With her iconic hat, boots, beaming smile and her beloved dogs, Blitz, Kenny and new pup Dasher following her every move, Jay Randle is a classic country character. Business-like and obviously at the top of her game, Jay takes the daily, weekly and annual workload in her stride in running the first-class Splendacrest Stables. Only a short 12 minute drive from Toowoomba, south-east along Preston- Boundary Rd and 500 metres past the landmark Preston Peak Winery, this Riding School and Endurance Riding Training grounds at 2 Geitz Rd has seen thousands of people of all ages master the art of riding safely and caring properly for their equine friends.
Set on rolling hills in the grounds of the original Preston homestead, I was introduced to the beautifully natured Arabian, Chevy, who has been holding newbies on his back for 34 years, and is the perfect beginners’ choice. Then it was off to the barn stables with him to learn the basics. It was very much a walk in the footsteps of what a beginner’s lesson from Jay would be. Me definitely being a beginner. Learning the strategies to manoeuvre around the horse, brushing and preparing the gear for the riding lesson was also a chance to see the facilities and the hours of care that go in to the cleanliness and attention to hygiene and COVID requirements to keep such a renowned facility in tiptop condition.
It is no wonder that learners and more seasoned riders who go on to the Endurance Riding teams and competitions love working with Splendacrest Stables. Jay is a dab hand at Beginner lessons, and is patient and not frustrated by repeating instructions many times. How do I hold those reins again?
Disabled riders are well and truly catered for, and I was glad to be able to use the wide mounting platform to hoist my ageing limbs on to Chevy’s back. The joy Jay described of the disabled riders and the freedom of being able to feel four solid legs under them was so genuine! Jay has designed a circular walking track, a bit like a maze, but with soft safety fencing and the capacity for Jay to stand in the centre and ensure things go to plan as the horses are moved under the riders’ tentative commands. Even other horse training schools have taken her designs and adapted them.
Lessons and group afterschool Endurance Team training 2-3 hours 3 times a week is a big commitment from students, but obviously the love of the horses and the treks get in to your blood, because there are a large number of local high school students involved. Endurance Riding of up to 100 kilometres requires stamina, great commitment and plenty of practice and rapport with the horse. Jay brings all that and more to the table.
While I was there, along came Sarah Summers the certified therapist from Sarah’s Equine Massage & Manners who regularly does weekly checks on the condition and wellbeing needs of the horses, as does the Farrier. Jay’s reputation for horse care and safety is widely recognised.
Jay Randle has been an International Speaker in the USA where Endurance Riding is very popular. Her expertise and methods are highly sought after – and I can personally vouch for her patience😃 Her communication is prompt and helpful in reminding students and parents of schedules and special events.
So if you are looking for:
- Horse Riding Lessons
- Endurance Training
- Kids Day Camps (school holidays)
- Arabian Racing
- Trail Rides
- Pony Rides
- Picnic Gardens
- Birthday Parties
Splendacrest Stables is a great choice! Jay is a joy, and I can’t wait for my next lesson.
Blog by Molly B