Bonsai Jacks Riding School & Pony Stud

Bonsai Jacks Riding School & Pony Stud


Thank you for another amazing Event at Bonsai Jacks Riding School. Thanks to Eliza Hebiton and Ruth Hebiton to make all this happen, you are true legends.✨ Everyone just loved the matchy match dressage event, so many smiling faces and proud mums, dads and grandparents around. What a beautiful day !!
Thank you for giving Leilani the opportunity to step up on a bigger horse and teaching and supporting her ...we are very grateful.
Facette had her first plaids done ever on Saturday morning, which was the challenge of the day😅
Leilanis and Facettes (Glamourflage) first Dressage event with test results 66.3% in Prep and 65.4% in Prelim. For Matchy Match Leilani has chosen gold/white. Inspired by the golden boots we bought from eliza we customized pad and bridle to match.
Thanks again, and hope for many more events to come at Bonsai Jacks.
Open Event Bonsai Jacks Riding School & Pony Stud
Sweeping the Barn roller style under the guidance of super Coach Eliza Hebiton
The new horse power
Needs some L plates though and I’d get out of the way
Kayla rode Autumn today in a group lesson she did amazing such courage and Kristy Latham thanks for trusting our pony. To Ruth and Eliza this is credit to you both such a amazing little rider and your horsemanship and training creating a safe lovely pony.
Thanks Bonsai Jacks Riding School & Pony Stud for the show today 😀😀😀😀
Thank you Ruth & Eliza for a great show today. Here are some photos I took (I really hope I got at least one of each of the riders).
Bonsai crew arena familiarisation at GCEC. Dressage Championship 2020
Autumn the “wash your hands supervisor “
Lilly trying to steal Olive or closing doors and realising oh there latch🤪😉
Small Bay Pony called “Twelvie” suit medium rider free to good home
Can we have Wednesday please? And sometime on the weekend for Aiden.

Bonsai Jacks provides riding lessons for every age. There are classes available for beginners through to accomplished riders.

Operating as usual

Timeline Photos 23/11/2021


Winner of the Fancy Dress Layla Poptie

Photos from Bonsai Jacks Riding School & Pony Stud's post 21/11/2021



"Stretch your arm out to the side, holding something like a pencil vertically in your hand. Look straight ahead. You won’t see the pencil in this position. You can’t even see your arm. Now move your arm slowly in a wide outstretched semi-circle toward the front, keeping your eyes focused on a distant point in front of you. The pencil remains invisible until it reaches almost a 45-degree angle. Human vision is limited to roughly 45 degrees on either side of our noses, for a total of about 90 degrees. By contrast, if we held a pencil straight out from the side of a horse’s head, it would be almost in the center of his vision. With eyes on the sides of his head, he catches a 340-degree view, almost four times greater than the range we see. Imagine what would happen if we humans had four times more vision to process every second of the day. We’d be edgy, too!" Janet Jones in Horse Brain, Human Brain, published by TSB. ❤️ 🐴 📕

Janet Jones, PhD, will be speaking at @equineaffaire in West Springfield, MA! Don't miss her talks on Saturday and Sunday on the Seminar Stage in the Better Living Center--we promise it will change the way you think about horses and their behavior! See you in West Springfield. 😄 #horsebrainhumanbrain #neuroscience #brainbasedtraining #horsetraining #equineaffaire #horsebehavior #horsemanship #horsebook #horsebooks #horseandriderbooks


Well done to all our students who attended. Ron was very pleased with the standard of your riding.

Thank you to all that attended Ron Paterson's November clinic! It was so great to have Ron back. We will be looking at Feb 2022 dates for 3 day clinic and let you know ASAP. Private and semi private lessons will be available.

[11/06/21]   Proposed date for Annual Show
5th of December


Lest we forget 🌹


Windy day at Bonsai Jacks

Windy day at Bonsai Jacks


🤩Shetland Pony Grand National at Royal Windsor Horse Show 2021

Photos from Bonsai Jacks Riding School & Pony Stud's post 24/10/2021

Tongues out for dental day with Coastal Equine Vet😜. No more sharp teeth for Squizz, Charlie, Ecky and Loki.


What is the longest a horse can safely go without food?

More and more I see horses and ponies stood for long periods of time with no hay or haylage. Usually under the guise of a “weight control diet”. So how long can a horse be without food before damage is done? And what damage is done?

