Finlake Riding Centre
So with all that’s going on in the world at the minute I feel like I need to write something;
I’ve been at Finlake now for nearly 9 years and the opportunities and the experiences they have given me have been life changing; I started having regular lessons with one of the instructors on Maizy which taught me the basics, after this I started to attend the Saturday club for a few years progressing upwards, I then was able to take Maizy to a few local shows and win some rosettes; Then
Jackie and Emily gave me the amazing opportunity to loan my beautiful little meg pictured below; I was 14/15 when I had meg, I had her for about a two years; she got me my first red rosette and I couldn’t of been more proud of her, she’s the horse that makes me the rider I am today, the next year with meg was amazing; more competitions and working as hard as we could with all of our friends supporting us as we went; in may of 2016 I started my dream job working on the yard, i learnt so much from all of the older girls which I appreciated so much as now I can do the same; In June 2016 my life was turned completely upside down when my mum was diagnosed with a rare cancer; I was absolutely distraught, but however in this rough time I had so much support from so many people, with my mum having 2 major operations in the space of 6 weeks, I couldn’t be without my gorgeous Meg and the rest of the people who had been cheering me on at competitions and supporting me the whole way through. Jackie also let me live with her for a few weeks so I could be with meg everyday which I appreciated to the bottom of my heart; One of my closest school friends also worked on the yard I was able to come to work with her but also still having to care for my mum as now she was completely bed ridden due to her operations, I had started to become more Of I rider at this point, and I had the chance to ride Wendy, and oh hell did I fall in love quickly, we also had the chance to ride On the beach!!! with mum on the road to recovery things seemed perfect and they were. Wendy was the horse that I dreamed of, me and Wendy pushed through some hard times, in one showing season she won me 7 red Rosettes, by this time I was 17 I had Wendy for another year and a half, with more smiles, more lessons, we finally went to our first Redpost and came 1st In the 2 foot 3 and 2nd in the 2”6 I was so proud, I had turned winter came around and we worked and worked and worked, summer hit again, I had realised I had put on a fair amount of weight and I made the hearbreaking decision to move off of Wendy and to lose the weight and to have her again, I was around 14 stone, I then made a connection with indie, I still have indie to this day and I couldn’t be happier so from the day I decided to leave Wendy to the time I’m writing ( just under a year) I’ve lost over 2 and a half stone, now weighing in at just a little under 12 stone; I’ve had indie a year and a half and we’ve been places, XC schooling at Pontispool, Halwell lawn, Redpost, and so many other places. So for just over a year now I’ve groomed for Emily, and On the odd time Charlotte C-W, and her beautiful horses. I’ve had some absolutely amazing experiences with Emily and I have the pleasure of working with icon and Her other younger mare Ella; The things you have done for me have been incredible, and for this I consider you my best friend, you’ve pulled me through some of my most awful times and given me memories I will never forget, and thank you for dealing with my tears and tantrums -Love you
And to my fellow yard girls Bliss, Charly, Charlotte, Bibi, Holly, jazz, and Alana, you girls are the friends I’ve made for life, I consider you all as sisters and I love you all endlessly ❤
And for Jackie and her amazing family thank you so much for everything you’ve done for me I cannot thank you enough.
And a massive thank you to my amazing mum who has paid for my horses and for everything else she has done for me who is now as healthy as she can be, and supported me the whole way through my riding, i miss you ❤️
There are so many thank yous I can give out but you know who you all are you and thank you ❤
So now as I write this in tears, I’m back in the Burns Household, as mum is a high risk I’m back living with Jackie for a bit, to help on the yard and to be with my second family.
There’s so many memories but that’s for another post
Here’s to another however many years at Finlake as I refuse to see it close ❤
Here is my story from where I began to where I am now and it’s all because of Finlake Riding Centre.
I first started riding at Finlake when I was just 7 years old (now 23) and have the pleasure of riding Kira (first picture), she was the one pony that taught me how to love how to ride and everything I know now. There isn’t a day that goes by where I do think of her and her cheeky ways.
Throughout the years there have been many amazing opportunities that I am thankful to Finlake for giving me.
I thank Emily Burns and Jackie Burns for giving me this amazing 16 years of riding and the horses I have the pleasure of loaning and riding.
I thank everyone who has supported me and been there through the good and the bad times no matter what it may be, Finlake is now and has always been my second home and it will be forever.
Throughout these 16 years I have had the amazing pleasure of riding the amazing one and only Figaro who will be treasured and remembered by everyone, I remember the days where I was Emily’s little groom and would do anything for her and that horse just for the hope of riding him and then that day came true when I was only 12 (not the pictures), having them pleasure of knowing and riding that horse will forever stay with me (writing this made me cry)
I also have to thank Jackie and Emily for giving me the amazing dream of owning Udo (big coloured) he will also be the one horse who taught me how to sit to anything, the cheekiest, happiest horse I have ever had the pleasure to own and again it beings a tear to my eye having to write about him knowing he is no longer with us RIP
The horses that fill my heart now are Wendy (ginger) and Ola (the Bay) these two are the ones that are keeping me going. Yes they are not currently on the yard but the thought of loosing them breaks me.
