Knights End Equestrian

Knights End Equestrian Knights End Equestrian is a family owned livery and competition yard situated in the heart of the fens.

Knights End Farm Equestrian Centre is a friendly, family run yard set within 20 acres of the Cambridgeshire countryside. Located on the outskirts of March, Knights End Farm is conveniently situated half a mile from the main A141 route, ensuring easy access to several major competition venues and top quality veterinary centres. Boasting excellent facilities we can offer clients true year round riding, no matter what the weather, helping them to gain the most out of horse ownership. Check out the website at Check out our youtube channel for all things dressage


Due to the statement issued by the PM a few minutes ago, and the BEF earlier today, KEF will be cancelling our April 5th clinic with Kim Ratcliffe. We apologise to the lovely combinations who were hoping to attend, and we hope to be back up and running once some semblance of normality is restored.

Please take care in these difficult times xx

Sadly thanks to storm Dennis we have chosen to cancel the Kim Ratcliffe clinic due to be held on Saturday 15th Feb. We c...

Sadly thanks to storm Dennis we have chosen to cancel the Kim Ratcliffe clinic due to be held on Saturday 15th Feb. We could potentially hold it either next Tuesday the 18th, or Thursday the 20th, if those attending can make it. Please let Kim or myself know what you would prefer to do. Thanks everyone 😁.

We wouldn't travel our own horses in the winds forecast and dont expect others to either. Stay safe everyone x

To all those attending the Kim clinic this Saturday, Kim and I will be watching the weather closely as the current forec...

To all those attending the Kim clinic this Saturday, Kim and I will be watching the weather closely as the current forecast looks a bit iffy. We will keep you in the loop.


Future Kim clinics 😁

Thursday 30th January
Saturday 15th February
Tuesday 3rd March
Sunday 15th March
Sunday 5th April
Thursday 16th April
Sunday 17th May
Thursday 28th May

All levels welcome 😁 just ping myself (Evelyn) or Kim to book your slot.

Merry Christmas

We at Knights End Farm would like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and Wonderful New Year 😁.

Thank you to everyone who has attended our clinics during 2019, it's been lovely to meet you and watch you progress. May 2020 be everything you want it to be, and we wish you the best of luck with all your equestrian endeavors.

Another fab clinic with Kim Ratcliffe today at KEF. Some new faces and smart horses, not to mention its always nice to s...

Another fab clinic with Kim Ratcliffe today at KEF. Some new faces and smart horses, not to mention its always nice to see the regular crew to 😁.

The next one is the 12th December, then we have the 12th Jan and the 15th Feb. We are looking at holding one towards the end of Jan too, so perfect chance to get in some pre regionals training.

BD National Convention - PART TWOThe afternoon Sessions got underway with Chris Bartle using the same exercise for both ...

BD National Convention - PART TWO

The afternoon Sessions got underway with Chris Bartle using the same exercise for both of his sessions, the first being Impulsion (Elementary and Medium) and the second Connection (Medium and Advanced Medium). I am going to add notes taken for all combinations here to save space (and my sanity).

Aimee Gasgoine and the lovely MSJ Diva Dannebrog were the first session guinea pigs, with Katrina Hall and King of the Street joining Samantha Turpitt and Bali Dancer in the second demonstration.

The exercise involved a set of raised trot poles placed in a fan on one half of a large circle, and a set of raised canter poles placed on the opposite side of the circle (also a fan). 3 raised poles were also place down the long side for combinations to go over. See my attempt at a pic for an idea!

The main theme was don’t use your eyes to ride the poles, don’t try to see a stride, feel it and ride the rhythm and balance, look ahead not down! With the poles on a fan (something I use a lot) you can ride near the centre of the circle for a shorter more collected stride or at the furthest end of the pole, away from the circles centre, for a longer more extended stride. This also means it’s a great exercise for various types of horse, as you can chose where their stride would fit best, no need to keep changing the distances! This is why I use a fan, because I’m lazy (not why Chris uses it lol)!

