open day 2013

By Lesley | Published August 18th, 2013

A great day, thanks to all who attended, despite the squally weather: A bumper attendance raising £165 for the SSPCA on entry fees.

The Prize Draw has been done, albeit late Sunday, due to much busyness; all winners are as follows: (those of you who did not leave numbers please collect your prizes from the office, those who left numbers will be contacted this week):

1. Karen’s Mum: royal jelly cosmetics

2. Lillie: hug rug

3. Pink polo shirt: Siobhan

4. wine: Teresa

5. wine: Claire (number left)

6. planet spa: Tara Forbes (number left)

7. art desk: Rod

8. wine: Isobel

9. wine:

10. lush charity pot: Ellie B (MacPherson)

11. bubble time: Ailsa

12. Door stop: Lisa

13. Wine: Leanne

14. wine: Beth’s Granny

15. wine:Forbes ( number left)

16. wine: Eve

17. wine: Elaine ( number left)

18. wine: Dorothy

19. Whisky: Mr Cole ( number left)

20. hug blanket: Nicloa


Congratulations to all winners, but an especial huge thanks to all those who donated the prizes.

The draw for the Best Picture and the Entry draw will take place on Monday 26th August, by independent judges – it is the day of our next dressage league and we will have an independent judge to decide the winners: Prizes include own a pony days, lessons/treks, and pony rides.

Again, a huge thank you to all who helped out and attended, a fantastic day.

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some open day pictures

open day 2013

By Lesley | Published August 17th, 2013

sorry everyone, I have been remiss in updating the website due working on a new website: too much tech!

The open Day is on the 17th, a Saturday for a change, please come and enjoy, weather will be fine, lots of things to do.

Open Day 2012

By Lesley | Published September 20th, 2012

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It was great fun, great weather, great cakes and ‘great’ful thanks to all who attended, the team worked hard to keep all the visitors entertained and many rosettes were won.

The wet sponge was loads of fun, despite the fact not many people were accurate with their throwing! Artwork designed and painted by members of the Cowton Team, following an Olympic theme. Also on display were the paintings inspired by the Jubilee celebrations in June.


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Dressage and jumping finals

By Lesley | Published September 20th, 2012

Our finals for the dressage and jumping leagues are coming up – due to popular demand, (by the judges and competitors alike), the final dressage competition will be  dressage to music, with prelim and novice tests. Scores will be given to the competitors in their usual category, regardless of which test they do.


In the jumping league, the school’s youngest competing horse, Maigold,  (five year old Halflinger), has done very well, and seems to be enjoying the change from flatwork. Our other Halflinger Valentine has been sold to a regular client who loves her to bits, and we look forward to seeing how well they progress together: They will be strong contenders for next season’s leagues.


By Lesley | Published August 12th, 2012

Our annual Open day is fast approaching – Sunday 19th August, from 12pm to 4pm featuring all the usual activities such as clear round jumping, pony rides, photo shoots, cake sales tombola, raffle, quizzes and competitions.


New for this year will be a wet sponge competition, horseback frisbee and a side saddle demonstration by Claire Newlands, who recently won reserve champion at Turriff show.


For more information please get in touch.

summer 2012

By Lesley | Published July 27th, 2012


Things are marching along apace, we are well into the holiday season, with all the activities going on we have been busy!

The annual summer show was a great success, with classes for equitation, jumping and our most popular fancy dress class again producing a huge variety of imaginative costumes and themes.

The summer dressage and jumping leagues have been going well, with scores of over 70% being achieved at elementary and novice level: It is satisfying to have school horses being ridden by clients doing so well.

the improvement in the weather is welcome by all, and having just completed a busy 3 day course, all candidates having passed with flying colours, we are now looking forward to our August activities.

We are glad to have our most geographically distant clients back for the summer – Annabel and Abigail from Singapore – my they have grown, it must be the warm climate!

Coming up in August:

Another 3 day course, beach ride/picnic (date to be confirmed, subject to weather/bookings), and our not to be missed Open Day on Sunday 19th August.

