For 40 years we have been riding high at Barrow Farm enabling people with special needs and disabilities to develop their abilities and enrich their lives through riding.

We have a range of events coming up, including an equestrian quiz, a fun quiz and the ever popular Barrow Farm Barn Dance, so please think about coming along to have some fun and support us. We are just doing the final planning for our annual Open Day, when you have chance to come and see what we do, meet our riders, drivers and of course the fantastic horses and ponies, so watch this space for details. For more information about what is on see our Events page.

Jamie is running the London Marathon for Barrow Farm

Jamie with Boycie and OwlyPlease consider sponsoring Jamie Newstead who is a Physical Development Teacher at Columbus School and College and will be running the London Marathon in aid of Barrow Farm in April. Columbus School and College caters for children and young adults with special educational needs. They have been coming to Barrow Farm since we started offering riding for the disabled 40 years ago (they were then Woodlands School). We are very grateful to Jamie for volunteering to run the London Marathon to raise essential funds that will help support our running costs. Jamie says about herself:

I’ve been a Physical Development teacher at Columbus School and College for 3 years now and have alway been passionate about sport. Football has always been my number one, playing for Colchester United Ladies for many years. As well as football, Ive also played Hockey and Cricket at county level for Essex. Over the past few years I started to struggle with injuries, so decided to take a step back from the the high intensity team sports and take up gentle jogging around the streets of Colchester. Quickly adapting, running seemed to suit my muscles and the injuries became less. 10K has quickly developed into my favourite distance to run, which I do 3 to 4 times a week. Last year I entered a number of 10K races in London, as well as the Colchester Half Marathon, and the Great South Run, in Portsmouth.
Running in the London Marathon has always been an aim for me and now the opportunity has arisen, I’m looking forward to every minute of it and the challenge ahead!

For more information and to sponsor Jamie take a look at her Just Giving page.

Carol Service 2016

Riders and ponies in crib sceneOn Saturday 10th December we held our annual Carol Service. The staff and volunteers did a fantastic job to dress all the riders, and the horses to match, to act out the nativity to carols. The riders all did an amazing job and made the Christmas story come alive. As is traditional Tawny played the donkey. We had two first timers Jaybee, who was one of the three kings with Nicco and Fergus, and Boycie, who was a shepherd. Both behaved impeccably. A big thank you to the Bishop of Chelmsford and Highwood Community Choir for supporting us. But we need to make a special mention of our two wonderful soloists, Saturday riders Charlotte and Rebecca. We also could not perform the Christmas story without the careful narration of William who has been riding with us for nearly 30 years.

£4 to celebrate 40 years

Emma being hoisted onto Lula
Emma uses a hoist to enable her to mount Lula

We are trying to raise £40000 in our 40th year to ensure that we can keep providing the opportunity to take part in equestrian sport to over 100 riders a week, like Emma pictured here. Barrow Farm provides specialist equipment and coaches so that children and adults with specific difficulties have the opportunity to take part in a social and physical activity. Often these riders do not get the same opportunities to participate in sport that others do. Emma loves the independence of riding, she loves discussing her progress with her two fellow riders and friends Sophie and Becks and she also loves competing.

To help us keep providing these great opportunities to riders like Emma text PONY40 £4 to 70070 to donate £4 to Barrow Farm RDA.

Christmas Tree Festival 2016

Christmas tree at Writtle festivalA big thank you to Gill for planning and organising our entry for the Writtle Christmas Tree festival again this year. The tree was inspired by 40 years of riding high at Barrow Farm and was covered in photos from our 40 year history. There were lots of lovely comments from visitors to the festival and the tree can now be seen in the waiting room at Barrow Farm.

Livvy and Taylor become RDA Group Coaches

We are very proud to announce that Livvy (Junior Coach) and Taylor (Apprentice) have both received their RDA Group Coach awards. To complete this they have to undertake an initial assessment, then complete at least 20 hours of coaching, which is followed by a second assessment. Many of you will recognise the RDA Essex County Coach (as she is one of our coaches, Kath Hatwell) who presented Livvy and Taylor with their certificates and badges on Wednesday.

Livvy and Taylor getting certificates

Cheque presented from Blackwater Leisure Charity Triathlon

A big thank you to all who took part in the Blackwater Leisure Charity Triathlon – you helped raise £2502.08 for Barrow Farm. We were nominated by Jack, one of the junior members of Blackwater Triathlon Club, to be one of the beneficiaries of this annual event. Jack and his sister Charlotte are in the same class as Sam one of our Saturday riders and it was this friendship that led Jack to nominate Barrow Farm as one of this year’s charities.

On Saturday Jack and Charlotte came to present the cheque to Barrow Farm and they got the opportunity to see Sam ride and learn more about how Barrow Farm provides the opportunity for disabled children and adults to take part in equestrian sport. We are very grateful for Jack and the Blackwater Triathlon Club’s support. A lot of hard work goes into putting on the charity triathlon and we would like to say a big thank you to all those involved in organising, marshalling and sponsoring the event.

Cheque from Blackwater Triathlon

Saturday’s are now full

If you are interested in riding please do get in touch but we must inform you that we currently have no availability for riding on a Saturday as all the places are now full. Please do contact us if you have any questions and for more details about our Admissions Policy see our Information for Riders page.

Of course as we have so many riders on a Saturday we are always looking for help. We ride from 9-1pm in the morning with each session starting on the hour. In the afternoon we have rides at 2pm, 3pm, 3.45pm and 4.30pm finishing at 5.15pm. Some of our helpers just come for two sessions others stay all day so there are lots of options. For more information about helping with the rides see our Volunteering page.

New pony profile added

The keen eyed amongst you will know that there are a few ponies missing from our Meet the Ponies section. The horses and ponies do not get added to the website until they have been with us a while – so that they have some stories to tell. Well today Tango’s profile has been added to the website.  So if you want to find out more about him why don’t you visit his page. Jaybee and Boycie’s pages will be coming soon.

Tango and Isabelle at Open Day

More fundraising news

Thank you so very much to everyone who came to the successful Fun Day on Sunday 9th October at Park Drive Health Club, Maldon raising £740 for us. There was lots going on including Go Karts, a bouncy castle, face painting, BBQ and a silent auction. Special thanks go to Linda, Natalie, Andrea, Viv and Sue for making it all happen. It looks like everybody had a good time!

Park Drive Fun Day