last year) as we had space to chill out! Plus, it was lovely and quiet, clean and not intrusive! Can I just say the biggest 'thank you' to both you, Tim and everyone who worked so hard to make our hard earned weekend away just so fabulous. I attach a couple of pictures that I took during the weekend, I presume you have loads of these kind of pics already but hey ho! Finally, I am certain I will be back again, hopefully sooner rather than later - I need my Clydesdale fix!
Kerry and friends
(“Ladies weekend away”)
Just a line to say thank you for the wonderful experience Ian and I enjoyed with your beautiful horses. Robin was so helpful with his calm manner so that we could overcome our fears. My husband had no previous experience of horses and had in fact been frightened of them as a child. Once we had dismounted we both thought we would never walk normally again! After a few days the stiffness has left us and the memory of a great experience will remain with us. I will be back in the future perhaps with our daughter and once again please pass on our appreciation to Robin.
(from Welcome to Lakeland folders)
Apologies for it taking so long but it has all been a bit hectic since I got back...... I just wanted to drop you a note to thank all of you for a great weekend. I enjoyed the farm, fell and beach rides with you over the weekend of 12th October. The beach one was my favourite, it was a fantastic experience with my speed demon head helped by the fact I was on Eddie. Great fun!! We shall be back in the Summer.
Dear Annie and Tim,
just wanted to say thank you for a fabulous couple of days. We loved it and could not have enjoyed ourselves more. We also learned a lot. All the horses we have seen seem since we came back seem abnormally small! We loved to see the way you keep the horses - they are so obviously very well cared for - even to a couple of novices like us. We would love to come back again maybe in the spring - if you will have us back. We were so encouraged by your and Robin's teaching and it was a real privilege to spend time with you and a team who are so obviously passionate about what you all do. John said to say 'his wounds are healing'.......(sigh!) I suspect the 'galloping experience' is being built into quite a tale in the pub.
Christine and John
(“Hands-on” experience, October 2008)