Pictures will be updated very soon, promise.

May/June News

By Lesley | Published June 23rd, 2011

Pippin was safely delivered of her foal on the 25th May: A colt named Cowton Rigel. A riding voucher will be given as a prize to the first person who can identify where his name comes from, including the literary equestrian reference: ie. whose horse is he named after? And from what book? Answers via the website contact only, as most of our customers have already been told.

Both are thriving, despite the typical spring weather,  with looks and temperament much the same as his big brothers, being black all over and a friendly and inquisitive nature.

The Cowton jumping and Dressage leagues are well under way now with several new competitors this year. Instuctor Louise watt has been competing at novice level with Gloria, and is doing very well. she is also doing the jumping with Valentine, who is proving to be a competent all round pony.

Both Maigold and valentine are settling in well and attended the Riding Club Summer show on the 19th June. It proved to be a bit stressful for the younger Maigold, who became somewhat agitated at times, but she still went home with some rosettes. valentine was much calmer and performed well in the ring, also taking home rosettes.

Louise attended with  her own horse Chia and qualified for the Veteran regional championships in Edinburgh in September. Kirsty Ure did well with her recently acquired coloured horse Domino, and so it was a good day all round: Many thanks and congratulations to the committe members, stewards and volunteers for a great show.

Check out the recently added galleries in the photos section for pictures: Lesley T decided not to compete herself and so was able to take pictures!

Next show will be Redwing, all being well Robbie will get a chance to ‘perform’ – or drag his handler around to every patch of edible grass!

The hacking has been good recently, now that lambing is finished, and the ground is firm but good going as they say. The midges are incomparable to those on the West coast, but still irritating at times, but as long as the ride keep moving it is possible to outrun them.

Kirsy attended Area 22 at the beginning of June, as part of team Stonehaven, and they all did well as a team and individually.

Gail attended the jumping at Brechin on 22nd June and got 2nd in the 2’9”, and 2nd in the 2′ classes. Well done to all, it is very rewarding to see our livery clients going out and about with their horses.

Readers please get in touch if you have comments or news to relate, watch this space for future news.

April 2011 news

By Lesley | Published May 13th, 2011

Our two new members to the team of equines arrived recently, Valentine and Maigold, both Halflingers. they are settling in well and already proving popular with all, not surprising as they look stunning with their gorgeous manes: Halflingers are versatile and intelligent horses, with many similar traits to Highlands, and will no doubt give many hours of pleasurable riding.


The final in the Stonehaven Riding Club dressage league was on the 17th: Robbie performed well, taking the first in the intro and winning the league. He is proving to be a well balanced and happy ( if always hungry) Highland pony. Foxy won the novice league and Myrtle won her jumping league.It was a great experience to be able to compete over the winter and many thanks to the committee and team of volunteers who run the club.

Robbie has already embarked on his season of competing at prelim level dressage: He and Argenta attended the recent NESHPES annual performance show: Robbie did the intro and prelim tests, getting fifth in both. Argenta did prelim and novice, getting second in both. Robbie was placed sixth in the in hand class and took third in the ridden and second in the his working hunter class – the first time he has ever jumped a course! Argenta was third in the in hand , first in the ridden class and first in the working hunter, for which she was also awarded a trophy. Unfortunately there are no photographs as Lesley T. did all the riding and showing herself this year.

Foxy and Myrtle also performed well, with Foxy winning the working hunter championship again, this time for her new owner lesley C.

The recent show at Brechin was attended by Louise and Gail with their own horses, and two of our livery horses, all of whom came home with rosettes. Again, Foxy and Myrtle attended and took home their own clutch of ribbons.


The first of the Cowton Summer jumping and dressage League took place last weekend and all went well. Gloria is doing well at novice level and both Robbie and Valentine did a round of jumping. The next league is at the end of May – check the calendar for details. Robbie will be four in May and will probably deserve a carrot cake at the least, let’s hope he continues his riding career with as much success as ha has had over the last six months.