For those with a short attention span, I’ll give you the answer to begin with - 4 hours, maximum.


Horses are grazers. They are designed to eat constantly. They have no way of storing their acids and digestive enzymes, they’ve never needed to. They have no gall bladder to store bile and their stomachs release acid constantly, whether or not there is food in the stomach and intestines.

A horses stomach only holds approximately 8-15 litres. Depending on the substance eaten, it takes on average 4-6 hours for the stomach to completely empty. After this, the acids and enzymes start to digest the inside of the horses stomach and then the intestines. This causes both gastric and intestinal ulceration. It has been estimated that 25-50% of foals and 60-90% of adult horses suffer from ulceration. But I won’t go into detail about this, there is a lot of information around about ulcers.

So is that it? Are ulcers the only concern?

No, having an empty stomach is a stress situation for a horse. The longer they are starved, the more they release stress hormones, cortisol predominantly. Cortisol blocks insulin and causes a constantly high blood glucose level. This stimulates the body to release even more insulin, and in turn this causes fat tissue to be deposited and leptin resistance. Over time this causes insulin resistance (Equine Metabolic Syndrome). All of these mechanisms are well known risk factors for laminitis and are caused by short term starvation (starting roughly 3-4 hours after the stomach empties). Starving a laminitic is literally the worst thing you can do. Over longer periods, this also starts to affect muscle and can cause weakness, and a lack of stamina so performance horses also need a constant supply of hay/haylage to function optimally.

Let’s not forget horses are living, breathing and feeling animals. We talk about this stress reaction like it’s just internal but the horse is well aware of this stress. Door kicking, box walking, barging and many other stable vices and poor behaviour can be explained by a very stressed horse due to food deprivation (we all have that Hangry friend to explain this reaction). Next time you shout or hit a horse that dives for their net, remember their body is genuinely telling them they are going to starve to death. They know no different.

But surely they spend the night asleep so they wouldn’t eat anyway?

Not true. Horses only need 20mins REM sleep every 24 hours (jealous? I am!). They may spend a further hour or so dozing but up to 22-23 hours a day are spent eating. So if you leave your horse a net at 5pm and it’s gone by 8pm, then by 12am their stomach is empty. By 4am they are entering starvation mode. By their next feed at 8am, they are extremely stressed, physically and mentally.

Now I know the cob owners are reading this mortified. I can almost hear you shouting at your screen “if I feed my horse ad lib hay he won’t fit out the stable door in a week!!”

I will say that a horse with a constant supply of hay/haylage will eat far less then the same horse that is intermittently starved. They don’t eat in a frenzy, reducing the chance of colic from both ulcers and over eating. Cobs included.

However I’m not suggesting you sit your cob in front of a bale of haylage and say have at it! There is a difference between ad lib and a constant supply. There is much we can do to reduce calorie intake and control weight whilst feeding a constant supply.

The easiest is small holes nets. There are many. Trickle nets, greedy feeders, nibbleze, trawler nets etc. My personal favourite is the Shires Soft Mesh 1”. They don’t cost the Earth, they are easy to fill and they don’t have knots so are much gentler to the teeth. Now often I suggest these types of nets to owners and the owner tells me “Oh no, *** won’t eat out of those” 🙄 this is nonsense. If he was left it, he would. Remember, you can give a normal net and one of these for them to nibble at after. Better than leaving them with nothing at all.

A few other tricks, hang the net from the ceiling/rafters, it’s harder to eat out of a net that swings. Soak the hay, a minimum of 4 hours to be effective. Mix with straw but be sure to introduce the straw slowly and make sure it’s top quality and a palatable type eg Barley or Oat, otherwise they won’t eat it.

Don’t forget exercise. The best way to get weight off a horse is exercise. Enough exercise and they can eat what they want!

And lay off the bucket feed and treats! Horses on a diet require a vit/min supplement in the form of a balancer but that’s it. The odd slice of carrot or swede won’t do any harm but no licks, treats, treacle, molasses, cereal based rubbish. Even if it says low sugar or the marvellously misleading “No added sugar”! Your horse would rather have a constant supply of hay, I promise.

