Without Volunteers we could not function. All of the training and care of the ponies is delivered daily by volunteers, the supervision of clients and other volunteers is done by volunteers, the social media, administration, finances upgrading of facilities everything is facilitated by generous people who give up their time willingly to run this group and hopefully grow it into a valuable resource for the local community.
So this whole thing started when Judith and her friend Cynthia got excited about learning Natural horsemanship and wanted to share, this is what Judith has to say about SPP and her own experience
Hi I’m Judith or sometimes Jude McConnachie. Ponies have been my passion, some would say obsession, since I was 10 years old. I grew up in Glasgow and volunteered at the Riding for the Disabled in Glasgow from the age of 11, until I moved to Ayrshire, there I learnt so much and became an instructor of riding and driving. Since then I’ve always been sure that I wanted to work with Ponies and not in a traditional way. Over the years and various challenges in my life ponies have always brought me comfort and peace and I wanted to share that with others and help other people to understand that there is a way to be with the ponies so that they can enjoy being with you too.
I now live in Irvine with Mirren and Amelia my daughters who have grown up with SPP and ponies, my partner Dan who is a great support and will help out when I need him at the yard even though he’s not so keen on ponies, the dogs Brock, Bobby and Falkor, who you’ll probably meet at the yard and long suffering cat Noah.
I studied at Agricultural college and obtained my HNC in Horse management but I had no interest in following a traditional path, over the years and thanks to my many pony teachers and inspirational humans I found Think Like a Pony which for me brings safety and understanding to teaching children and adults about how to interact with ponies so that everyone enjoys the experience and can stay safe. I am studying to become a Think Like a Pony (TLAP) Instructor alongside Georgia. Over the years I have owned Derry the Clydesdale, now a retired police horse, Brody the cob who went on to become a successful show cob(not with me, too much cleaning involved for me!) Diesel the cob and now Kassidi’s boy, Ruby the Shetland still the best pony in all the world, Sugar the show pony now Margaret’s soul pony, Sapphire the new forest, now Mirren’s mirror and best friend. All of these ponies and all of those that I have worked with and loaned over the years have taught me so much and still do.
Scottish Pony Partners began as an idea along with my friend Cynthia in 2012 and we took on a couple of ponies and set up in a livery yard with 4 clients and my children and our ponies who stayed at Cynthia’s. Over the years SPP has developed and people and ponies have stayed or not and I recognise that we would not be who we are without their influence and input and I am forever grateful for that.
Georgia and I now have a working model that we hope to grow into a Community Interest Company and together with our loyal sharers and volunteers we will become a force of good for our local community and to help educate children and adults and make the world a better place for ponies and people from all backgrounds and walks of life. This is my Dream and without the endless support and assistance from my family and friends it would never have got this far, I cannot thank them enough for it all!
When you come to visit us you will most likely meet Georgia Boyce one of our original clients who is now the Yard Manager (unpaid!) Georgia and Bailey have one of the most magical relationships and are a true testament to what you can acheive if you really listen to your pony and work with them. Here is What Georgia has to say about her journey so far from client to Yard Manager and almost Think Like a Pony Instructor!
Hello, my name is Georgia Boyce, I am Yard Manager and Think Like A Pony Trainee Instructor here at Scottish Pony Partners. I’m not very good at putting things into words so please bear with me, I have been with Scottish Pony Partners since the very beginning way back in May 2012, starting off being a sharer to Bailey to who I now own since 2014. Head over to the horse’s pages and read all about Bailey and what we like to get up to and how he has helped me get to where I am today. I have been working with horses for about 13 years and been training to be A Think Like A Pony Partners Instructor for the last 5 years. I started at Scottish Pony Partners to move forward with a more natural approach to working with horses and to build positive relationships with them. I have always loved working with people and their horses and helping them build healthy and positive relationships even from a young age and have found it to be very rewarding. So, I have always known this was a career I wanted to pursue, and I am very lucky to pursue it through Scottish Pony Partners.
For the horses - For me it’s about making the world a better place for horses , helping people understand that they have feelings and emotions too and just because they can’t speak doesn’t mean that they can’t communicate and aren’t trying to communicate through body language.
For the people - For me it’s about sharing the positive experience that I have received with working with horses such as confidence building, gaining trust and building positive relationships. Also, for me it’s about helping people understand that horses and humans are very alike especially when it comes to our feelings and emotions.