How We Work
When our Rangers attend at the weekend, each squadron is split in two with half the squadron riding and half staying back to take part in yard duties. They alternate each weekend so that they gain knowledge and insight into every aspect of owning and caring for a horse.
As part of the Rangers’ personal development, as their confidence grows and they become older, they are given the opportunity to gain more responsibility. This involves looking after younger Rangers, supervising and teaching them equestrian skills and responsibilities. By doing this, the older Rangers are like mentors and this can be really beneficial to new Rangers starting out, who may be a little bit nervous or unsure of what to do to begin with. Pony Helpers are specific helpers for the Pony Squadron, Squadron 5 and there is a little bit of information about them below:
Members who have passed the senior Tenderfoot badge and are aged over 12 are able to help the Sunday afternoon session and become “Pony Helpers” which involves leading younger members around the park and teaching them about horses and stable management. An important part of being a Ranger is learning about caring for others and all Rangers are encouraged to take on further responsibilities and support newer members as they progress through the organisation.
How the facilities work
The Horse Rangers Association is currently split across two sites. Our main site, Royal Mews, provides stabling for 20 horses and when our horses are here, they stay for two weeks at a time and they are ‘working’. This means that they are exercised every day by our Stable Staff and some are used during the week for our RDA groups. At the weekends, they will be used for our Mainstream Squadrons and during this time they are looked after by our volunteers and Rangers. The remaining 10 horses are kept at The Stockyard, Bushy Park, where they enjoy a week’s rest before returning to the Royal Mews for a two week stay, swapping with 10 of the horses that are stabled at the Royal Mews. This three-week rotation works well because it enables the horses to have a regular break from work, helping to keep them on top form!
We have a small ménage for lessons at the Royal Mews and a large indoor riding school at the Stockyard, this is where the RDA is held during term times, holiday riding clinics and group lessons at weekends.
As a charity, we rely on subscriptions and Gift Aid for most of our income, supplemented by fund raising and charitable donations. We regularly hold special events to help raise funds for the organisation and our musical ride display team can also be booked to perform in the local area. We receive no grants from central government. For families in receipt of financial assistance, we offer an Assisted Place Scheme, to ensure that nobody is excluded due to financial reasons.
The Horse Rangers Association is registered with both the British Horse Society (BHS) and Richmond council as a Riding School which means quality assurance in our facilities, how we look after the horses and how we deliver horse riding lessons and hacks. We have annual inspections to ensure we comply with their regulations.
Horse Rangers Uniform
Riding Hats and Body Protectors
It is crucial that riding hats are fitted correctly by someone who is trained to do this, as this should not be undertaken by the association. We therefore recommend that you buy riding hats from a retailer where staff have undergone specific training. Rangers must purchase a riding hat that is certified to meet the British Horse Society Standards.
Wearing body protectors whilst riding is optional; as with riding hats we recommend that body protectors are correctly fitted by a trained individual. The British Equestrian Trade Association provides further information for those wishing to purchase body protectors and riding hats.
When our Rangers attend at the weekend, they are divided into groups called Squadrons. Below are the times and contact information for each squadron.
Commandant Amanda Squires Hrasquadron1@horserangers.com
Saturdays 8:30 to 12:45
Commandant Harriet Oakley Hrasquadron2@horserangers.com
Saturdays 12:30 to 17:30
Commandant Abby Burford Hrasquadron3@horserangers.com
Sundays 8:30 to 13:00
Commandant Claire Hoath Hrasquadron4@horserangers.com
Thursdays 18:00 to 21:00
Commandant Jude Watts Hrasquadron5@horserangers.com
ThePonies. Sundays 13:30 to 16:30