Allow the horse to look and stretch and stay positive. Don’t be cautious in your approach. You can count the number of strides when riding the poles on the long side, even more reason you don’t need your eyes!

“Impulsion is momentum compressed”

When riding the poles on the circle carry out transitions at a designated point (E or B etc), think about your connection in the trans….forward to trot 2,3,4 Chris likes to think musically. Stretch after each exercise, forward not round, not deep to the hand. Again, Soft forward hands are continuously mentioned.

Straightness through the exercise – think of coiled springs, impulsion with a crooked horse leads to impulsion going sideways!

Horses need to be forward to the contact, neck out not chin in. Liken it to them sniffing the poles they are going over or think of it as the following…. When you offer a horse a bucket of feed/water the horse puts its neck out, then you gradually lower it with the horse keeping its nose forward to investigate the bucket. You could put the bucket on the floor and the horse would stretch down to it, it does not curl up.

Final Session – Daniel Bachmann Andersen – Collection (Advanced Medium and Beyond)

Daniel was joined by Becky Moody and Odwigs Echo and Dannie Morgan and the rather smart Knoxx’s Figaro (sorry I’m not supposed to fall in love but I’d happily horse nap this one)!

Two very different horses but every exercise enabled both horses to use themselves better. Daniel works a lot with curved lines and asks riders to concentrate on the stiff and hollow sides of the horse. He encourages you to not stick to convention, some of the things we are taught can be switched around.

Ride with your legs off, from your seat. Daniel has three seat positions - forward seat, neutral seat, and driving seat.

The riders started with riding shoulder in, renvers, and travers, all in quick succession. You can do this on the long side, ¾ lines, or on the circle, mix it up and don’t stay in one for too long. This is good for lazy horses and tense horses alike, gets your leg on and rewards them for going forward.

They then worked on transitions within the pace, to help the horses let go over their backs. Do this before working on collection. Again, they were to do this in quick succession, a few strides back, and few strides forward, all from their seat and legs, leave the front end alone.

Legyield in canter (or halfpass) on the diagonal line to counter canter. Back and forward in the counter canter, anticipate the likelihood of a change. Also do lots of changes of pace within lateral work, keep it fresh and fun.

Counter canter on a 20m circle, gradually making it smaller. Keep the jump and then do a large circle in true medium canter before coming and doing the exercise again. Aim for a more renvers bend on the smaller CC circle (not easy), flex towards the circles centre whilst keeping the CC.

Working piris – Go in and out on the circle, so the shoulder is on the inside and use your inside leg to bring the circle in. Change the size and shape of your circle regularly. Always ride forwards after collection work.

Back into the trot – more transitions from trot to ½ steps, think forwards with hands away, encourage the neck out in the trans to trot. If horse is nearer GP, then trot to piaffe (not on the spot think forwards) then back to trot.

Medium trot, back, then medium again, always with the hand offering the nose out. Don’t do the whole diagonal in medium/extended because you know you can, save the legs and do a few strides, then back.

“Respect your corners”!!

That’s it folk 😁

I was very fortunate to be able to attend the BD National Convention on Saturday and I have put together a report below ...

I was very fortunate to be able to attend the BD National Convention on Saturday and I have put together a report below 😁. Apologies for my attempts at demonstrating the exercises via "paint", I'm no artist but hopefully you will get the drift!


First up was Michael Eilberg focusing on Rhythm and Balance (Preliminary). Rider was Chanell Murray and her 14.3hh mare Indian Summer.

Michael first started this session by explaining the fundamentals of the scales of training and how these help us to develop the horse, but also how you need to be flexible in your approach to them when training. Whilst they are often thought of as a pyramid they are interlinked, and when working on one the other scales can be affected positively, or sometimes negatively (but don't panic)! I have added my best attempt at Michael's very clever visual using the poles to explain (see pics).

