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I first came to the Yard in February 2018 as a Livery with my young mare. I was first drawn to Water a Farm not just for the fantastic facilities including indoor stabling, and indoor and outdoor arenas but for the way in which the horses welfare and care is of he upmost importance.
I loved the fact that horses were allowed to be horses. If possible they are encouraged to turn out in herds and live out for as much of the year as possible. They have ample grazing and the horses individual needs are catered for.
My mare started off turned out on her own with a friend next door, she was then carefully introduced to the herd over time and went from being a very nervous (unhandled) little soul to a very relaxed and confident girl within no time at all.
It is clear to see how happy and relaxed the horses are and even their 5 year old thoroughbred is like a dog on a lead.
The support and training is second to none, Gerda and Chrysi have a wealth of knowledge and experience and are more than happy to help when ever you need it. Whether it be on the ground or give some coaching tips when on board.
I have been on many yards and as a Dressage rider have struggled to find anywhere that has a decent arena surface as a bad surface can cause many injuries. The surfaces in the indoor and outdoor are amazing and so well cared for, harrowed and watered everyday for the perfect going for your trusted friend.
It is also the friendliest Yard that I have ever been on, there is always time for coffee and cake. Monthly competition and clinics are held at the Yard and the atmosphere remains calm and fun throughout.
I can not give higher praise for this Yard, and even since selling my horse through my ill health I am still finding myself at Water Farm most days.
A truly wonderful yard with wonderful people and only the best care for the happiest of horses.
This is a wonderful venue to both ride and enjoy auditing a clinic. Gerda, Chrysie and all the staff couldn't be more welcoming to visitors which makes for a fun and relaxed atmosphere. The indoor arena is lovely to ride in with excellent mirrors. The club house and garden immediately next to the indoor school provides a great space for relaxed and convivial socialising and adds greatly to a visitor's enjoyment. And,moreover, it's very easy to get to off the A12.
On my arrival I was instantly shown a box for my horse with the bedding I said I used and hay all in. Then we were greeted over coffee which made you feel very relaxed. I found Gerda and daughter really loverly instantly felt like I've been there for weeks . I would recommend anybody to stay in such a wonderful place with the most wonderful people. I cannot praise them enough it deserves to be a very good business as they run it with such care and you are all made to feel very special. My thanks to them both and all the staff who contributed. This is one of the nicest places I could ever think of to have a clinic thank you so much to all of you from Christine and Yvonne
By Claire Castle
I came to water farm in the spring of 2017 to have weekly lessons with Chrysi. Having only ridden in riding schools she took me right back to basics and I enjoyed learning how my posture, balance and entire body effected the horse – a whole new world of riding for me. In January of this year I began a half loan with the wonderful Zero (a water farm horse). My riding has really moved forward due to the help of Chrysi, Gerda and Zero!
It’s not just my riding that they are supporting me with but my general horsemanship too. Both of them always happy to answer my questions and queries, however daft at times! I have been so thrilled to have taken part in my first dressage tests this summer and couldn’t have felt more at ease in doing so – such a relaxed and supportive feel – not scary at all!
I smile as I come down the drive and smile as I leave too….a wonderful and extremely supportive place to spend time. Thank you Chrysi and Gerda.
When I first came for lessons at Water Farm I had been looking for the opportunity to learn Classical riding for years. I was not disappointed, and with the help of wonderful schoolmasters and under the sympathetic and expert eyes of Gerda and Chrysi, I have, (even in my sixties) changed my riding style and begun to understand what riding should be. I love to come here, where everyone is friendly, and can't thank Gerda and Chrysi enough for their help, support and encouragement. I hope to continue improving my riding as long as possible!
