Started by our first Equitation Officer, Norman Baker, and supported by Cynthia Piper, Squadron 4 was originally formed to reduce the large number of children on the waiting list and was intended to be a temporary stage before moving to the weekend Squadrons. It quickly became clear that members who joined 4 Squadron did not wish to transfer, preferring instead to remain as a Thursday evening Ranger, and benefit from the slightly different format of activities.
During the Winter months, riding activities are confined to the floodlit menage at the Royal Mews, or the Indoor School at the Stockyard. This gives rangers the opportunity to have intensive lessons, tailored to their level of ability, within a controlled area. It is also the ideal introduction for our Trainee Junior Instructors, who take it in turns to assist Instructors in the school, and to ultimately plan and conduct entire lessons (under close supervision) before being put forward for promotion to Junior Instructor.
The highlight of our Winter meetings is the Christmas fun night with mounted games and the 4 Squadron display ride, choreographed and performed by our Trainee JI's and other senior NCO's, for parents, helpers and Rangers.
During the Summer months, riding activities move to Bushey Park, where skills learnt in the school, are put to good use in open country. We aim to provide a balance between teaching riding skills, and time to simply enjoy riding out in this most idyllic setting, so Summer in 4 Squadron is great fun!
When Rangers are not riding, they are busy mucking out, grooming, and learning the subjects for their current proficiency badge. We are fortunate to have a team of experienced officers and instructors, who joined as Rangers themselves, so have first hand experience of being a Ranger. We also have a great team of NCO's (non commisioned officers) who work hard to supervise activities and train the younger Rangers.
As an addition to the regular weekly activities, we usually organise a few external trips during the year, and have been fortunate to visit Speen Farm (where horse ranger horses retire), Liphook Equine Hospital, The Metropolitan Police Mounted Branch Training Centre at Imber Court, and the Mounted Branch operational stables at Great Scotland Yard. Picnics or a visit to the fish & chip shop, usually form part of these educational trips! Suggestions for other trips are always welcome.
Thursdays 18:00 to 21:00
Captain Claire Hoath (I)
Bettina Boxhall-James (I)
Jo O'Sullivan (I)
Camille Catling (JI)
Tiffany Ilbury (I)