We are delighted to announce to the Equestrian community, the return of our Summer Show for Horses and Ponies, Sunday 1st August 2021, which is a Qualifier for the Caledonian Showing Championships 2021. After the cancellation of the event in 2020 due to the pandemic, it is fantastic to be back to a live Show one again.
It’s not quite our usual Show, we are smaller this year with 27 Classes, but there’s still something for everyone.
Our Show, which is organised by and in aid of Muirfield Riding Therapy, is held at West Fenton thanks to the generosity of the Morrison Family. Welcome back and grateful thanks to our Main Sponsor, MacGregor Healthcare Ltd and sponsoring our popular Showjumping Classes is, Andrew Black Haulage
With 27 Classes for our competitors to choose from, across 5 Show Rings, including for example Tack and Turnout, Pony Club Pony, Veteran In-hand, Mountain and Moorland, Showjumping and lots of Fun Classes, there really is something for everyone. It may not be our ‘usual’ Show but our usual beautiful rosettes and trophies will still be awarded.
Due to the continuing pandemic restrictions, this year’s event is not open to the wider public as a spectator event, with competitors’ family and friends only allowed on site.
Entry is online via Horsemonkey, click here to enter.
We are delighted to announce the launch our summer campaign 2021, Ride Around 4 MRT, to celebrate horses and ponies, our loyal companions throughout the pandemic, in support of Muirfield Riding Therapy (MRT) therapy ponies #RideAround4MRT
We invite the equestrian community to join our virtual summer challenge, have fun celebrating your horses and ponies, in support of MRT ponies! How far could you ride this? With prizes courtesy of our event sponsor, Hendry Equestrian
Donate £4 – Nominate 4 friends – #RideAround4MRT!
MRT is a volunteer-led, fully self-funded Centre providing pioneering equine therapy, free of charge. The coronavirus pandemic has had a significant impact on our ability to fundraise. By taking part in this challenge, you are helping us to continue the loving care of our specially trained therapy ponies, guaranteeing our life-changing therapeutic riding sessions continue into the future.
A year after her original jump was postponed due to the pandemic, the date is now reset for rider Kirsty’s charity skydive in aid of Muirfield Riding Therapy. Kirsty Henderson from North Berwick, is taking on the high rise challenge on 6th June. Kirsty has been riding with us since she was 3 years old. Now age 28, Kirsty is taking on the sponsored skydive as her way of giving back to the charity which she says has changed her life.
Please donate to Kirsty via her fundraising page. Kirsty is very generously paying for the costs of the Skydive herself so that 100% of donations come to Muirfield Riding Therapy.
Mum Anne tells Kirsty’s story,
When Kirsty was very young she struggled with everything and life was a real challenge. She was diagnosed with Developmental Dyspraxia and her development was very delayed. When she did walk she just fell down all the time and life was all about bumps and bashes as she came into contact with everything around her. She was a brave and resilient little girl who just kept trying but it was hard to watch and we just didn’t know how her life would be. At times it just felt so hard.
Then, one day our lovely physiotherapist called Lynn told us about Muirfield Riding Therapy and suggested that it might help Kirsty. Kirsty was three by now and we decided to give it a go. It felt like the first thing that offered us some hope.
At that time Muirfield Riding Therapy was a small organisation which ran out of a tack room and outside arena, with just a few ponies. The volunteers were just fabulous, so kind and nothing was too much trouble. There was so much positive energy around a lot of it generated by [Muirfield Riding Therapy founder] Gill Morrison and [former longstanding Chair] Susan Law. Kirsty just loved it and that was the beginning of her love of horses and riding.
We only rode in the summer in those days and she looked forward to Friday afternoons where she could feel happy and confident in the trust she had with her pony. Not only was she learning about riding but she was exercising her muscles and learning to be more coordinated. The volunteers also helped with her language development and in increasing her self-esteem.
This became an important part of our lives. There was the chance to meet other parents and a half hour break for us in the day, also tea and cake! There were Christmas parties in the tack room often attended by a naughty pony and Santa, and summer fetes at the Mallard Hotel in Gullane.
Kirsty gradually made progress and life progressed so much the better for her riding. She was later diagnosed with a Learning Disability but that was just our Kirsty and she has managed that as everything else in her life with a positive attitude and a smile.