New for 2011

By Lesley | Published March 30th, 2011

At last we are beginning to feel that spring is on the way, with lighter nights and (occasionally!) warmer days, it is time to look forward to the summer activities.


The first on the agenda was our dressage to music competition which took place on Monday 28th March: Pam Millar kindly held a series of music clinics with the various competitors, and put music together to suit the individual horse/rider combination. Consequently, the standard was very high, with perfect timings and transitions.

Judge Liz Rushmer had a hard task and ultimately in the prelim test there was less than 4% between the competitors: Teresa Boag with Guinness took the red ribbon, scoring a creditable 71%, second with 70.5% was Kirsty Ure with her new horse Domino, third was Angie Chrichton with Magnus on 68.1%, and a very close fourth was Sophie Scott with her own pony Kelpie scoring 66.7%.

In the novice test proprietor Lesley was delighted when her young 5yo Friesian Gloria took first place with Louise Watt as rider, scoring a whopping 80.6%. Closely following on her heels was Michaela Watt riding Zeus with 73.3%. Louise took third riding her own horse Chia scoring 71.7% and Lucia Williamson’s first attempt at novice level scored 67.2% riding her own horse Shakira. Louise again performed, this time with Tullah and gained 62.8%.

Christina Sullivan took first in the intro with her horse Fred.

The musical dressage is usually only an annual event but partly due to the fantastic training session with Pam Millar and by popular demand, we are looking at incorporating at least two more music competitions this summer. If any ‘outsiders’ are interested in taking part please get in touch so  that schedules can be planned.

Our monthly leagues for dressage and jumping kick off from April, details to follow.

We have a new set of safety system jumps, poles and a water tray partly paid for by the fundraising activities. Lesley is also in the process of making new fillers including a hanging wall filler – that will be fun! It is hoped to purchase a set of arena board this year for outdoor dressage, but having a large indoor arena, as well as the usually inclement weather, it has never been a priority, other than as a training aid for those who go out to compete. we are also planning a new surface for the outdoor arena.

The treasure hunt is still a strong candidate for an activity this year, further details to follow. We are also considering doing ‘beach’ rides, which will involve taking horses to the beach, doing lots of splashing about and having a picnic. Again, anyone interested let us know so we can plan dates, etc.

Robbie, our young Highland, has settled in well and has been attending the Stonehaven Riding Club league dressage over the winter as part of his training. He has performed well mostly, with a small hiccup midwinter due to an abscess. He behaved and travelled well in the main, his worst fault has been breaking free of his trailer and going in search of the nearest patch of grass – typical Highland, always hungry! Thanks to the stewards for looking after him.

It is hoped Robbie will be in good tune for the NESHPES annual Spring performance show in April. Argenta ( part bred Highland and Foxy’s offspring) will also be attending, and as she has done well in the past two years it is hoped she will behave this year.

Foxy and Myrtle are now ‘retired’ from the riding school and live with Lesley C., but of course they are not really retired and Lesley has been taking them to Riding Club activities and training clinics, where they are both doing very well. We look forward to competing against them at NESHPES and of hearing of their future successes.


Sadly, we lost little Maddy in the winter, she is much missed by all – a tribute page is coming soon – anyone who has pictures please forward and we will include them.

We would like to include a ‘Friends of’ page on the website, so anyone who would like to send info/pics please do so.

If anyone has any suggestions for/comments on future activities we are happy to hear them, please get in touch.

New Arrival

By Lesley | Published September 9th, 2010

The latest addition to the Cowton equine family is Birchcroft Robbie, a registered Highland gelding.

Robbie arrived yesterday and today had his first session in the indoor arena. lesley rode him and says she is very happy with him, a lovely laid back chap who will surely be an asset to the school, as well as offering good prospects for next year’s showing season.

Robbie’s sire is Lancelot of Whitefield, owned by L. Cushnie, and having witnessed  some of their successes in the show ring this year it was an easy decision to buy Robbie: If he turns out half as well as his Dad we will all be very pleased.

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