Shirlie can usually be found helping out at Saddle Club and Pony Club most weekends, where her chosen specialist subject is “Patiently adjusting stirrup leathers and tightening girths”.
After growing up alongside the Ormiston family and their horses in nearby Laggan, Shirlie spent several years working in advertising and the newspaper industry in Glasgow and Edinburgh. In 2001, she returned to the area with her family to establish a guesthouse and now runs a restaurant in Newtonmore.
Her younger son, Sorley, was one of our first and youngest members of Saddle Club at five and he continues to ride with us every weekend. Shirlie is more than pleased with his progress, not just as an increasingly confident rider but also in the hours of hard work all the kids put into learning about horse and stable management too. She does admit that she is a little jealous that Sorley gets to spend more time on horseback than she does nowadays.