Written by Vikki Fowler BVetMed BAEDT MRCVS

A few edits for the critics-

Firstly, feeding a constant supply does not mean ad lib feeding. It means use some ingenuity and spread the recommended amount of daily forage so the horse is never stood with out food for more than 4 hours. I am not promoting obesity, quite the opposite, feeding like this reduces obesity and IR. This can be done whilst feeding your horse twice a day as most horse owners do. Just think outside the box for your own situation.

Secondly I am in the UK and this post is UK specific, use some common sense when reading. Yes in warmer climates, soaking hay for 4 hours is dangerous and studies show 1 hour is plenty in hot weather but in the UK’s arctic climate, a minimum of 4 hours is required. Equally the UK feed exclusively grass hay. I can not comment on other types.

Thirdly, yes every horse/pony and situation is different, but this is a law of nature and all horses have this anatomy and metabolism. How you achieve this constant supply is individual, the need for it is not.

Fourthly, the use of hay nets in the UK is very very high. I’d estimate 95% of horses I see are fed this way and very very few have incisor wear or neck/back issues as a result. Yes, feeding from the ground is ideal, but a constant supply, I feel trumps this. Again with ingenuity both can be safely achieved.

Finally, straw can be fed to horses safely, introduced very slowly, with fresh water always available, plus a palatable and digestible type of straw which will depend on your area. Again many horses in the UK are bedded on straw and most of them eat it. This is not a new concept to us.

Final finally 🤦‍♀️ and I feel I must add this due to the sheer number of people contacting me to ask, feed your horses during transport!!! I am astonished this is not normal in other countries! Again in the UK, we give our horses hay nets to transport. We don’t go 10 mins up the road without a haynet and a spare in case they finish! Considering we are a tiny island and we rarely transport even 4 hours, we never transport without hay available. I have never seen an episode of choke due to travelling with hay available. If you are concerned, use a slow feeder net so they can’t take too much in at once.

If you get to the end of this post and your first thought is “I can’t do this with my horse/pony, they’d be morbidly obese”, you haven’t read the advice in this post thoroughly.

[10/21/21]   Who wants one of these?😍

Photos from Bonsai Jacks Riding School & Pony Stud's post 19/10/2021

Thank you to all who attended our Matchy Matchy Dressage Show. Here are a few shots from the day. If we didn't manage to snap a photo of you post a pic in the comments or send in to the page🦄.

💐Overall Awards 💐
Best Matchy Matchy over 14hh - Leilani & Glamourflage
Best Matchy Matchy Under 14hh - Isabelle & Loki
Best Matchy Matchy Junior Student - Hannah & A-Jacks
Best Matchy Matchy Intermediate/Senior student - Olivia & Johara
Best Matchy Matchy Open - Donna & Centauri CN
Best Matchy Matchy Lead line- Esme & Buggy

Highest % Prep test - Lilly & Darius of Kings 68.158%
Highest % Preliminary Test - Leilani & Glamourflage 65.4%
Highest % Novice and above- Carlee & Ruber Virum 66.389%
Encouragement Award sponsored by Heike Witt - Lilly Chant

Overall Highest % of the Show - Lilly & Darius of Kings 68.158%.

Massive thank you to all our helpers and spectators for attending! Thank you again to our wonderful judge Louise and scorer Annica 😊.


Matchy Matchy Dressage Show prizes🤩

Matchy Matchy Dressage Show prizes🤩


A rare black and white photograph of the great stallion Nearco being led out of his specially built underground bomb shelter at the Beech House Stud during the Second World War. Photo was taken by the famous equestrian photographer Anscomb. The image is known as THE ALL CLEAR, 1941.


Regular groups are back. Term 4 lessons start at 4:30pm.

Regular groups are back. Term 4 lessons start at 4:30pm.

Photos from Bonsai Jacks Riding School & Pony Stud's post 06/10/2021

🌟🦄Pony Experience Morning 🦄🌟

Thanks for another great morning everyone! We did plenty of grooming, learning to saddle, leading, lunging, mounted games, washing and so much more! Here are a few pics of the kids in action.


A day in the Life of Breeze Part 2


Group lesson running on Thursday this week and Tuesday next week. 330pm

Group lesson running on Thursday this week and Tuesday next week. 330pm


Recently I shared a post celebrating the ever faithful schoolies who gave us the confidence to go on to bigger and better things ❤

Now I think it's only fair to give some recognition to the often forgotten, first ridden instructors 🐴😊

How often do we hear people giving high praise to their "Show jumping coach " or the "dressage coach " 🤔 but who takes a moment to remember that coach that was there for them in the very beginning ?

