If Wishes Were Horses: The Trail

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

This post relates to a chapter of the book If Wishes Were Horses: A Memoir of an Equine Obsession. If you have any questions to ask about the content, please fire away in the comments. The main online index for the book is here.

If Wishes Were Horses: Housework

Cringleford Riding School was opened by Paula Sykes just outside Norwich in 1963, and closed in 1997 after being crippled by a rates rise. It was the first horsey home for generations of Norfolk children, and I was tremendously sad to hear that it had closed. Here’s a brief slideshow of some of the ponies from my family photo album. I’d love to hear from anyone else who remembers them. Orlando was a rescue from the Horse Rescue Fund.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

When I was searching for material to share on Cringleford, I stumbled across this beautiful set of black and white shots taken by Ian Drake in 1976. See if you spot any ponies you recognise!

This post relates to a chapter of the book If Wishes Were Horses: A Memoir of an Equine Obsession. If you have any questions to ask about the content, please fire away in the comments. The main online index for the book is here.

Ponies Past

I just received a proof of the index for my book, If Wishes Were Horses, and thought that if anyone happens to be passing through the interwebs in search of Cringleford Riding School, Willow Cottage Riding School (near Swannington), Top Farm (near Weston Longville), the riding centre at the Red Barn at Stanford  or Costessey Riding School, they’ll find their memory triggered by this little list:

horses, riding-school

Cricket, 10, 145, 222, 266

Derwen, 10, 144–6

Dusky, 7–8, 22, 45–8, 231, 265

Harry, 248–51, 254

Jasper, 10, 22, 143, 215

Kassane, 327–34

Kylie, 10, 222–6, 246

Mikalo, 10, 42, 209, 230, 237

Murphy, 222–6, 246

Noddy, 144, 211

Pegasus, 10, 128, 144, 215, 222, 238

Petita, 10, 42, 69, 215

Red, 10, 22, 145, 158, 209, 215, 266

Socks, 38

Tav (Mactavish), 10–11, 32, 62–4, 70, 182–94, 196, 199, 221, 226–7, 238, 246, 249, 260, 262, 264–6, 299, 323–4

Tango, 47, 145

Tino, 10, 42, 230

Wispa, 222, 225–6

Zoe, 47–8

When Little Girls with Scissors Meet Ponies

Betty bangs


This pony belongs to the Horse Rescue Fund in Norfolk, and the little girl at his loan home had decided to tidy him up before he went back to them.
I hope to write more about the HRF in the future as they’re one of the longer established horse rescues and part of the fabric of the Norfolk horse community. I rode one of their rescues, Orlando, at Cringleford Riding School as a young ‘un, and many of their horses and ponies became well-known show and gymkhana champs in the county.