I contacted Gerdi when searching to develop my training with my talented, young mare - I was only meant to stay for two weeks, however, 6 months on I haven’t left, and don’t intend to! The combination of the tranquil environment and the incredible knowledge and horsemanship of both Chrysi and Gerdi have helped my horse to mature into a calm and content character, which has enabled us to step up our training. Water farm is a magical place, full of very smiley, happy horses and people! As a partnership, my horse and I have benefited from sympathetic tuition, in house competitions and general advice and support. The level of care and consideration for the welfare of all the horses at Water Farm is of he highest standard even in the most challenging weather conditions. I have all confidence in the way my horse is managed when I am at University.
I had been aware of Water Farm as a leading centre for dressage for several years, booking the occasional lesson or hiring out their indoor menage for schooling practice.
However it was 2 years ago when my boy needed a place to heal, rest and recuperate after surgery, that I called Gerdi and she gave us a home.
For the first 9 months he was simply turned away in Water Farm’s 80 acres of undulating grassland, bonding with his herd.
It was then that Gerdi and Chrysi gave me every help, support and advice in bringing my boy back into work.
With his history of competitive eventing, my boy is now focused on pure dressage and we competed together for the first time last autumn.
It has been a long journey and I can not recommend Water Farm more highly and particularly the care, dedication and expertise that Gerdi and Chrysi provide.
They have created a haven of contentment for the horses at Water Farm and a centre of encouragement and learning for the riders.
They have also helped me nurture the relationship I now have with my boy and for this I am deeply grateful.
I have been at WF for almost 6 months now, and in that short time both Gerdi and Chrysi have worked absolute miracles - with both my horse and me.
We turned up having lost our way as a partnership, with my boy being underweight and frightened of his own shadow. He had lost his appetite and, him being 25, I was wondering if this was the end of the line for him. But WF took him under their wing, persevered with his "testing" attitude and now, he is a completely different animal. He is now even looking a little chubby (which is great!!), his muscle has transformed and grown excellently and he is the most calm I have ever seen him. Even his neuroticism when being left alone seems to have subsided.
To put it in perspective, he has been so terrified of clippers and being clipped his whole life, he has always had to have been sedated by the vet, sometimes twice - as his adrenaline from the fear kept him awake and alert. Chrysi and Gerdi, in 3 days, managed to clip him right up to his ears and his whole body, and then have him calm enough for them to neaten it up!
My boy has had a new lease of life, and we have even had the opportunity to start competing in dressage - a discipline I never thought either of us would be able to try given his age and inflexibility. My riding has improved massively, and our partnership has blossomed further than I ever thought it could.
They truly are the most knowledgable and supportive people I have ever met, and are always there to help and check how you are getting on. There aren't enough positive words to describe this place and these people as they really have changed both of our lives for the better.
I first came to Water Farm almost 4 years ago for two weeks training, having had a couple of lessons with Gerdi. Needless to say, I’m still here. The tranquility here envelops both the rider and the horse - I couldn’t imagine being anywhere else.
I could never have bought the horse I now have were it not for the help and support I receive from both Gerdi and her very talented daughter Chrysi, and each time I drive through those gates and see the horses living in herds and content, how can I not feel the same.
A little piece of heaven.
I first made contact with Gerdi at Water Farm 6 years ago, when I was looking for somewhere to school my two boys. I went up to see her and she kindly agreed I could book and use the school on a regular basis. This I have been doing ever since. Gerdi has been so much help with my boys, both during regular lessons and on an ad hoc basis when she has seen I have been struggling, or not quite getting things right. I have learned to let go, relax and allow the horse to stretch and naturally work in an outline. She is an amazing person, very kind, very empathetic with the horses, and she can sort out problems in a very short time. I have come a long way with my riding since I first turned up at the door. My horses come on holiday to Water Farm at regular intervals, and they absolutely love the relaxed atmosphere. Although it is a very busy yard, there is an air of calm, and the horses thrive on this.
I am always made to feel very welcome, whatever time of day I turn up. There is always a cup of coffee or tea and, a piece of cake and a willing listener, and Gerdi has become a very good friend.