*More photos coming soon!*
Most of our horses live at the College of West Anglia where they are also used in lessons for students and other able-bodied riders. This means that they have a very varied workload, ranging from dressage and showjumping to side saddle and vaulting!
Some of our riders own their own horse(s), which they can bring to the weekly sessions.
Read on to meet some of the horses owned by the group...
|Cambs College RDA colonising Hartpury at the National Championships!|
A grumpy chap with an independent streak, Rolo is nevertheless very popular for his willingness and his ability in dressage and jumping. He has won classes at the National Championships in both showjumping and Dressage Anywhere, and recently came second in the inaugural RDA SEIB Search for a Star Showing Championship. Since the horse who placed first is privately owned, this legitimately makes him the best RDA-owned horse in the country!
Rolo loves to be the centre of attention and is not afraid of showing off when he knows he has done well. However, he has a workmanlike attitude when there's a job to be done. He always looks after his rider and, even if it's sometimes hard to get him to stop or slow down, at least he is always enthusiastic! Rolo is happiest when he is jumping or hacking. He hates being held back and always wants to be at the front!
Another firm favourite amongst all the riders, Boysie is a bit like a diluted version of Rolo - also willing and very capable, but not quite as moody! Despite being quite young, Boysie is already experienced competing at national level, having competed successfully in both dressage and showjumping in both of his first two years as an RDA horse. He's also used by the College as a vaulting horse and in 2016 he carried the British Under-9 Walk Champion to victory!
Boysie is a reliable and responsive ride, which makes him perfect for dressage, at which he excels. He likes anything edible and will try to eat rosettes and scoresheets given half a chance. As with Rolo, he proved himself highly impressive in the RDA SEIB Search for a Star showing competition, where he came 6th in an extremely large class at the RDA National Championships. He has an endearing habit of turning round in moments of boredom to lick his rider's boots or stirrups, and a less endearing habit of grabbing them in his mouth. Despite this, he is a gentleman and fabulous for all riders, whether they're beginners or seasoned professionals!
Danny has been with the RDA for a couple of years and after some excitingly energetic incidents early on he has now settled down into a lovely horse to ride for all members of the group (although his obedience to one-handed rein aids needs a little work!).
Like Rolo and Boysie, Danny is a happy, forward-going and responsive horse with a very comfortable canter. He loves to jump but is just as happy doing whatever else may be asked of him in an RDA session. His lovely nature is demonstrated by his ability in the Countryside Challenge, a demanding event which asks for extreme obedience of the horse and skill of the rider. As a general rule, he doesn't seek to dispose of the edible decorations on the course, either!
Similar in appearance to Danny but with rather more luscious locks, Bonnie has been with the group for a short time but is already proving her worth. She is one of the quieter horses who would be happy to do the bare minimum if it weren't for the efforts of her rider! She is perfect for newer or more nervous riders but she also has the ability to be more energetic when the rider feels confident to ask for this.
Bonnie is sweet-natured and can move very nicely when ridden forwards. She was ridden by a rider from Stevenage RDA at the RDA National Championships in 2017, where the pair placed 5th and 3rd in their two dressage tests.
In winter, the space underneath Bonnie's mane is probably the warmest place in Cambridge!
Beethoven was donated to Cambs College RDA in 2016 and settled in immediately. Having previously competed at a high level in dressage, he still has the experience and the fluent canter to perform a good dressage test, whilst his (relatively!) advanced age means he's also calm and sensible enough to cope with all that the Countryside Challenge can throw at him.
Beethoven has also been used for jumping and can pop a very neat and tidy round of fences - very important for RDA showjumping, some of which is judged stylistically. Like Bonnie, he's an excellent choice for new riders - provided they can forgive his penchant for simultaneous coughing and farting!
Others...Some of our other horses who have been part of the group in recent years are: