Archive for September, 2021

Life at MRT – autumn update

We hope you are all well and making the most of the sunshine.  We enjoy the change of seasons to autumn at West Fenton, the colours, the harvest, and of course the stubble fields!  Read on to find out about life at MRT, our participants, ponies, fundraisers and a story about our name.


It is great to see us very slowly returning to a new sense of normal at MRT, and we’ve welcomed many more participants back riding with us.  There are still those waiting to come back – we are trying hard to get as many participants as we can back onto or visiting their ponies.

To help with this, we added a whole new Summer Term, we have also launched a new session using our mechanical horse, Oreo, and we have a new equine therapy session called Quiet Corner.


New Ponies

Thanks to a very generous donation from Baillie Gifford & Co, we have been able to purchase two new ponies. Cinders is doing really well with her initial training.  She’s very affectionate and loves being around people.  She will gradually be introduced to sessions and am sure she will become a firm favourite of our riders.

Baillie, a 15.2hh Irish Cob has arrived and has just completed his period of quarantine. He’s been described as ‘a bit of a dude’.  At just 6 years old, he is young and will take a bit of work to get him ready for sessions.  He has an experienced team who will work with him over the next 6-9 months or so.
And finally, we have Skye joining us soon. A 16 y.o. Connemara mare, she is being loaned to us by her owner, who will help us with settling her into work at MRT.  We hope she will be able to join sessions relatively quickly.




Indoor Market

Our indoor market will take place on 10th October. Plenty room to browse our 50 stalls in our spacious, ventilated Arena. A great mix of local, independent talent. It looks set to be our best market yet so bring your family and friends along!

New Autumn Rally Trail
Looking for something to do during October? Our popular Rally Trail is back, jump in your car anytime between 1st – 31st October, and take part at your leisure!   Find out more and enter here. 
With a new route, starting and ending in the historic village of Ormiston, this is a fun drive through beautiful East Lothian’s autumnal countryside, with lots of clues to spot on the way and picnic viewpoints. Allow around 2.5 hours to complete the 26 mile route, depending on your picnic stop and clue spotting skills!

Our Winter Series Showjumping Championships is back, with for a 14th year, with 4 events over the next few months. This fundraiser invites equestrians, of all ages, especially novice riders or horses/ponies. The first one is on 3rd October.  Come along to watch our local riders take on the jumps (and for some lovely home baking or bacon rolls! ). Enter here.


Order your Christmas Cards

We are delighted to present our new Christmas Cards. Two beautiful bespoke designs, created exclusively for us by award-winning Edinburgh illustrator Amy Nash with all proceeds to MRT. Email Debs with your pre-order – let us know by 30th September.

Packs of 8 cards (4 of each design), size A6, for £5.95. Message inside reads, ‘Merry Christmas and best wishes for the New Year’.



Christmas Coffee Morning & Craft Sale

Save the date – Saturday 27th November, 09.30 – 11.30am. We’re back in Gullane Village Hall! Our wonderful volunteers are hard at work in the coming months creating now legendary, beautifully decorated Christmas Cakes to order, and for sale at our Christmas Coffee Morning. Beautiful Christmas crafts & gifts, Christmas Hamper Raffle, Live music – guitar and mandolin.


Coming up…


Charity Golf Day – Renaissance 2022
We are delighted to announce the new date for our Charity Golf Day, at the prestigious Renaissance Golf Club, host of the Scottish Open, as 19th May 2022.

We invite you to join us on the fabulous 18-hole links course at The Renaissance Club, Cowden Hill Drive, North Berwick, EH39 5HS: Invitation and Booking Form


And finally, what’s in a name? 


When volunteer Rosemary started at MRT we were still called Muirfield Riding For the Disabled Group.
Click here to find out about Rosemary’s volunteer story and our name change.

Introducing our new Quiet Corner

Quiet Corner will give Participants the opportunity to spend time just being with the pony in a relaxed way, interacting on a one-to-one basis. Developed by Jenny and Sharron, two of our experienced Coaches, our Quiet Corner is a new initiative currently being piloted as an alternative option, part of our equine therapy service.

Watching the pony breathing. Listening to him chomping.  Touching him and feeling his coat and muzzle, feeling the nuzzle of his breath. Smelling that special smell. And just being with the pony in a tranquil environment. There is a saying that the outside of a horse does good for the inside of a human.


As part of her training, new therapy pony, Cinders, has been joining in our new Quiet Corner sessions. We think all the ponies will enjoy time in the quiet corner with our participants.

50 stalls await you at our Indoor Market 2021!

We’re delighted to be back hosting our 3rd Indoor Market here in our Arena at West Fenton, EH39 5AL, and invite you to come and browse our 50 stalls of crafters, producers, upcycle & car boot-ers! A great mix of local, independent talent.

Our Indoor Arena is a unique venue, with lots of space for browsing. Keep an eye on our Indoor Market Facebook event page where we’re adding details of all our fantastic stallholders who are attending, to the discussion tab.


All welcome
Everyone is welcome, including well behaved dogs on leads, and entry is just £2 entry, free for children and free parking. Come and have lunch at The Barn Cafe, and why not take home some of our legendary baking treats too?


To help our visitors who are wheelchair users to access our soft Arena floor, we are delighted to have our friends from North Berwick charity Beach Wheelchairs in attendance, with their adapted chairs for your use.


Covid-19 safe
We ask that all visitors wear facemarks when at our Indoor Market, unless when sitting at our Barn Cafe tables. We will have hand sanitizer available throughout the venue. Please do not attend our event if you have symptoms of COVID-19 (see the Scottish Government website for details).  All proceeds support the work of Muirfield Riding Therapy, a volunteer-led Centre providing pioneering life-changing equine therapy, free. We are a member group of RDA UK.

