“We try and cater for everyone” claims Kayte Lloyd Hughes, owner of the Tal y Foel Riding Centre. “We have a cross country course, you can “own” a pony, and be taught all the requirements of horse ownership, or you can experience the ultimate for experienced riders - a beach ride – when the tide is out!”
Tal y Foel, the old ferry point between Anglesey and Caernarfon, is on the south-western tip of Anglesey, close to Newborough Forest. The centre offers its own off road track, in addition to indoor and outdoor training and schooling arenas.
Kayte, who took over the establishment some ten years ago, was born a few miles down the road. After completing her education, a degree in equine management, she returned home, and has no ambition to leave. “I have the ultimate – horses, 57 of them, a centre which is my pride and joy, and it is on Anglesey.”
The centre is BHS, Visit Wales and Wales Trekking and Riding Association accredited, and next door the previous owners offer delightful B&B accommodation.
“We do have tourists turn up on spec” says Kayte, “and we try and cope with that, but booking in advance is obviously recommended since that gives us time to prepare and plan. We are exceptionally busy during the summer months. It is a real alternative to the bucket and spade.”
Anglesey is pretty much horse mad, claiming, alongside Pembrokeshire, to have more horses per head of population than anywhere else in the UK. There are other centres on the island; Porth y Post at Trearddur Bay and Llanddona Riding School, but it is at the small equestrian shows, held throughout the island, when equestrian enthusiasm can best be seen, especially at the annual county show in August.