Months if not years spent watching our new students bounce and flap about - often with our hearts in our mouth as we can see the poor rider is very close to hitting the dirt - but then many,many lessons(often years) later we watch with pride at how far you have come ❤

Every single experienced rider was once a humble beginner- sometimes I think riders look back at this time with embarrassment, some almost seem resentful of where it all began.

I read an article a while back about a very competitive rider who claimed she only started riding as it was boring watching her sisters lessons. I know she started with us - perfect opportunity to give us a shout out but as always- we are forgotten!

Other times we see riders who have really struggled with balance/confidence etc and we finally get them going well only to see them move on elsewhere and almost immediately another coach posts photos of "their" students riding so well ( where were they when the student was struggling for months!)

So riders please spare a moment to remember the instructor who was there for you at the beginning- we often remember you and smile to know we played an important part in making you the rider you are today !

Even if you had a hard core coach , if you are still riding they must have had some sort of influence on you !

Thankyou to all the grass roots instructors!

Happy riding 🐴🦄❤


Horse Gives No F*cks


Isabell Werth dances to victory in the CDIO5* Freestyle at Aachen 👑🐴


See you all this afternoon for group lesson. Will get back to messages regarding times for weekend lessons tonight!

See you all this afternoon for group lesson. Will get back to messages regarding times for weekend lessons tonight!


The Tale of the Fairy Knots

The knots that appear in a horse's mane are known as Fairy Knots. During the night, it is said that a group of fairies wander out in search of horses. Once their ideal horse is found, they actually twist their manes to form little stirrups and reins on the horse. They then ride the horses all through the night and take them on magical adventures. The horses are always returned by morning, but the knots are left for when the fairies come again.
(Credit Monica Doppel 🙏)


LESSON on 15th is CANCELLED for this week. See you next week or we may be able to fit a few into a semi/small Group on Saturday 9:00am or into Thursday 4pm group

LESSON on 15th is CANCELLED for this week. See you next week or we may be able to fit a few into a semi/small Group on Saturday 9:00am or into Thursday 4pm group

Photos from Bonsai Jacks Riding School & Pony Stud's post 12/09/2021

Bonsai Jacks had two very successful outings at the 2021 Ag Shows. Bringing home several champion and reserve champion placings and 3 highest aggregate point awards of the show.

Chapman Valley
Eliza and Ana Diva
-Champion Senior Rider
- Champion Hack
- Supreme ridden Exhibit
- Champion Senior rider
- Reserve Champion Hack
- Reserve Champon Hunter Hack
- Highest points in Senior ring events

Lily and Darius of Kings
Chapman Valley
- Reserve Champion Hunter Hack
- 3rd place junior rider
- 1st place 10 years and under (9)
- Champion Junior riders 17 years and under

Leilani and Aryline Ferrari
Chapman Valley
- Champion Junior rider
- Champion Pony Hack
- 1st pleasure pony
- Champion Pony hunter hack
- QE II Perpetual for most successful rider in ring events.
- Reserve Champion Junior rider (to Lily)
- Champion Pony Hack
- Champion Pony Hunter Hack
- Most points in junior ring events

Photos from Bonsai Jacks Riding School & Pony Stud's post 12/09/2021

Photos from Bonsai Jacks Riding School & Pony Stud's post


1x lesson available tomorrow at 130pm Sunday 12th. Message to book😊

1x lesson available tomorrow at 130pm Sunday 12th. Message to book😊


For the Mums, you know who you are 😂.

Chapman Valley Show 2021 Part 2 05/09/2021

Congratulations Leilani riding Aryline Ferrari. 2021 recipient of the QE II Perpetual Trophy for most successful rider of the show in ring events!

Photos from Flemington Racecourse and Victoria Racing Club's post 02/09/2021

Photos from Flemington Racecourse and Victoria Racing Club's post


Videos (show all)

Fresh morning feels
Happy birds
Back to group lessons.




207 Hall Road
Geraldton, WA

Opening Hours

Tuesday 9:30am - 6pm
Wednesday 9:30am - 6pm
Thursday 9:30am - 6pm
Friday 9:30am - 6pm
Saturday 7am - 5pm
Sunday 7am - 5pm
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