01242 680888


Lou Swambo BHSAI

Lou started Playmates in 1973 and has enjoyed teaching children ever since. As a qualified BHSAI instructor and first aider, Lou takes charge of all lessons.

Lou has experience teaching all ages but now focuses on teaching children  from age 2 to 12.

She has built up a large collection of much-loved and well-behaved small ponies, most of which have been here for many years.

Jessie Snell

Jessie is Lou’s youngest daughter and an accomplished rider, who has developed her skills as a children’s riding instructor.

Jessie organises the Pony Club activities as well as running daily Pony Academies for the regular members. You’ll also find Jessie instructing in lessons and helping out around the yard.

Emma Travis

Emma is Lou’s eldest daughter and is mum to her own three pony-mad children.

A practising equine vet, Emma’s primary role is to ensure the Playmate ponies are all fit and healthy.

When she’s not working at Cheltenham Equine Vets, Emma can usually be found helping out either in the office or on the yard.


Margaret Ashforth

Margaret is our longest-serving member of staff. Her own children learnt to ride with us from a young age, and she has worked with us for over 25 years now.

Margaret also helps the Cotswold RDA and has 25 years of experience working with disabled children.

Yard Assistants

Our stable team is made up of Kate, Izzy and Mandy, and others who help out on a casual basis. You’ll see them around the yard, helping out with tacking up, organising riders and ponies, and leading out on our lessons.