Fergus off lead

Well the top of the mornin’ to you all! I’m Fergus, all the way from the rollin’ green hills of Ireland.

I love it at Barrow Farm. The craigh is great – I have a grand time with me friends and I just love a bit of rough and tumble in the field. I’ve wrecked a few rugs on the way, but all work and no play would make Fergus a dull boy, now wouldn’t it! The staff are entertaining too – often hear them screeching with laughter – bit like a bunch of banshees, but don’t tell them I said that.

All of riders love me and I’m a very gentle lad to do. I’m the only dun horse at the yard and a firm favourite with everyone. I was a hunter galloping over the fields of the Green Isle from when I was born in 1993 up until 2004 and I was brought over to England as I was ready for a quieter life. Barrow Farm bought me in December 2004 and although I must say it was a quite a learning curve for me, I fit in just fine. As I’m a 15hh, Irish cob crossed with Connemara, I’m strong and fit. I still love to have a gallop across the fields with the Barrow Farm staff whenever I can and that keeps me tickin’ just right for my very important job with the Barrow Farm riders. I’ve a lovely balanced and rhythmical canter and anyone who’s up to it can learn to sit quietly and softly on me while I canter gently round.

Fergus doing props in riding school

I am considered a reliable but cheeky off-lead horse. I cannot see why I shouldn’t take the quickest route from one end of the school to the other so that is what I will do unless my rider steers me properly. I am super laid back though and I will patiently deal with a huge range of abilities of both riders and helpers. I am often the horse given to new volunteers when they are learning to be leaders.

Unfortunately I do suffer from sweet-itch, this is an allergy to midge bites that makes me very itchy. To help stop me from being bitten I wear a special rug. The only trouble is that although it stops the midges biting me, the other horses still do, usually ripping it. The yard staff then moan that they need to sew it up again!

Fergus doing dressage at regional championships

I regularly compete in RDA dressage competitions. I started going to the RDA National Championships in 2011 but this was only to keep Macie company and to get used to the sights and sounds – it is very exciting with lots of big arenas, people and all sorts of other things. I competed in the dressage with Claire and Lucy in 2014 and 2015 and have a collection of rosettes to show how well behaved I was.

Fergus spent the last few years battling with arthritis and in the summer of 2017 the group had to take the sad decision for Fergus to be put down. He provided so many opportunities to disabled riders from going to competitions, to riding off lead, to letting them have a go at canter, to being a hoist trained horse for riders who would not be able to mount otherwise. All we can say is that Fergus was very happy at Barrow Farm and he has left a massive hole to fill in our equine team.