Estate gets own pony club for its children to enjoy

Annie Blackwell with four-year-old Talulah                          Picture: OX67350 Ed Nix

Annie Blackwell with four-year-old Talulah Picture: OX67350 Ed Nix Buy this photo

First published in News Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter covering Blackbird Leys and Greater Leys. Call me on 01865 425403

OXFORD’S largest estate is set to get a horse and pony centre this summer to encourage children to learn about wildlife.

Blackbird Leys resident Annie Blackwell is opening the centre in a field off Pettiwell Lane, Garsington.

Miss Blackwell, 46, said: “Oxford is not just a concrete jungle. These fields are full of all sorts of things – we have rabbits and kites and insects. It’s like children have never seen any animals, they don’t take any notice.

“I want to get them out and teach them about wildlife a bit more. They need to understand there’s more to life than PlayStations and Xboxes.”

The centre will open on July 5 and has seven ponies and three horses of various breeds – including a Shire horse and Shetland pony – for visitors to groom and ride.

Miss Blackwell said: “The plan is for them to to come and do fun things with the horses, like plait their hair and put glitter on and stuff –it will be like playing My Little Pony.

“A lot of children enjoy just grooming rather than hopping on a horse and saying, ‘Let’s go.’ It’s lovely to go for a ride, but it’s not quite the same as spending time with them.”

She said: “Grooming the horses is very therapeutic and it makes such a difference for children. Horses aren’t scary, they don’t just bite and kick. They are quite happy to stand there and be petted.”

As well as grooming sessions, Miss Blackwell hopes to run other activities at the centre.

She said: “It depends on what age group they are, but we’ll get older kids feeding them and filling hay sacks.

“We’ll have other wildlife activities like bug packs and spotting swallows and other birds.

“I also want to do demonstrations for families called I Want a Pony, for kids who want them but don’t understand what a commitment it is, where they can look at the realities of owning a horse before they buy one.

“I’m hoping to get lots of primary school children, but I want a mix of people. Adults are welcome as well as children.”

The horses are owned by Miss Blackwell’s sister Stephanie.

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Comments (7)

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11:36am Tue 10 Jun 14

museli says...

Well I don't see any mention of a pony club in the article so expect it's just Oxford Mail editorial whimsy. The Pony Club was created by local hunts to suck in youngsters and it's only relationship to wildlife was to encourage the killing of it for pleasure so a bit of unfortunate terminology!
Well I don't see any mention of a pony club in the article so expect it's just Oxford Mail editorial whimsy. The Pony Club was created by local hunts to suck in youngsters and it's only relationship to wildlife was to encourage the killing of it for pleasure so a bit of unfortunate terminology! museli
  • Score: 1

2:47pm Tue 10 Jun 14

King Joke says...

Eh? It clearly says there will be a pony club in a field off Pettiwell Lane.

Good point about The Pony Club. I never knew that. I doubt however that this club will be a gateway to blood sports. I'm not too keen on horses myself, they look alright from a distance but bloody scary up close, but good luck to her for giving kids an opportunity to try it.
Eh? It clearly says there will be a pony club in a field off Pettiwell Lane. Good point about The Pony Club. I never knew that. I doubt however that this club will be a gateway to blood sports. I'm not too keen on horses myself, they look alright from a distance but bloody scary up close, but good luck to her for giving kids an opportunity to try it. King Joke
  • Score: 0

3:18pm Tue 10 Jun 14

museli says...

King Joke wrote:
Eh? It clearly says there will be a pony club in a field off Pettiwell Lane.

Good point about The Pony Club. I never knew that. I doubt however that this club will be a gateway to blood sports. I'm not too keen on horses myself, they look alright from a distance but bloody scary up close, but good luck to her for giving kids an opportunity to try it.
I can't see where it says that and I was only at the opticians the other day!

Agreed though it sounds like a good opportunity for the youngsters and horses can be fun to interact with if you don't mind a bit of slobber.
[quote][p][bold]King Joke[/bold] wrote: Eh? It clearly says there will be a pony club in a field off Pettiwell Lane. Good point about The Pony Club. I never knew that. I doubt however that this club will be a gateway to blood sports. I'm not too keen on horses myself, they look alright from a distance but bloody scary up close, but good luck to her for giving kids an opportunity to try it.[/p][/quote]I can't see where it says that and I was only at the opticians the other day! Agreed though it sounds like a good opportunity for the youngsters and horses can be fun to interact with if you don't mind a bit of slobber. museli
  • Score: 0

3:29pm Tue 10 Jun 14

King Joke says...

I will quote from the very beginning of the article:

'OXFORD’S largest estate is set to get a horse and pony centre this summer to encourage children to learn about wildlife.

Blackbird Leys resident Annie Blackwell is opening the centre in a field off Pettiwell Lane, Garsington.'

A pony club and the Pony Club are two different things.
I will quote from the very beginning of the article: 'OXFORD’S largest estate is set to get a horse and pony centre this summer to encourage children to learn about wildlife. Blackbird Leys resident Annie Blackwell is opening the centre in a field off Pettiwell Lane, Garsington.' A pony club and the Pony Club are two different things. King Joke
  • Score: 1

4:32pm Tue 10 Jun 14

museli says...

King Joke wrote:
I will quote from the very beginning of the article:

'OXFORD’S largest estate is set to get a horse and pony centre this summer to encourage children to learn about wildlife.

Blackbird Leys resident Annie Blackwell is opening the centre in a field off Pettiwell Lane, Garsington.'

A pony club and the Pony Club are two different things.
Yes as are a pony club and a pony centre ;)

King Joke wrote:
'Eh? It clearly says there will be a pony club in a field off Pettiwell Lane.'
[quote][p][bold]King Joke[/bold] wrote: I will quote from the very beginning of the article: 'OXFORD’S largest estate is set to get a horse and pony centre this summer to encourage children to learn about wildlife. Blackbird Leys resident Annie Blackwell is opening the centre in a field off Pettiwell Lane, Garsington.' A pony club and the Pony Club are two different things.[/p][/quote]Yes as are a pony club and a pony centre ;) King Joke wrote: 'Eh? It clearly says there will be a pony club in a field off Pettiwell Lane.' museli
  • Score: 2

9:44pm Tue 10 Jun 14

Dilligaf2010 says...

museli wrote:
King Joke wrote:
I will quote from the very beginning of the article:

'OXFORD’S largest estate is set to get a horse and pony centre this summer to encourage children to learn about wildlife.

Blackbird Leys resident Annie Blackwell is opening the centre in a field off Pettiwell Lane, Garsington.'

A pony club and the Pony Club are two different things.
Yes as are a pony club and a pony centre ;)

King Joke wrote:
'Eh? It clearly says there will be a pony club in a field off Pettiwell Lane.'
LOL :) I agree, except for the heading, there's no mention of a Pony Club.....
[quote][p][bold]museli[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]King Joke[/bold] wrote: I will quote from the very beginning of the article: 'OXFORD’S largest estate is set to get a horse and pony centre this summer to encourage children to learn about wildlife. Blackbird Leys resident Annie Blackwell is opening the centre in a field off Pettiwell Lane, Garsington.' A pony club and the Pony Club are two different things.[/p][/quote]Yes as are a pony club and a pony centre ;) King Joke wrote: 'Eh? It clearly says there will be a pony club in a field off Pettiwell Lane.'[/p][/quote]LOL :) I agree, except for the heading, there's no mention of a Pony Club..... Dilligaf2010
  • Score: 1

6:40am Wed 11 Jun 14

King Joke says...

The article says pony centre, the headline says pony club.

Do I need to explain the difference between a common noun and a proper noun?
The article says pony centre, the headline says pony club. Do I need to explain the difference between a common noun and a proper noun? King Joke
  • Score: 0

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