Roller coaster


‘Life is one big road with lots of signs. So when you are riding through the ruts, don’t complicate your mind. Flee from hate, mischief and jealousy. Don’t bury your thoughts, put you vision to reality.
 Wake up and live! (Bob Marley).

It feels as though we have blinked and we are in February yet so much has happened; January was a real rollercoaster for me and whilst I am not going to dwell on anything sad or negative I would like to take this opportunity to pay my respects to two very special people who very sadly passed away last month.

Firstly to Mads Southey: Mad’s was not only an owner to me but a special friend who offered such encouragement and support to me and to SMS. I cannot imagine riding and particularly competing without her; she brought high class organisation to competing, along with support and praise and not to mention her beaming smile when things came together (along with her slightly competitive streak!). She has taught me so much in life and I hope I can continue to do her proud with my riding and with the riding club as these were two things that she was so passionate about. During her funeral I became aware of just how inspirational she was to so many people and I feel honoured to have been part of her very busy life. If I could become half of what she was and bring joy to people’s lives in the same way she did would make me so proud.

Secondly, many of you are probably aware that we also lost the gorgeous Mr. C. He had not been at SMS long but taught so many people to ride and every one that new him took an instant like to him, he was a very lovable horse who forgave all his riders for any mistakes, large or small and that to me is what makes such a valuable teaching horse. Aside from his teaching he was so easy to have in the yard, other than making sure we never missed tea time you would hardly know he was there, minding his own business, getting on with everyone. He will be sorely missed but we must celebrate his life and thank him for all that he has done for us x

Onwards and upwards and it’s been all change at SMS; hopefully you have all been following us on Facebook and have seen that we have got some new faces at the yard.

A quick summary of the recent changes below:

Joe – our lovely coloured gelding has gone to a new home where he has settled very well and we have purchased the following:

Finn – 17.2hh ISH Gelding
Twiggy – 15.1HH TB Mare
Sprite – 12HH Welsh Mare

These three have already started their new lives as teaching horses and are proving very popular already, purchasing horses for a riding school is daunting as you never know how they are going to take to it but it is so rewarding when it works out and they all seem very content. There is nothing better than seeing all the horses out being used and sharing the work load, I am so proud of them all.

 With half term quickly approaching we have quite a few activities booked in so I hope you can join us for some of these and with the lighter evenings and some sunshine quickly approaching I look forward to lovely evenings outside teaching you all.

Other future plans at SMS include

  • Easter holiday activities: pony days, hacking and workshops

  • Coffee mornings

  • Mummy and baby sessions for those wanting to get back into riding

  • School groups

  • Special education groups

  • Social events including a trip to Badminton Horse Trials

We are also very excited to introduce our new SMS Passport awards where clients will be able to achieve rosettes for completing assessments in riding, ground schooling, care and stable management…more details to follow very shortly.

Finally I must mention that we are also going to be doing a second clothing order soon – I do hope you have all had a chance to look at the SMS clothing being worn at the moment and we will be putting up a full brochure of what is on offer very soon! Join the gang and purchase yours!

Thank you all for reading!

Sarah x

Welcome to 2015!


Happy New Year to everyone!

  What a great start to the year it has been here at SMS; Christmas is a difficult time for people with horses – you become a little torn between riding and taking part in those festive family activities and making any goals becomes difficult.

Now 2015 has arrived I have had such motivated people looking forward to this years riding and I feel so blessed to help train such kind and dedicated people.

 I hope you all had an enjoyable break over Christmas and well done to those who had to work. We had a really great Christmas holiday here, hosting various pony days and activity afternoons, it was great to have so many children around the yard whilst they were off school.

 Now many children (and adults...) dream to have a horse for Christmas, yet this is unfortunately the least probable present for most, I therefore feel extremely fortunate to tell you all that my Christmas present this year was in fact a HORSE! As many of you know I have ridden Bailey for my mother in law, Tania for some time and have enjoyed various competitions with him, this Christmas I was extremely shocked and overwhelmed to open Bailey’s passport on Christmas day! Despite the excitement over this, it also feels like an end of an era to not ride for Tania and Shepp; going away to competitions with them is so enjoyable and their support throughout everything has been unexplainable and I am eternally grateful for this. I do hope that by having Bailey at mine it will enable me to train harder, eliminating the travelling time and enabling constant access to an arena and I also really hope that Tania and Shepp can continue to enjoy competition outings with us.

As well as Bailey I have also taken on a schooling livery for Mads and Roy Southey; Mediflor arrived at the beginning of December and has just been doing fitness work up to now. He settled in very well and is an absolute pleasure to do. On the 6th Jan we had our first outing together – a combined training competition at West Wilts EC, having never done a dressage test on him or jumped more than 2 fences in a row I was unsure what to expect but he was such a gentleman, completing the dressage with 76% and finishing the SJ with 4 faults we were lucky to win our class.
 Jumping a course was however a shock to the system; having spent the last few months training hard for dressage it was evident some rider training may be required before we do too many more competitions – fortunately the horse was so good!

Upcoming plans – I am sooo excited for this year, I have had some brilliant days teaching already and I cannot wait for the better weather and lighter evenings so that I can fit more into the day! I look forward to competing Bailey, Medi and Lords as well as watching my clients compete and following their progress. Remember – ‘Dream the Impossible, Seek the Unknown, Achieve Greatness’

I am off skiing for a week on Sunday where I will celebrate my birthday with amazing friends and I look forward to updating you all again on my return J

Thank you for reading and supporting xx

The Christmas countdown continues


With Theo, Blueberry and Muffin enjoying their advent calendars the horses are lapping up the fame from our SMS Facebook advent calendar.

 So there is a lot to report on since my last blog…first up was our evening outing to West Wilts EC; Liz, Joel and I braved the cold and headed to West Wilts on the 2nd December and we were rewarded with a successful evening out. First up was Liz and Kings Troop who strutted their stuff into Crickland second round and Trailblazer championship qualification! We were so proud of Troopy who showed the judges what he was capable of and Liz received some very positive and encouraging feedback; showing 5 minutes work of the hours put in to retraining a racehorse is tough so it is so rewarding when they step up to the mark like this. Next to go was Lords who was a delight to ride and gained a 2nd place and qualification in the prelim as well as in his first ever Novice test where he scored 68%. We could not have been more pleased with them and the plan now is to keep them ticking over during the rest of December and beginning of January before the training will commence again ready for Trailblazer second rounds and Crickland championships. Liz and I both enjoy working towards a goal and achieving their qualifications in the first attempt which was such a delight and the boys are happy with this as they now get to enjoy some hacking.



Lords dressage

 Remaining with competition talk, Bailey and I received an exciting email to say that we have qualified for the BD dressage to music regionals!




This will be our first time at a BD regionals so needless to say I am very excited and am looking forward to some more intensive training over the next two months. We have started increasing the schooling work and with his new hair cut he was ready to enjoy this on Tuesday.

Bailey clip

Fortunately it is not just myself that competes, SMS clients also ventured out to enjoy a brilliant show last Saturday. As part of our riding club we organised a festive show in Teffont where we took all 6 SMS horses. The classes varied from clear round jumping to the puissance class, to gymkhana races; there really was something for everyone and the horses were all immaculately behaved and I was so proud of all who rode and helped. Having the chance to compete is such a valuable opportunity that I feel so privileged to be able to offer to so many different people and seeing the smiles on everyone’s faces makes all the hard work completely worth it.

As many of you will have seem, Joel and I went to organise SMS clothing last week and this is now available to order; we are placing our first outing on Saturday which is guaranteed to arrive for Christmas, after this we will try to do a regular order so please let us know what you would like to purchase; we cannot wait for the clothes to arrive!

We continue to work hard from sunrise to sunset.... 

SunriseLiz sun

...whislt looking forward to our trip to Olympia next Friday and the SMS Christmas party on the 21st December – if you haven’t already got your meal choices in please send them on to us – everybody is welcome and we would love for you to join us there.

Finally a huge well done to apprentice/cousin Joel who had his first ride yesterday – after spending weeks having to listen to me teach and help move jumps he finally had the opportunity to ride. After a session in the arena it was clear he was a natural so off we went for a lovely hack – we will post some pictures of his progress and am sure he will be jumping in no time - I have told him that I won’t continue to teach him for too long in case he is better than me J #superproud!


Enjoy your Christmas shopping everyone and don’t forget to check out our Christmas programme!



First day of advent calenders!


Well the countdown to Christmas begins….here at SMS we have purchased our decorations so by next weekend we hope the yard and the horses will be feeling festive.

We have lots to look forward to over the next couple of weeks and there are a few things to update you on since by last blog.

Bailey and I have written off the rest of this year with regards competing so we are in the process of making plans for early 2015. In the mean time I am sticking to a slightly healthier diet and keeping up the fitness through other riding and swimming whilst we together are hacking out and training at home in order to be at our best in the new year.

