Molly was at Barrow Farm from 2001 until we had to say goodbye to her at the end of 2015. In the time she was here she made her niche as an excellent off-lead horse and a good horse to learn to do rising trot on. For many years she  enjoyed a fairly steady life giving about 12 rides a week up until her retirement in June 2015.

Molly off lead
Molly demonstrating trotting off-lead with Chris

Molly was a 16 hands high (hands are what we measure horses in but that is 163cm or 5’4″ to the top of her wither) skewbald mare and was born in 1994. Molly was large in every way. Whenever there was an open day and Molly enjoyed being paraded for everyone to admire, the song usually played was  “Fat Bottomed Girls” by Queen – get the picture. Because of her size she did command a bit of respect and to those who were not very confident she could be a bit intimidating but for those of us who knew her well she behaved impeccably. Molly was a classic mare you had to ‘ask’ not ‘tell’ and there have been many comedy moments from experienced and inexperienced helpers who tried to stop Molly by leaning on her shoulder – she weighed 3/4 of a tonne, no human was ever going to stop her if she wanted to keep walking.

Molly at show
Molly after finishing her classes at Felsted show in 2011

Before coming to Barrow Farm, Molly spent her time pulling an old fashioned gypsy caravan, her life was busy strolling around the Suffolk lanes, occasionally stopping for her passengers to enjoy a pub lunch. Barrow farm found her when she was advertised for sale, we were looking for a weight carrier for adult riders and Molly made sure that  riders who start at Barrow Farm as little children can continue riding as they grow into adults so she was worth her weight in gold.

Molly doing dressage at Writtle College
Molly and Isobel doing dressage


One of her fortes was helping riders to learn rising trot. She was a really smooth mover and no-one failed to get the rhythm when they learnt on Molly. She especially enjoyed her Saturday afternoons. She worked brilliantly with Catherine, practising off-lead riding especially through bending cones. With Sam, Molly perfected bending cones in trot, again off-lead but she was equally happy working on lead whilst the rider did props, such as bean bag in the bucket or moving rings and cups. She kept her riders on their toes as she was quite happy to walk right past the props and stop when they were just out of reach if the rider was not on the ball.

Molly and Starra in the woods at Berwick Farm
Molly and Starra enjoying a day out together

Molly was a wonderful “mummy” to the smaller ponies and she kept them all in check in the field. Her particular favourite was Starra. Molly really enjoyed going out for hacks. In the early years at Barrow Farm she had a go at cross-country with Isobel and Karen but she was diagnosed with arthritis in 2005 and had to be careful what she did after that.

Molly jumping
Molly doing some cross-country riding with Karen

Molly was a favourite with many riders and helpers with her striking looks and gentle manner. She is sorely missed by yard staff, coaches and riders alike.

Molly in student ride
Taking part in the student musical ride in 2014