International Centre of Excellence for Rider Biomechanics



  • Height: 12hh
  • Sex: Mare
  • Colour: Bay
  • Breed: Welsh Mountain
  • Age: 27
  • Owner: The Epona Trust, Southampton
  • Joined Overdale: 2000
Cherry came from the Abergavenny sales where her story was similar to that of Merv. She then went to the Epona Trust when her rescuers family split up due to a divorce.

Historically, the Welsh Mountain pony was the beast of all work for the hill farmer; tough enough to winter on the mountain where they could range over a large area (and the legend is that their prized ‘teacup’ noses are an adaptation for grazing the mountain grasses between the rocks and scree), and strong enough to carry a light adult.

Enthusiasts will tell you that the Mountain ponies are the descendants of the best Welsh stock which were hidden in the mountains when Henry VIII made a law that all small ponies under 14 hands were to be killed (in order to ensure enough large animals were bred for war!). Though the size decreased, the ponies sense of its own importance did not and this is what makes them so good in the right hands, but lethal in the wrong hands. They were never meant to be childrens’ ponies !!!

Cherry is very sweet to handle. She is in semi-retirement. She is very safe for young riders to take their first steps on the lead rein. Although Cherry’s vision is deteriorating, she loves to walk around the villages. She is medicated for Equine Metabolic Syndrome (similar to diabetes in humans) and her turnout has to be carefully restricted.
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“Karin, thank you so much for teaching me how to ride. Having spent 30 years and thousands of pounds on lessons, being confused and never feeling in control, i.e. always anxious and not really enjoying riding.

I found you and after only a handful of lessons, where you’ve explained everything so clearly and identified several reasons why I haven’t been in control.

Today’s lesson was great and I feel for the first time in my life that I’m riding, more in control and loving it… if only I’d found you all those years ago.

Now back to my breathing and my riding hat!”Louise