I owe Wendy everything, I knew her from the moment she stepped into the yard with her son Lancer, Wendy just a baby herself needed love and attention and I was so glad that she was mine to work with, mine to break in and make her into this adorable loving pony she is today. I will forever have a memory of her on my wrist ♥
I have made amazing friends, which I will stick by no matter what happens and I truly thank them for everything they have done.
I could go on and on but I feel like this is enough for now☺
Please please donate to help save the amazing ponies at Finlake ♥
My riding story...
I began riding at the age of 4 (now 14) at Oakwoods farm around 1-2 years later I moved to Finlake Riding Centre, Chudleigh not knowing this is where my life would really begin.
When I moved to Finlake i went straight into group 2. Sadly I don’t have any photos but Chickory was one horse that really taught me how to ride, she was so cheeky and taught me to have a sticky bum. I remember having such amazing lessons on her it’s a shame I’ve grown so much because she truly is a legend!
once I was in group 3 (cantering) i moved onto Millie ( the little bay) Millie was such a character and I loved her so much! she was so wicked and gave me so many opportunities. I had my first proper jump on Millie and took her to my first cross country and even to competitions. I would never have got a chance to do anything like that at the age (I think I was between 7-9) Between these times Millie was sold and i was riding a variety of horses (one being clover the bigger coloured) these ponies definitely challenged me but I did not stop loving it
from 2016-2017 sadly i stopped riding but by 2018 I was back at Finlake and started riding Billie bobs (the little cob) who definitely got my confidence back and brought my riding skills back.
I then started riding Danny (the chestnut) and he taught me things I would never learn! He was very challenging and took some getting used to but by the end of the summer i was taking him to Redpost and cross-country schooling and home events!! Like I keep saying none of this would’ve happened without Finlake
Sadly Danny got sold and I was riding anyone...then I came across Trixi and she was predominantly Emily Burns horse and I was very, very privileged to have a couple sits on her. To this day i would never of thought i would be the one to own her and to be able to call her mine
i would never of found Trixi or any of these amazing horses in my life♥ As much as I love all the horses though the people and atmosphere up there was what made it so amazing!! We all have so many memories i will never forget!! All the camps out in the field, all of the lorry rides, even all of the times we have had a run around in the back arena jumping as high as we could go and especially all of the pancake days where Jackie Burns cooked millions of pancakes and we have had as many options of toppings!! Many memories like back in the days when it was me, Callum and Tibbs and we used to run around and play in the barn
Finlake has taught me everything i know and I’m so proud and lucky to have them as a family - please go and donate how ever much anything will help♥I'm a paragraph.
When my family and I moved to Devon in 2011, I did no physical exercise and was around 10 1/2 st - and for someone 4ft 10 not ideal. When we settled in Bovey Tracey in 2014 it was time to source something to get me fit as at 42yrs I was not getting any younger. Having being fascinated with horses for as long as I could remember I thought I would take the brave step to try horse-riding. My husband forced me into the office at Finlake Riding Centre and little did we know how this would change my life forever. I wasn’t lacking in enthusiasm but confidence was a struggle. I started my one to one lessons on the lovely Jack. He made me feel at ease as an older rider and the girls on the yard encouraged me on and on. One half hour lesson a week went to two and then three and eventually in 2015 I was offered a loan horse Kira. 6yrs on I have been lucky enough to ride some amazing horses, loaning Daisy after Kira, Gypsy and then Meg for 2yrs who learnt me so much and now the utterly beautiful Fresian Malibu. Having lost over 2stone in weight and my fitness way above what it was I couldn’t feel happier. Its not just the horses, it’s the fantastic family atmosphere at Finlake. It doesn’t matter how old or young, you are accepted and encouraged, both young and old enjoy hacks out to the forest, river, beach rides, movie nights and meals out. Their horses are amazing and so is everyone there. I do suffer with depression and lack of confidence and everyone there makes an effort to build you up when you are down- sometimes just a hug is all it takes. My family has had its ups and downs the past two years, my Mom with hydrocephalus and my boy with his surgeries and they have been there for me in these difficult times. Its hard when you are in your 40’s to imagine a new lease of life when you are stuck at home with the kids and juggling work but Finlake have given me so much and I would go insane without them. In this crazy world we live in I hope and pray that Finlake will remain there for me and all the crazy family involved and we can carry enjoying the horses and cherished friends we have made. Jackie and Emily Burns, you make that place what it is - a very special place. I thank the kids for keeping me young and my hacking buddies for all the ear-ache I have put them through over the years but what fun we have had! Here is hoping some urgently needed funds can be found to keep this place alive for future generations.