Open Day – 5 May 2018

Sophie and Nicco

Well done to all our riders and the horses and ponies who all did an amazing job showing off their skills at our Open Day on Saturday. Our regular Saturday riders demonstrated a wide variety of activities that we undertake at Barrow Farm RDA; including a walk in the wood, musical rides, countryside challenge, steering and a variety of other props. We were also treated to a few surprise displays. We had Emma and Sophie performing their fire themed musical ride (you can see Sophie warming up with Nicco above). Clare and Liv did a Beauty and the Beast themed ride on new horses Dusty and Vella on their Open Day debuts. Both of them behaved brilliantly all day and were not fazed by the audience.

Clare and Liv on Dusty and Vella

A big thank you to everybody who made cakes. It keeps the spectators happy and is a great way of raising funds too. The weather was lovely and lots of people stayed to watch several of the rides and enjoyed a piece of cake with a cup of tea in between. Thanks to everyone who came to visit and we hope to see you all again soon.

Cakes at Open Day

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Going over the O2 arena in a wheelchair

For those scared of heights the thought of walking over the O2 arena may be daunting but it is a different challenge if you are unable to walk unaided. But this is what one of our riders, Emma, will be doing on 15th May to raise funds for Barrow Farm Riding for the Disabled. Emma, who has been riding with us for over 20 years, states that the reason she is raising funds for us is because ‘(Barrow Farm RDA) helped me reach my dream of competing in off-lead dressage’.

Emma and Lula dressage

Emma’s goal is to help other riders with disabilities reach their dreams. To support her please donate via JustGiving by following this link.

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Successful Indian Night

Our recent Indian Night raised a fantastic £1,731 for Barrow Farm RDA.
Thanks go to Eddie, Oliver and Steve, our magicians; Simone and all the staff at @Decathlon at Riverside in Chelmsford; John Peacock, President and Chairman, Essex Shire Horse Association; Tim Turner, Chairman, Countess of Warwick Country Show; Andy Bloomfield of Ernest Doe, Ulting, Maldon; Waitrose of Billericay; Indian Night; Laura Walker, Beauty Therapist; Jo Moss-Rowe, Karen Lehner, Linda Poole and Martin Wood who generously donated raffle prizes; Chelmsford Centre Supporting Voluntary Action for equipment loan; Alice Mc Loughlin for creative design; and finally, Janet Doghan and Ian Mac, for organising and hosting the event. Thank you also to everyone who came and supported us.
Karen, Janet and Simone at the event
 
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Riding starts again on 6th January

Happy New Year to all our riders, volunteers and supporters. Riding starts again on Saturday 6th January 2018. Lets hope it isn’t too cold in the riding school!

Jaybee in the snow

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Writtle Christmas Tree Festival

For the fourth year we have entered a tree in the Christmas Tree Festival at All Saints Church Writtle. This year (as in the last two years) this has been masterminded by Gill Philpott. The tree is made up of green and red jumping horses that have been decorated by riders. Some of the horses and ponies feature too. The Christmas Tree Festival is open 10-5pm on Saturday 9th December and 12-5pm on Sunday 10th December with entry costing £3.

Christmas tree made out of decorated paper horses

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Barrow Farm Show on 9th July

Katie and Starra after low branches
Katie and Starra having been under the low branches

On the 9 July 2017 we held a competition at home for our riders. There were a number of classes that were offered including Introduction to Dressage, Dressage to Music, Pick Your Own Dressage and Countryside Challenge. The great thing about doing this at home was that the horses and ponies did not have to travel so we could offer it to all our riders. It was a great experience for some of our younger horses in preparation for them going out to compete at RDA competitions. It also meant that some of more inexperienced riders got to compete at home, where it was familiar rather than by being overwhelmed by competing in an unfamiliar environment.

Kiara and Nicco in the Introduction to Dressage
Kiara and Nicco in the Introduction to Dressage

The horses and ponies all behaved themselves brilliantly and the riders all did a fantastic job making judging very difficult. Some of our riders who have competed regularly did a good job but it was really good to see some new faces doing well too. Gina had never ridden a dressage test or even ridden in the outdoor manege but did an excellent job in the walk only Introduction to Dressage to come second. Boycie again demonstrated he plans to follow in Tawny’s footsteps when Holly, in her first RDA competition, won the Freestyle Dressage to Music.

Boycie and Holly doing dressage
Boycie and Holly doing dressage

All the competitors got a rosette with their favourite pony on it for taking part. The winners of each class got a trophy and the first six places all got rosettes that were kindly sponsored by Kampa, The  Peck family and Murphy the horse (who belongs to one of our helpers – Pat Rogers Harrison. In addition we presented two special new trophies that will be awarded annually. Firstly there is the Jet Trophy for the dressage rider with the highest score across the competition. Some of you may not remember but Jet was very successful at dressage both in RDA competitions taking many riders to the National Championships and also with Anne before she switched to driving. The second was the John Adler Trophy for the rider who scored the most points across the Countryside Challenge classes. John was our longest serving trustee until he retired at the end of December 2016, sadly earlier this year John passed away. John was always keen to give riders new opportunities to provide enjoyment as well physical and educational benefits. Each trophy (which will get returned each year) came with a very posh rosette that the riders will keep.

