In the Saddle with Anita Marsh: Family fun together at equestrian school

What a superb time we’ve had recently with our young horse and pony at White House Farm Equestrian going cross country schooling.
Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

If you haven’t heard of the place they are a BHS Approved livery yard and a British Showjumping affiliated venue who offer competitions and training for every level of horse, pony and rider in Lincolnshire.

Usually, weather prevailing, they hold a range of competitions from February through to October in a variety of disciplines such as dressage, show jumping and cross country and all their facilities are available for hire all year round - which is what we went and did.

We hired their cross country course as I’d heard good reviews that they had jumps to suit everyone from the very nervous to the professional. I knew this would be perfect for our young horse and would have a bigger mix of fences for my daughter and her pony who like to jump around 80cm.

Mother and daughter, Anita Marsh and Alyssia riding together to train their young horse.Mother and daughter, Anita Marsh and Alyssia riding together to train their young horse.
Mother and daughter, Anita Marsh and Alyssia riding together to train their young horse.

I was not disappointed when I got there. I met my fabulous trainer, Harriette Rushton, at the venue and took young Sully (age 5) and Mara (age 19) so she could give leads over fences to Sully if needed.

My nerves were awash when I saw the place, but it felt less open than I expected which was perfect for riding Sully. I’ve got a silly fear he will bolt off which is completely unfounded as he behaved beautifully over the course. I didn’t need my daughter to help over fences which meant she could just go and play over some very large fences.

Sully needed encouragement into the water as it had been about six months since he had been water training, but with patience and my daughter leading the way on her experienced pony he did it lovely in the end and I couldn’t have asked for more.

The biggest thing I have to overcome is my own irrational fear with Sully but once I relax so does he. I couldn’t do it without Harriette pushing me though. She reminds me to relax and breathe.

I found out afterwards that most of the fences we jumped were in the 60cm class range with a few being in the 70cm class range so that’s really boosted my confidence. In fact I saved the text and shared it on my Facebook wall - such is the inner geek inside me.

At the moment it’s all about training and getting our young horse out for experience. I’d sooner build up this over the next year and get him going in a variety of disciplines so he really becomes a fantastic all-rounder.

We will definitely be back. They held a cross country competition recently but Sully and I were booked on our first ever dressage clinic so we couldn’t attend. We had planned on riding pairs in the Bagmoor Hunter Trials, but unfortunately our trailer floor felt soft in one corner so we decided not to travel to the event. Good job really as the wooden floor had to be fully replaced (thank you Andrew for sorting that so quickly for us and doing a fab job!).

I’m already looking forward to our summer fun when we hire it again. In the meantime, I hope you all have a great time out competing. I’ll tell you all about our showjumping competition next time with more photos from the lovely Victoria Adams.

Thanks for following our equestrian column. If you’d like more information on White House Farm please go to their website at

Related topics: