We are a small, friendly riding school and livery yard set in the beautiful countryside of Northington, near Alresford in Hampshire. Run by Francesca Baring with a great team of grooms, we aim to share our love of horses and skills with those keen to learn how to ride as well as novices, intermediate and advanced riders.
Who are we?
Francesca Baring – BHSAI
When I grew too big for Bomber, he was loaned out to a local family who had him for years until he came back to me as a very elderly gentleman and died aged 35 in 1995.
My first job was with Mary Ravenscroft and she helped me find Smuggler who really got my jumping going. Deciding on a career in horses, I went to Talland School of Equitation as a working pupil under the guidance of the late Molly Sivewright and Barbara Jupp. Boy did they work you hard but I loved it! I got my BHSAI and I wanted to get into Eventing so went off to Waterstock House Training Centre under the guidance of Lars Sederholm and a then young Yogi Briesner. I learned how to jump and go cross country and after 7 years of eventing, I managed to go round Burghley and qualify for Badminton, only to find out that Charlie, my horse at the time, had to be retired through illness.
I turned to Showing after getting married and having my son, Hamish. My horse Picasso was a bigger version of Bomber and had such wonderful manners. Together, we managed to qualify for HOYS in 2004 and came 4th, winning the Best Turned Out award. During this time, I was also teaching on a freelance basis.
This was the start of the riding school as it is now. I wanted to be able to give children the opportunity to ride well-schooled, good mannered ponies (most of the time!) and be able to compete them on a limited budget, having all the fun I had had.
These days I teach and compete my Dressage horses from Novice to Advanced Medium. We’re also embarking on a new adventure with Northington Stud and Stables in the year to come so I am certainly being kept busy!
Raychel has been at Northington Stud and Stables for the past 7 years. As the yard has grown, she has adapted to new challenges and continues to be a real asset. Raychel is brilliant with children and helps Fran with some of the teaching. She has completed her BHS Stage 2 and NVQ level 3 in Horse Management and is working towards taking her Preliminary Teaching Test followed by the BHSAI exam.
Kirstie joined the team in September 2016 and is proving to be a fantastic pair of hands already. She is currently preparing to take her BHS Stage 1 exam.