Now age 28 years old and living independently in her own wee flat close to her family home she continues to look forward to the blocks of riding with Muirfield Riding Therapy. Much has changed in those years both for Kirsty and for the charity. There was the building of the indoor school and the visit from HRH Princess Anne, who Kirsty had the pleasure of meeting, and the growth and expansion of Muirfield Riding Therapy as it became a more professional organisation able to offer therapy to so many more people.
Although there may be less intimacy of the smaller organisation, the commitment of the volunteers remains the same as does the difference they make to the lives of those who come to ride.
If it hadn’t been for Muirfield Riding Therapy I think Kirsty’s life may not have been so easy and she doesn’t think she would be the person she is today. A confident young woman who still may trip and fall and may not always understand a complicated question but not too frightened to ask and just dusts herself off.
She gives back what she was given and has been a volunteer at the Daycentre in North Berwick for the last eight years and in Oxfam for the last five years. She greets people with great warmth and is well loved by all. Kirsty has a brave and adventurous spirit. She has taken part in the Tall Ships with a week’s voyage where she climbed to the top of the mast! She has also abseiled off the Forth Rail Bridge to raise funds for Chest Heart and Stroke.
She has always wanted to do a skydive and decided she wants to raise money for Muirfield Riding Therapy to say thank you for all they have done for her. She knows is expensive to keep it all running and wants to help others get the support she gets. She is paying for the skydive herself and she has set up a JustGiving page and has a target of £650. We hope people will give generously for this amazing charity that works with so many people in East Lothian and beyond.
Everyone at Muirfield Riding Therapy is extremely proud of Kirsty!
Our Spring Rally Trail 2021 saw 97 teams navigating our 40 mile route around beautiful East Lothian. The Trail which finished on Sunday 25th April, started and ended in the village of Gifford, with the first 7 clues being done on foot in the village before participants jumped in their cars for the remaining 42 clues.
All correct entries were submitted to our prize draw to win our Big Picnic Prize Hamper, which was stuffed full of treats thanks to donations from Tesco North Berwick in Our Community and Co-op Gullane, plus a gift voucher for a night’s stay at the gorgeous Seaholm B& B, North Berwick.
Check out the answers here – how did you get on?
CONGRATULATIONS to our winners, TEAM ‘FOSSIL AND THE PAVLOVAS’, Caitriona Kavanagh & Gillian Harley.
A fantastic £1,455 was raised to support the work of Muirfield Riding Therapy and we would like to say a huge THANK YOU to all our teams for supporting the fundraiser and helping secure the future of our service.
Hope to see you at our next Rally Trail – we’ll keep you posted!
(Thanks to JS Main & Sons who took part in our Rally Trail, for the header image)
Looking for something to do in the Easter holidays? This spring, jump in your car anytime between 2nd – 25th April, and take part in our Rally Trail! With a new route for 2021, enjoy a fun drive through beautiful East Lothian countryside, with lots of clues to spot on the way and picnic viewpoints. All correct entries will be entered into our prize draw!
After the success of our inaugural Rally Trail over the October holidays 2020, we’ve decided to do it again!
Just some of the feedback from our previous Rally Trail,
We had a great afternoon going round the county – some places we have never even been to!
Thanks for a delightful tour of our home county
We LOVED doing the Trail – hope you’ll be doing another one at some point!
Our new route starts and ends in the lovely village of Gifford, in the parish of Yester. Allow around 2.5-3 hours to complete the 40 mile route, depending on your picnic stops and clue spotting skills! It’s not a race so you can take your time to enjoy the route as it winds its way around the beautiful East Lothian countryside, in all its springtime glory.
Plus, this year, to make entering as easy at possible, registration and the Rally Trail quiz form is all online – click here for how to sign up and 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 continue to fundraise and raise awareness of our work during lockdown. But perhaps most importantly, it’s about having a bit of fun together during this tough time.
Our Chair Michelle is taking over the (Twitter) airwaves! Michelle is hosting the twitter account East Lothian Voices this week! The twitter account is hosted by a different person each week and is a fun way “…to learn about the people who work, live and play in our beautiful county.” Michelle, who lives in East Linton, will be sharing her take on all things Muirfield Riding Therapy and life in East Lothian!
