Welcome

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.

What’s on

We have a range of events coming up, so please think about coming along to have some fun and support us.  For more information about what is on, see our Events page.

Coming up

Unfortunately due to Covid-19 precautions we are currently not able to run fundraising events. Please consider supporting us by adopting one of our hardworking ponies.

COVID-19 Update

Following advice from RDA National, Barrow Farm RDA is closing from today, 17 March 2020 until further notice. We will endeavour to inform all volunteers and riders but it would be appreciated if you could pass this information on. Please all look after yourselves and your loved ones. We will provide further information as it becomes available.

Christmas Quiz Results

A big thank you to Julie for organising the Christmas Quiz sheet – which raised an amazing £340 for the centre. Congratulations to the winners.

Thanks to everyone who purchased a sheet. We have included the answers below so you can see how you did and if you were like me, find out the ones you couldn’t get – they seemed so simple once I had seen the answers!

These are the quiz answers, please email us if you would like a copy in accessible format.

Christmas Holidays

The last day of riding before Christmas will be Saturday 21 December 2019. The horses and ponies get some much needed down time over the holidays and we will return to riding on Saturday 11 January 2020.

Wishing all our riders, their families and carers, our volunteers and supporters a very merry Christmas and best wishes for the New Year!

Indoor and Outdoor School

Did you know that our indoor and outdoor school are available to hire by riders with their own horses? The cost is £15 an hour for 1 or 2 horses, £20 an hour for 3 or more horses.

Current availability for the indoor riding school is below, there is much more availability if you want to use the outdoor school.

Monday – 8:00-10:00am or 4:00-6:00pm

Wednesday – 5:00 to 7:30pm

Friday – After 6:00pm

Saturday – After 5:30pm

Sunday – Available all day

Christmas Quiz

Have you seen our Christmas Quiz Sheet? They are only a £1 and provide hours of fine trying to solve the clues. You can pick up a sheet at Barrow Farm RDA Riding School, Ingatestone Saddlery in Margaretting, House and Jackson Vets in Blackmore and Blackmore Tea Room.

Christmas Quiz Sheet

Thank you Hannah

Running a marathon is hard. I know as I have run three now, which is why we have to say a big thank you to Hannah Newton from Roxwell. Hannah ran Chelmsford Marathon on Sunday raising funds for us at the same time. It was a lovely day for running as it was cool (maybe a little too chilly at the start), dry and with very little wind. The marathon starts with a little loop in the city before coming out through Central and Admiral Parks to Writtle, Roxwell and Willingale. Although it is Essex it is quite an undulating course – definitely not flat. Hannah ran a fantastic time of 3:49:33 and has raised over £1500 to support riding for children and adults with disabilities at Barrow Farm. If you know Hannah and would still like to sponsor her amazing achievement take a look at her JustGiving page.

Many thanks Hannah and well done!

Vella – Pony of the Month

Many of you will know Vella as she has been at Barrow Farm RDA for over two years now but did you know her full name is Vella-Tor and that her dad was a sports horse? To find out more about Vella why don’t you visit her page and don’t forget you can also adopt Vella or one of her friends. You can find more details on the Adopt-A-Pony page.

Vella, who is one of our four mares, is a very sweet and quiet pony. She likes her riders to be gentle too and responds to very light instructions from her riders to stop, go and turn. She is quite happy with side walkers and is equally happy doing props, such as post boxes and putting the ball in the bucket or doing dressage. She is quite fast and bouncy in trot, so better for the more experienced riders than those just starting trotting.

We think Vella’s great and so do her riders. She is currently undergoing additional training in the hope that she will be a future RDA competition horse, so watch this space to see how she gets on!

Charlotte holding Vella at the end of her lesson

Coaches attend National Conference

Four of Barrow Farm’s coaches were invited to attend the RDA National Coaching Conference in Warwickshire on 13-14 October. Sally, Anne, Clare and Isobel attended a theory day covering topics including coaching the coach, when to call the vet as well as normal and abnormal development in children and how riding can help.

Sally, Clare and Anne sitting watching
Sally, Clare and Anne sitting watching the practical sessions at the RDA National Centre.

The second day was held at the new RDA National Centre and included sessions on keeping RDA horses and ponies sound through use of dynamic mobility exercises and polework. Followed by a session on biomechanics focusing on the effect of horse and rider on saddle straightness.

Demonstration of using of raised poles to help keep RDA ponies fit and well.

All the coaches at Barrow Farm RDA have undertaken comprehensive training to become RDA coaches but attending training events and conferences are important parts of their continuing development. This ensures that they are able to support our diverse range of riders, whatever their abilities, to maximise their potential and get as much as possible from riding.