LAST year marked the end of an era for a popular riding instructor from Colne.
Jean Sturch, a well-known and respected horsewoman across Pendle, has closed her busy riding school at Jerusalem Farm, in Skipton Old Road, Colne, and made the decision to take life easier.
“It was a very hard decision to make,” said Jean, who now lives in Trawden.
“I have enjoyed running the riding school so much. The customers were all like friends to me, and I have met so very many lovely people ... and horses and ponies, too!”
Having run the riding school for many years and taught hundreds of people – of all ages – to ride, Jean says she is managing to take life a little easier, but is managing to keep her links with the equestrian world strong by helping long-time friend Sue Houlker at her new livery yard and riding school, Buckstone, on the moors above Cowling.
“All the horses and ponies from Jerusalem Farm have now moved to Buckstone and have settled in very well,” said Jean.
“I think they’re enjoying life there as there is an indoor school, so they don’t have to brave the wind, rain and snow, and also a full-size dressage arena!”
Jean is helping Sue, who is well-known as a freelance riding instructor across Pendle, by leading several riding lessons at Buckstone. She is also enjoying spending more time with her own, award-winning horse Maisey, who has scooped a plethora of prizes across the region in dressage and showing classes, ridden by Buckstone head girl Lisa Unthank, who worked with Jean at Jeruslame Farm.
“It’s great to still be able to do some teaching,” said Jean, who has 25 years of teaching experience, and has been riding since childhood, achieving honours for dressage and endurance riding skills and judging at many shows.
“I’ve lost count of the many hundreds of people I’ve taught to ride over the years, but my formula has never changed – it’s essential that people are taught to ride correctly – master the basics and you’ll be a safe and competent rider.”
Sue added: “It’s great to have Jean on the team here at Buckstone. She’s got a reputation for helping even the most nervous rider to enjoy being in the saddle and has helped scores of people get back into riding.
“I know it was a wrench for Jean to leave Jerusalem Farm, but we’ve been pleased that many of her customers have made the decision to travel over The Moss to Buckstone and are enjoying the new facilities we’ve got here!”