In the first picture (or step 1) Michael explained that for him there are 4 important steps he looks to work on with a horse when he first starts them, Rhythm (the first scale), Suppleness (the 2nd), Balance and Relaxation. Picture these as the 4 poles in the diagram attached. As you work on these and the horse improves the circle becomes connected, as all 4 work to help the others improve (step 2). Once all 4 feel established you look to include the other aspects of the scales such as Contact, Impulsion, Straightness, and ultimately Collection. These are the stars in the diagram (although I didn't have space for all of them)! As you work on them, they become closer to the circle, with the aim of having your horse established and bringing each and every one into the circle (aim 3 and 4 - more aims than steps)!

However, as often with horses nothing is a simple progression to GP, sometimes when you bring the more difficult aspects of training into your programme (and your circle) one of your already established scales can suddenly become an issue (or fly away from the circle - see diagram). Think of it in terms of when you first start asking for collection. Generally, you are starting with a straight horse who has already achieved the other scales of training, but when you start the collection often straightness is affected (impulsion and contact to) as the horse attempts to figure out what you are asking. In my own experience the early stages of collection see my horses offer lateral work rather than to collect. DONT PANIC, this is fine, and Michael says you simply take away the more difficult scale (collection) re-establish your circle (all the other scales) and then progress to bring the collection back into your circle. You do this for every scale of training and ultimately your hope is to have a horse established in its way of going.

Chanell and her mare - First Michael mentioned about warming up, if your horse does not walk well when first warming up then don't walk (Chanell's mares walk was fab, so didn't apply here). The exercise Michael put together was to encourage a better balance in the mare, and to create a clear 3 beat rhythm in the canter. He suggested lots of work between circles and straight lines for this combination. He set out walk poles followed by trot poles some distance away, so that you can carry out transitions in the "dead space" between the sets of poles. Walk poles are great for establishing rhythm and for encouraging the horse to use its body more. He reiterated that riders need to organise their horses before and between the poles, organise not take over! Soft hands were a common thread amongst all the trainers at the convention. Make your transitions progressive if the horse is not thinking forward. Remember to carry out your transitions at a certain point, not just when the horse feels ready, you don't get this time in a test!

The canter - Poles were placed at an angle in each corner, and the combination were asked to ride a small (10m) circle over the pole to encourage jump. The mare lacks balance thanks to the slight issue with the 3 beat rhythm and so the pole helped her correct her balance and rhythm. Once over the pole and circling 10m they then avoided the pole and rode a true corner onto the next pole (and circle and so on etc). Use your whip to touch the croup if needing more jump in the corner. Once the mare’s rhythm was better she was able to hold it along the long side.

Michael again with Gill Peckham and Hero (part bred Hackney) - Suppleness (Novice)

This horse had lots of action, as you would expect from his breeding, but he was less supple as a result as he lost the swing. Michael also mentioned with horses built uphill you need to focus on them truly being uphill and not climbing (this hit home for me)! Michael did comment that the horse was straight but questioned whether the straightness was through control of the bend or through stiffness?

He started with a walk serpentine through poles, which really highlighted the horse’s weaker side, they had to remember to still think forwards even in the walk and the rider was reminded not to be too clever. Riding clever and making an exercise easier by avoiding the issue doesn't help the horse (although we've all done it)! Make an improvement with the exercise and then move on to something different, don't drill, and risk losing the good work you have done.

The trot work was done with the same exercise. Michael asked Gill to make the exercise a bit easier by taking a slightly different approach to her line when riding through the serpentine (see pic – green line).The bend really improved for this combination and as a result so did the rhythm and balance, but not if as riders we avoid the “ugly” moments. MISTAKES are allowed as long as they are positive. Chris Bartle chimed in on these exercises and said a fab way for rider to test their training is to ride them with the reins in one hand. This stops the riders’ hands from taking over (and riding the horse neck not the body) and encourages rider to use their seat and leg/forward aids. Once again soft hands!! This way you know the response to the turn aids is genuine.