Follow @EL_Voices over on Twitter, from Monday 29th March till Saturday 3rd April https://twitter.com/EL_Voices
Read on to find out more about therapy riding starting back and our spring fundraisers!
It’s almost a year since we first went into Lockdown. Who’d have thought this time last year that it would last until now? Hopefully we are beginning to get to the end of it all – with longer days, signs of spring in the garden and the vaccine roll-out – it’s now time to look forward to better times ahead.
With recent announcements starting to slowly ease restrictions we are hoping to get some therapeutic riding sessions started after Easter. We’ve got all our fingers, toes and hooves crossed that we don’t have to change plans again! This will be a block of riding for a reduced number of participants and volunteers, in order to meet the Covid Guidelines. We are also considering running some sessions over the summer holidays to enable more participants to get back to riding therapy – again more information on that to follow.
Are you interested in volunteering with Muirfield Riding Therapy? For new volunteers, our plan is to carry out some of your training remotely and then to get you down to meet the ponies and other volunteers to go through the rest of training as soon as we are allowed. Please have a look at our website volunteering section, then email our Volunteer Coordinator Nicky to note your interest by clicking here.
Easter Car Rally Trail
Looking for something to do over the Easter holidays? We’re putting on a second car Rally Trail this Easter, after the fun of our inaugural October hols event which saw 81 teams take to their cars, at their own leisure, to follow our quiz route around our beautiful county. New gorgeous route, same fun quiz format, now all online – click here to sign up.
Check out our shop, and snap up our reusable cup, perfect for camping trips, whether in the garden or further afield, and don’t forget our new snood to keep you cosy in the great outdoors – to visit our shop, click here.
Kids Easter Cooking Class, 6th April (and now 15th April too)
UPDATE 30/03: additional Kids Cookery Class added on Thursday 15th March due to popularity!
New to East Lothian, Yarrow Cookery School are running an Easter cooking class for children and families, with 10% of proceeds coming to us. The Kids Easter Cookery Class. 4.30pm, Tuesday 6th April. 2hours. £16. Sign up by clicking here.
Virtual Kiltwalk, 25th April
Donate to Team MRT or sign up to take part, anytime up to 25th April, and help us with our ‘Round The World in 90 Days’ Team challenge. Donations are generously given a 50% top up by Sir Tom Hunter! Click here to find out more,
Thank you for your support
All of these events are part of our alternative and COVID safe ways to continue to fundraise and raise awareness of our work during lockdown. But perhaps most importantly, it’s about having a bit of fun together during this tough time.
And finally, here is RDA UK’s President, Princess Anne talking about the impact of the pandemic and importance of people with disabilities getting back to being physically active Click here to watch it.
Our pets are a source of comfort and companionship at the best of times, not least during this past tough year of the pandemic. Here at Muirfield Riding Therapy, we may not be able to hold our long running annual Fun Dog Show, but we still want to have some fun and to celebrate the joy that is our pets!
And this year, as the title says, it’s not just for dogs! Whether your pet is canine, feline, feathered, furred, hairy or scaly, we invite you to enter your pet photos and videos into our Fun ‘Not Just For Dogs’ Show’, held virtually, on our Facebook page! Tell your friends!
Ticket sales are now open, online only, for our Fun ‘Not Just For Dogs’ Show 2021 on Eventbrite.com, and will close 10am on Saturday 20th March, with photos and videos to be submitted by 12noon on 20th March. Judging results will be announced on Sunday 21st March from 12noon.
This is an event for everyone, all ages of pet and owner! We have a huge array of 33 Classes to choose from, within six pet categories – Dogs, Cats, Small Furries, Scales & Shells, Feathers, and Unusual – so there is something for every pet and pet owner. Each Class costs just £2 (+ 74p online fee) per Class, and you can enter as many Classes and pets, as many times as you like!
Once you’ve chosen and paid for your Classes on Eventbrite, you then visit our Fun ‘Not Just For Dogs’ Show 2021 Facebook event page to upload either a photo or short video clip of your pet by 20th March. Rosettes will be awarded to the top 3 pets in each Class, and, thanks to our fantastic Head Judge and Sponsor Kim, from Barking Cat Pet Photography , the Champion of Champions will win a fantastic bespoke Pet Portrait session!
What are you waiting for? Come and join in the fun!