Updated 2nd November

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Dismounted Training at Ashen E.C. this Autumn/Winter

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Why Ashen E.C. is supporting Russells E.C.-

To Whom It May Concern,

I am a riding instructor with 25 years’ experience and thirteen and a half years ago I opened an equestrian centre on the Essex / Suffolk borders, which may lead you to question why I am writing in support of the planning application made by Ms Carol Boulton and Ms Verity Tidmarsh.

Without the support and encouragement of Mss Boulton and Tidmarsh I would not have had the confidence to open the business which has provided for my family.  They and the equestrian centre that they have run for 44 years are truly inspirational.

No-one enters the horse industry to become wealthy, (or if they do then I believe them to be delusional!) and landowners are increasingly selling and/or developing land for more lucrative purposes, meaning that outdoor pursuits and the physical and psychological benefits that they bring are being diminished to the detriment of local people.

Not only does Russells Equestrian Centre provide employment in the area it provides a unique service to the community.

Lessons delivered by two skilled coaches with 65 years of experience between them.

In times of increasing uncertainty the confidence developed in learners knowing that lessons will be delivered by the same coaches each time cannot be over emphasised.

Classical riding techniques, which can be traced back to 430BC, combined with the most up-to-date thinking in coaching techniques, horse and rider biomechanics and psychology.

Total respect for their horses and ponies, all of whom are treated as individuals, as too are the riders that they coach.

Group riding lessons are strictly restricted in numbers to ensure quality of delivery.

The above also means that riders learning at Russells E.C. develop the skills necessary to really ride a real horse/pony, rather than simply following the tail of the horse/pony in front.  Not only does this make lessons more interesting for the horses/ponies involved it means that riders develop the skills and confidence to work in partnership with another living being, while sharing space and coaches with others.

It allows learners to develop their verbal and non-verbal communication and leadership skills.

This type of lesson fills a huge gap for riders who choose to move into horse loaning/ownership, where following the tail in front is not an option!

Russells E.C. specialise in helping the “riding school rider” grow and develop into responsible horse-ownership by supporting them in finding and keeping their first horse and making what was elitist much more accessible.

Their “Own a pony” days and horse/pony Loan Programme provide the ideal stepping stone into horse-ownership and the perfect alternative for riders whose budget and lifestyle would otherwise make participation in the horse world impossible.

Russells E.C. is the grass-roots gateway into elite riding.

Riding for the Disabled (RDA) lessons and lessons for those with special needs are provided on a one-to-one basis.  This allows time for horse-care and interactions with equines from the ground before riding which is invaluable in building rapport, over-coming fears, developing confidence and feelings of well-being.

Horses are big, have distinct personalities, have evolved to be extremely sensitive to their environment plus react to body language and other nonverbal cues.  Equine Assisted Growth and Learning at Russells E.C. affords people the opportunity to reflect on how they approach relationships, how they might face other big or overwhelming issues in life, helps people overcome bullying at school or in the workplace and develop assertiveness.

Russells E.C’s school horses and ponies are rescues who may have suffered neglect, abuse and malnourishment.  With Carol and Verity’s love, attention and skills they have been rehabilitated, providing their clients (starting from two and a half years of age with no upper age-limit) not only with sound, healthy, happy horses and ponies to ride and interact with but the inspiration that we too can over-come issues in our past and have a more positive future.

Yours faithfully,

Becky Chapman (Mrs)

A.B.R.S.T.C. (Association of British Riding Schools Teaching Certificate),

B.H.S.Int’T (British Horse Society Intermediate Instructor),

N.L.P. Master Prac’ (Master Practitioner of Neuro Linguistic Programming),

Biomechanics Coach,

Foundations Instructor of Functional Patterns.



We are relocating from Ashen Cottage to Ashen Hall in 2020, regular updates will appear here…

Courses etc. will continue at our current location throughout 2019


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