As well as competing Bailey I am also very lucky to be asked to compete clients horses; on the 19th November Liz and I took her two ex racehorses to West Wilts EC for percentage dressage, this was our first dressage outing with them both since really increasing their training. Unfortunately it wasn’t Liz and Troops day as Troops decided perhaps dressage wasn’t for him, I, as there teacher am still really proud of them for getting through their test. We have spent a very long time working on this horse and it has been a very gradual process but such a rewarding one and seeing this partnership at home is so inspiring and I am confident that soon enough it will all come together for them as they work so hard and they are both a joy to teach. On the upside it was Lords’ day and Lords and I came away with a 1st and a 2nd scoring 69.6% and 70.8%. Again we knew he was working well at home but it is always hard to see where you are in a training plan until you go out to compete so Liz and I were overwhelmed with these scores and the comments he received.

Lords Dressage

With regards teaching at SMS, we have been busy preparing for the South Wilts Riding Club Christmas Show on the 6th December. As a committee member of this club I have a large involvement in the show organisation and this year we are taking 6 horses and approximately 20 very excited clients. Weekend riders have been enjoying jumping and gymkhana practise and each individual will be experiencing something new at the show; whether it’s their first competition, their first time at a bigger height or their first time riding a different horse having opportunities like this in my opinion are invaluable and I feel so fortunate to be able to offer this experience to so many children.

The horses will continue to work over the Christmas holidays and we hope to run some festive pony days so please keep and eye out on the news pages of the website and on Facebook.

I also hope you have all seen details of my Christmas party – I am really looking forward to it and I really hope you can all make it. It will be a great opportunity to hear peoples opinions of SMS and any ideas for 2015 would be so gratefully received. We are also introducing SMS awards at the party so if you’re a current client you may be selected for an awardJ.

Some other exciting news to tell you all about is SMS clothing; Joel and I are heading out to see some samples tomorrow so watch this space for details of this!


Sarah makes it to Horse and Hound!!


Well here we are - the website has been live for over a week now so welcome to my next blog!

 Although I haven't been out competing since my last blog, many of you may have already seen my exciting news (seen below); Our recent victory at West Wilts was published in this weeks Horse and Hound, although this may seem like a small thing to many, this is one of my life long dreams and I was overwhelmed to see this and it made me realise how far Bailey and I have come since we decided to focus on pure dressage earlier this year. Whilst I have no immediate plans for competing him I do hope to get out again in December to do some more Elementary tests.

Alongside this excitement I have been continuing to teach and despite the weather I have welcomed some new clients which is always lovely, especially the tiny tots 'Chicks' that we have had recently - the excitement and smiles on their faces when they have their first sit on a horse is unexplainable and I feel so privaliged to be part of this experience.

All the horses at SMS are well and are enjoying being busy; I have started to do regular introductions on Facebook of all the horses and will eventually put them onto the website for quick reference also.
 Some of you may have also seen that I have taken on Zoe Dunham who has been a god send to me, she works 4 days a week and it takes so much pressure off of me, allowing me to spend the time teaching knowing my horses are being cared for :-) This week I have also taken on an apprentice - Joel - His days and times at the yard are yet to be decided but he has already shown commitment to working with the horses and we are very excited to welcome him to the SMS team!

Our Olympia trip is now sold out and we are all very excited about this outing - with 32 of us going we are sure to have a great time and we will update the site with pictures on our return!

Further upcoming events which will come up on our news page consist of the South Wilts Riding Club Xmas Show which we are taking 6 horses to for regular SMS clients to compete and also the SMS Xmas party at The Penruddocke Arms in Dinton which is on the 21st Decemeber (details will follow on the news page).


Finally, thank you to everybody who is following and supporting our progress!







Welcome to my first blog; I am hoping to do regular updates in order to keep you all informed about what is going on at SMS.

So, since our open day in August we have been busy meeting new clients, purchasing more horses and best of all producing this website for you.

I would like to start by saying a massive thank you to all my existing clients for continuing to support me and for being patient with me whilst I have been busy putting the final parts into place for SMS. Also a thank you to all my new clients who I have thoroughly enjoyed meeting and getting to know - thank you for choosing SMS!

Continued support has been gratefully received from all my family and friends and in particular Marc Lucas and Liz Ampairee for creating this beauiful website for me which I hope you will all enjoy; they have put hours of work into making this so special for me and I am so excited to finally have a website of my own :-)

This last week has been particularly busy for SMS with half term but with the beautiful weather we have had some really glorious lessons in the school as well as getting out for gorgeous hacks on Fovant downs. Below is a picture taken last Friday of three regular clients who we treated to a fun hack after their hard work in the arena recently. 

Despite being busy with half term I managed to get out to do my first Elementary tests at a British Dressage (BD) competition. Having been so tied up with SMS I have not managed to compete for a while so I was delighted to be able to take Tetouan (Bailey) out and he did me so proud winning both of his tests. We received some inspirational comments from the judges about our harmonious partnership together and I could not have been happier. The picture below is Bailey and I about to start our first test.