Vella looking over stable doorHi, My posh name is Vella-Tor, but I am called Vella for short. I was born on 14th May 2004. My dad was an Irish sports horse with a bit of a mouthful of a name – River Valley Light in the Dark. He was a show jumper, and I take after him in colour, an attractive piebald, that’s black and white patches. Although I was born in West Sussex, I have lived near Chelmsford since I was 5 years old.

Before I came to Barrow Farm in 2017 I had a bit of a mixed life, at least three different owners, a bit of driving, a bit of riding, and being a mum, yes I had a foal of my own.

In a way I found Barrow Farm, my previous owner wanted to find me another home and asked Barrow Farm if they would be interested in me. Anne, Sally and Clare came to see me; I was living in a field near Blackmore so very close by. They decided to give me a trial and after two months getting to know me Barrow Farm decided to buy me.I was bought by Barrow Farm RDA as part of the legacy of John Adler, who had been a long-time trustee and staunch supporter of Barrow Farm RDA.

Vella pullin the cart

Since being at Barrow farm life has been very settled, they took time to train me to be an RDA pony and I hear a whisper I am showing promise as an RDA Grade 1 dressage pony. Destined for great things I am. Part of my training is to go out to shows with staff, so I get used to the exciting atmosphere. Here I am with Livvie at my very first dressage competition.

Vella with plaits and bridle numbers at halt at the end of her dressage test

In my past life, I did a lot of driving and Anne had ambitions for me to be an RDA driving pony, I do look stunning in harness. They did have a go at driving me but decided I was a bit too forward going to be an RDA driving pony. Most of my experience had been on the road but for RDA I would have had to work in a field and with cones. I did not really like it when noises happened under my carriage so the risk of hitting a cone and getting frightened was not safe for an RDA driving pony. It was decided to leave the RDA driving to my friends Lula and Penny.

Vella and Penny eating grass in the field

During the summer I live out in the field with Lula, Penny and Summer, and we are great friends. Everyone says how easy to handle we all are, a delight to look after. We can teach those boys a thing or two when it comes to manners. We all come in to our stables during the day so we are handy for our work. I am a favourite with volunteers and my riders. I am easy to lead but prefer to work in walk, my trot is quite fast and bouncy, leaders have to run fast to keep up. They say my trot is “a work in progress” not sure what that means but sounds a bit challenging, apparently I need to learn to do a jog-trot, these RDA coaches are never satisfied, always striving for us all to be even better for our riders.

Charlotte holding Vella at the end of her lesson

I am enjoying life here at Barrow Farm, they keep me nice and clean, not always easy as my while bits do get a bit grubby after a roll in the mud. Plenty to eat and some lovely hacking as well as my RDA work. Please adopt me and help Barrow Farm keep my friends and I well fed and cared for.