Our Autumn Rally Trail is back!

Looking for something to do during October and the mid term break?  Our Autumn Rally Trail is back! Jump in your car and take part, anytime between 1st – 31st October 2021!  A fun drive, at your own leisure, through beautiful East Lothian countryside, with lots of clues to spot on the way and picnic viewpoints. All correct entries will be added into our prize draw.


This is our 3rd Rally Trail, with 97 teams taking on the challenge last time. For this event, our route starts and ends in the historic village of Ormiston, and you take part at your own leisure anytime up to Sunday 31st October.

Allow around 2.5 hours to complete the 26 mile route, depending on your picnic stop and clue spotting skills! Take part at your own leisure, it’s not a race so take your time to enjoy the route as it winds its way around the beautiful East Lothian, in all its autumnal colours.

Prize Draw

All correct entries will be added into our prize draw! The first 10 completed entries returned with all answers correct will receive an extra 4 tickets added to the draw, giving them 5 chances to win!


How to enter
Entry is £15 (+ £1.76 eventbrite fee) per car, click here to enter via and for minimum entry requirements.


By signing up to our Rally Trail fundraiser, you are helping secure the future of our life-changing service.
This event is part of our alternative and COVID safe ways to fundraise and raise awareness of our work during the continuing pandemic. But perhaps most importantly, it’s about having a bit of fun together during this tough time.

What’s in a name – Muirfield Riding Therapy

When volunteer Rosemary joined the charity, we were still named the Muirfield Riding for the Disabled Group (Muirfield RDA). Read on to find out about Rosemary’s volunteer story and our name change.



When I retired to North Berwick in February 2003 the first place I looked to volunteer was the then-named Muirfield Riding for the Disabled (RDA) at West Fenton. The new Indoor Arena had opened for use six months prior, so I didn’t have the outside experience the group had at that point! Over many years I have been involved in many charities but none as rewarding as this one. We are so privileged to actually be close to our participants and to see the difference we can make.


About a year after I joined, new rules came into effect around Child Protection (now called Safeguarding) and I became the Child Protection Officer for the charity. I was very pleased to take on this role, as part of the charity’s management Committee. I was a member of the Committee during a very exciting time as the group started to grow. We soon realized that we needed even more space so the process of planning, fundraising and building our new facility began. As a group we all pulled together to fundraise and of course have fun, we are good at that here! We added our physio room, viewing gallery, meeting room and kitchen and toilet facilities, offices and a much improved reception.


During this time, NHS Lothian physio, Heather Falconer, had been volunteering with us. Her work, together with our then-Chair Susan Law, developed into the pioneering Children’s Therapeutic Riding Service, our partnership with NHS Lothian. Heather’s input was a huge part of our new expertise and it was then that we changed our name to reflect our work, so Muirfield Riding Therapy was born. (We are still a member of RDA, which has over 500 groups across the UK). Having recognition from the NHS was a huge accolade, thanks to Heather. She has taught us so much, and we now have a small team of physios including hippotherapists (hippotherapy is a form of specialist physio on horseback), working with us.


After 17 years in my Safeguarding role, I am stepping down, but it is great to see new people being enthusiastic and so keen to help with everything that needs doing, especially with our lovely, very special ponies and horses. Carry on working with this special charity, you will never regret it.


Would you like to volunteer with us?

Read our information and registration process here


Photo by Jim Hunter Images , Rosemary is on the left in the light blue fleece, with friend and fellow volunteer Frances.


Entries are now open! Winter Series Show Jumping Championships 2021-22

Our long running Winter Series is back for its 14th year, open to ALL AGES. Benefit from an all-round professional Show Jumping experience, but in a relaxed, friendly, encouraging atmosphere.  There are 4 events this time, you can join in all 4 events in the Series or just on dates which suit you!


3 October, 7 November, 5 December 2021, and the Final on 6 March 2022


Welcome to our Winter Series Show Jumping Championships 2021/22!  NEW Online entry via HorseMonkey (with entries on the day depending on availability). Pre-entry of competitors will allow us to provide more accurate class timings throughout the day.  All proceeds support Muirfield Riding Therapy, a member group of RDA UK, providing pioneering, life-changing equine therapy.

CLICK TO ENTER HERE via then log in or create an account


Note, We will open online entry for the next event in the Series after each previous event.


Each event is part of the points system for the overall Winter Series and all points earned will count towards your final total.  Our 4-event Show Jumping Championships is aimed at riders, horses and ponies of ALL AGES and experience.

New to riding?

Getting back into riding?

Want to introduce your equine, or yourself, to Show jumping?

Nervous rider, or equine?

Looking to build up experience over the winter months?

Don’t have full Showing rider kit to wear?


Benefit from:

Experienced Judges

Advice from our Judge and Team on the day

A supportive approach to you and your equine’s performance

40 m x 20m Indoor Arena

Arena surface particularly suitable for jumping

10 Classes to choose from lead rein to Open

Adult Rider-Only Class (21 years+) always included

Entry via Horse Monkey or On-the-day (subject to availability)

Low cost entry fees

Beautiful rosettes for all Classes

Outdoor Arena/Clear Round practice

Spectators’ Viewing Gallery o All day cafe – bacon rolls, soup, our legendary home baking!

FREE Parking


Three Trophies are awarded at the Series Final in March:

Wobblies Trophy

Presented to the rider/pony/horse combination which has accrued the most points from selected classes


The Fiona Mossan Trophy

Presented to the rider/pony/horse combination which has accrued the most points from selected classes


The Niven Family Trophy

Presented to the most improved rider of the Series.


Queries? Please get in touch