Trophy presentation
John Adler’s wife Hilary and daughter Fiona presenting the trophy and rosette to Charlotte

It was great to see so many of our riders have the opportunity to compete and all do so well. Alongside the event, some of our volunteers offered strawberry teas for refreshment. These were very popular with both riders and spectators and raised over £400. We also need to say thank you to the judges who gave up their time to adjudicate on the day, we also need to thank Suzette for providing a feast for our judges for their lunch. Lastly we need to say a big thank you to all the volunteers who helped on the day, the staff and horses worked hard but the day would not be possible without all the volunteers who led, side-walked, helped organise riders and acted as stewards.

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Rider Achievements: Grade Tests – May 2017

May was a very successful month for our riders at Barrow Farm RDA. Firstly on Open Day we had a large number of riders complete their proficiency tests or as we call them grade tests. These tests are part of the Riding for the Disabled Association’s education project ‘Learning Through Horses, Learning For Life‘. There are two separate awards, one for riding and one for horse care at each grade.

On Open Day, Sam and Emmanuele passed both Grade 1 Riding and Horse Care. For Grade 1 Riding they need to be able to sit happily and balanced on the horse or pony whilst standing, walking and changing direction. They need to demonstrate an exercise they have learnt and hold the reins. For Grade 1 Horse Care they need to know basic parts of the pony, such as eyes, mouth and legs; parts of the tack, such as reins and stirrups; and how to approach the pony safely. Katie already had her Grade 1 Riding but on Open Day she completed Grade 1 Horse Care.

Katie and Emmanuele showing off their certificates

Ryan, Amy, Charlotte, Katie P, Jack and Christopher all passed Grade 2 Riding. They had to demonstrate their steering through bending cones, stop their ponies between two poles on the ground, show a range of exercises and movements and when they got off they had to show that they knew how to put their stirrups up.

Well done to all the riders who completed Grade tests on Open Day!

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Open Day 2017

On the 20th May we held our ever popular Open Day. This is a great opportunity for riders to show off their skills and this year they did that by completing Grade Tests and taking part in the musical rides. Charlotte who has total vision impairment demonstrated how she does the Countryside Challenge with the aid of her tapping team.

The day is also an opportunity for our ponies to show off their skills. The four smallest ponies Tango, Tawny, Boycie and Starra did a musical drive where they showed off a variety of school movement whilst being long reined. The bigger horses performed rides with the staff members, Louie with Sally and Owly with Clare took part in two rides. Rafferty was ridden by Lainey and JayBee by Livvy in the afternoon ride. Unfortunately this ride was outside during the only rain shower of the day so a big thanks to all who came out to watch it.

There was lots of cake, barbecue and refreshments sold. Our spring raffle was also drawn and we need to say a big thank you to Anita for organising this. You can see some of what went on in the video below.

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Well done Jamie

Jamie running in the London MarathonA big thank you and well done to Jamie Newstead from Columbus School who ran the London Marathon to raise funds for Barrow Farm.  Thank you to everyone who sponsored her, the final total was just over £1500. The money raised on sponsored events like this is critical to pay for the day to day running of the centre to enable us to provide the opportunity for so many disabled children and adults to ride. If anyone else is interested in doing a sponsored event for us – a run, a walk, a skydive… – please get in touch.

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Jack Petchey Award Celebration Event

Rebecca, Ducky and Lainey with Mark Richardson

On Thursday 4 May 2017 student Lainey and riders, Ducky and Rebecca attended the Jack Petchey Foundation Essex Regional Youth Awards at The Civic Theatre, Chelmsford. The fun packed night included music and performance as well as a talk by Mark Richardson. Mark was part of the 4 x 400m relay team that won silver at the Atlanta Olympics in 1996 and gold at the World Championships in 1997. Mark also presented the Barrow Farm winners with their awards. Lainey received her award for showing exceptional care and enthusiasm in her work. Her communication skills with autistic riders have enabled them to really benefit and enjoy their riding.  Ducky received her award as she has worked really hard to improve her riding skills, especially when riding independently off the leading rein. When Ducky started riding with us she was lacking in confidence but  in the last six months she has the gained the confidence to not only ride off lead in walk but also start to do so in trot. Rebecca received her award  for working very hard in her riding, in particular to learn and improve her rising trot, this has improved her confidence as a rider.

Congratulations and a big well done to Lainey, Ducky and Rebecca!

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