A Lockdown Poem by Volunteer Jo

Our first poem, from Saturday volunteer Jo, thank you Jo, we are sure you speak for many of our volunteers.

I am living in unprecedented times,
I don’t know what will happen,
I am in lockdown and can’t go out or mix with all my friends.
I can’t see all my family which is very hard to bare.
But what I miss so very much is volunteering for Barrow Farm.
I miss the riders smiling faces,
I miss the horses dance, to our wonderful musical rides, it really is a laugh.
I miss our lessons with the coaches,
Where the riders learn a lot,
I miss the silly games we play, where I always try and cheat.
I hope that this will soon be over and we all are safe and able,
Then we can all get back to helping Barrow Farm and the Riding for the Disabled.

Difficult times but the sun is shining

We just thought we would update you on how we are all doing at Barrow Farm RDA. With reduced ride income (many thanks to those of you who continued to pay) and no opportunity to hold fundraising events we have had to tighten our belts. Luckily it is spring and the mares (Penny, Lula, Vella and Millie) have been able to be turned out, reducing the amount of mucking out needed in the morning. The ponies and horses still need caring for and luckily our fantastic staff are coming in on a skeleton rota (only two staff in per day) to ensure their welfare needs are met. We are still exercising the horses as appropriate for their needs but only undertaking low risk activities such as riding in the school and doing lead work. Working with horses will always carry an innate risk so we are ensuring as far as possible that staff are unlikely to be injured and therefore not going to burden the NHS at this difficult time.

Rafferty, Jaybee and Owly all looking at the camera with the text: We are missing you.

We have been busy though. Anne has been doing daily identify pony quizzes on Facebook and we have some more quizzes and activities planned so that you can think about riding even if you cannot join us. Over the next few weeks the Pony pages on the website will be updated, so take a look to find out more about your favourite horses and ponies.

If you have any riding or driving inspired stories we would love to hear from you and with your permission we would love to share these on the website and Facebook. This is one we have received this week.

Coloured in image of horse and rider going over a jump.

Thank you for your continued support and if anyone does have any spare change, where we are not able to socialise, maybe the money you would have spent on a takeaway coffee or a haircut, please consider making a donation to make sure Barrow Farm RDA is still able to offer riding and driving once social distancing measures allow. You can donate at our JustGiving campaign to help pay for our ponies keep or you might like to consider sponsoring one of horses or ponies for £25.

Keep well and safe, with best wishes from the trustees and staff at Barrow Farm RDA.

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!