How is all Began
Some of you may know of Sheelagh Myers, renowned horse women in the industry. She is the person we owe this great venture to.
In the late 80’s Sheelagh set up her own Riding Centre with her husband Mike Myers (a different man of mystery!) this was based at Lakeland Leisure Park starting out as a small Trekking Centre. But with Sheelagh’s aspirations and love for Classical Dressage, it soon expanded into a training, schooling and lesson centre offering high quality lessons and horses.
After 15years expanding the centre and acquiring a large number of horses and clients, Sheelagh and Mike moved to the stunning site at Bigland Hall. They bought a small corner of the estate where there was a previous Riding School. This proved to be the biggest challenge yet for the Myers family….
The Move to Bigland
To all those that have moved house before, you can only start to understand the extent of moving the whole operation to a new site. Everything that was at Lakeland from the horses to the till register were packed up and ready to move. But it wasn’t as easy as that. The site at Bigland Hall had not been used as a riding school for nearly 10 years and in that time had been used to house chickens, sheep and cows (and by the state of the place hadn’t been cleaned in that time either!). So before the move could happen, a mass cleaning operation began, not to mention rewiring electrics, water and heating.
Once the site was cleared and some basic lighting and water in place, the riding centre at Lakeland moved to Bigland.
The Early Years
It was not easy to get the site functioning as a riding school. But most of the clients from Lakeland followed us up to the new site and were not only patient enough to wait until we were back on our feet but helped us in every way possible to get there.
It took a long time before we could get the Indoor School up and running but with a brand new surface and a paint job it was luxury to have lessons in the warm and dry during the cold winter nights.
Where we are now
Sheelagh’s legacy is being carried on in the educational side of the company at Cumbria Rural Academy. This is now being run by Zara her daughter and a business partner Carol Hack. Although Sheelagh is still advising CRA and working with her horses she is now trying to find more time to do the bits she loves (and leaving the business stuff to the young lot!).
Mike has set a wide range of trail rides and routes for the new company Cumbria Trail Riding, which has been taken on by Nick Hays. He has worked with Mike to come up with new rides such as the Coast to Coast. CTR are also running the pony rides at Brockhole Visitors Centre. Mike is still helping Nick develop the company and sharing his expertise of the trade to get CTR up and going.