Canter (blue line) – the poles were staggered to give the combination more space. Michael asked them to canter a 10m circle around each pole and leg yield to the next pole to encourage the horse to be more supple through its body.
Remember to have fun whilst having rules!!!!!

Michael with Amanda Shirtcliffe and New Princess & Louise Robson and Remi – Straightness (Novice and Elementary).

They started with poles along the centre line (red), in a funnel to tunnel set up. This encourages horses with the wider entry and gets the rider to focus on the straightness. They were asked to trot down the tunnel and walk (and later halt) once the tunnel narrowed. The transitions were progressive in order to keep the horses forward thinking. When halting close the halt, 3 steps of walk, and halt again if not closed enough (repeat). “It’s halt, not rest, the horse needs to carry you”!

Canter – blue poles on the same pic. The poles were set up a few metres from the long side. Riders often wrap their horses around the leg when in Counter Canter, which results in a very crooked horse, all in the aim of not getting a change! This exercise is also good flying change prep as you have to control the canter and the body. The riders were asked to pick up counter canter (via 1/2 10m circle) onto the long side, placing the horse’s shoulders along the poles and taking out as much bend as they could. You can use some neck bend if you need it but the body must be straight. If the horse changes don’t pull them up, let go of the front and use your seat to come back to trot and pick up counter canter again. You can use this exercise for walk to canter as well, come in in canter, walk, establish the walk and then canter…..think forward.

“Only do an exercise again if you feel you can improve on the last time, if you can’t call it a day”!

Use your leg in a manner that gets a response, kick him to pat him the next time, don’t kick him to have to kick again.

PART 2 coming up.


Next Kim Ratcliffe clinic dates at KEF are as follows:

Tuesday 29th October
Friday 29th November
Thursday 12th December (last one for 2019)
Sunday 12th January (kick start 2020)!

I see a pattern emerging, only kidding 🤣 it just worked out that way !

An amazing picture of our road yesterday evening (which captured our yard on the left) taken by local March resident Mar...

An amazing picture of our road yesterday evening (which captured our yard on the left) taken by local March resident Martin James Waby. We are always saying we are blessed with the most amazing sunsets and sky here in the Fens 😍😍😍.


Really good Kim Ratcliffe clinic today at KEF 😁, it was lovely to see and catch up with so many cracking combinations.

The next few months are busy for us all so we only have one date for both April and May. We will hopefully be back to two a month shortly.

Dates for future clinics are: 13th April, 16th May, 2nd June, 13th June and 7th July.

Contact Kim or myself if interested 👍.

A friend shared this old photo of our indoor school when we first moved in. Wow, I had forgotten how different it looked...

A friend shared this old photo of our indoor school when we first moved in. Wow, I had forgotten how different it looked back then. Over the years you forget about all the plans, projects, and goals you set and complete. Here's to many more!

The weather was a crazy "all seasons in one day" today for the hard core combinations who turned up for the BD Cambs Int...

The weather was a crazy "all seasons in one day" today for the hard core combinations who turned up for the BD Cambs Inter-County Viewing Day. The morning sessions were outside but the lucky afternoon folk retreated to the indoor! Don't blame them 😂!

I was lucky and spent the morning riding in the indoor and then stayed out of the weather equissaging ponies and taking random pictures of the fur babies of KEF 😂. Productive day lol!!

Our next event is our Kim Ratcliffe clinic next Sunday (17th March). Anyone interested just drop me a line.

Olivia Towers Dressage

Olivia's Vlog from Day 1 of her Cambs BD clinic. You all look great 😍

I headed off to Cambridge for a 2 day British Dressage Clinic and I thought I would bring you along for the first day.

I am so passionate about coaching as I am sure you'll get from this vlog! Everyone combination did so well and put 110% into their lessons. So blessed to do this as a job.

Massive thank you to Sarah Wicks for organising and giving me a bed and yummy food and the two venues we were based at.

Enjoy and to see any future clinics and book on please follow the link below.


Knights End Road


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