MRT News

Coronavirus Crisis – Ways to help Muirfield Riding Therapy

Muirfield Riding Therapy is now closed, and its fundraising events cancelled indefinitely because of the impact of the Coronavirus.

But there are lots of ways you can help us to fund the upkeep of our Centre and the care of our specially trained therapy ponies, so that once we re-open we can help as many children, young people and adults as possible.

You don’t have to be super fit and some are free!



Calling all Home Hereos – Take on the 2.6 Challenge!

Click here to join in this nationwide challenge with us on 26th April – you don’t have to be super fit to take part, use your daily exercise to fundraise for us.


Sponsor our Rider Kirsty to Skydive!

Kirsty has been riding with us since she was 3 years old!  Read her story and support her fantastic fundraiser.


We’re all online shoppers now – raise funds for free when you shop,

Sign up to Give As You Live  We’re all shopping online at the moment so this is a fantastic way to help raise funds for us, for free!  With over 4,200 shops part of Give as you Live Online, including John Lewis & Partners, Expedia and Marks & Spencer. They’ll turn a percentage of your spend into free funds for us.  Simply sign up, search for the retailer and start shopping. It’s that simple!

Sign up to Amazon Smile here  Shopping at Amazon? Raise free funds at the same time! Sign up, choose us as your beneficiary charity, then do your usual Amazon shopping but via their Amazon Smile login, and they donate 0.5% of the net purchase price to us!


Free 50% boost for our Edinburgh Kiltwalkers’ fundraising!

Sponsor our Kiltwalkers and your donation will go 50% further!  The Kiltwalk’s partner The Hunter Foundation gives every Kiltwalker a staggering 50% extra on their final fundraising total!


Sponsor a Pony

Who’s your favourite? Sponsor a Pony and help us to continue to fund all the care our four-legged friends need to do their important riding therapy work and lead healthy, happy lives.


Get in touch

Join in the chat during Lockdown!

We have Facebook chat groups for our Riders & their Families and our Volunteers 


If you need to get in touch please drop us an email and we will respond as soon as we can;

Chair, Michelle Sutton

Services, Susan Law

Administration, Shirely Duff

Fundraising, Debs McLaughlin


We want to say a massive THANK YOU to everyone for your support!

Win this Beatitude Spring Gift ? and support MRT!

Win this Beatitude Spring Gift ?
Please support us by donating to enter our competition for this gorgeous selection of multi-award winning products from East Lothian company Beatitude. The gift contains x3 bath oils, peace pillow mist, joy body oil, soap and a comfort candle, and is worth £155! All products are designed to help with relaxation and are 100% natural.

Like the majority of organisations across East Lothian, Muirfield Riding Therapy has had to close its doors for now. We aren’t sure yet when we’ll be able to provide our life-changing therapeutic riding service again, but still need to keep funding the care of our specially trained therapy ponies so we’re ready.

Gullane-based Beatitude is a great supporter of the charity and has kindly donated this lovely gift to help you relax this Spring, and to raise vital funds for us. Delivery of the Gift Box to our lucky winner will be arranged by Beatitude.

1. Please make a donation – suggested £5 – via our ‘Donate Now‘ button on our website
2. Please reference your donation ‘Spring’
3. Ensure you tick to share your contact details with Muirfield Riding Therapy on the PayPal donation screen
4. Entry deadline – Monday 20th April, winner announced Tuesday 21st April 2020.

Thank you so much for your support ?

Rider Kirsty is Skydiving for Muirfield Riding Therapy!

Kirsty, 27, has been riding with us since she was three.  Her mum Anne got in touch to say Kirsty wanted to do some fundraising as her way of thanking Muirfield Riding Therapy, and she had decided on a sponsored skydive ! Although the original date of 26th April 2020 will need to be rescheduled due to the Coronavirus crisis, Kirsty is fully committed to taking on her jump and honouring all her donors.

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 27 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!

Kiltwalk Kindness – be part of our Kiltwalk Team 2020

The Coronavirus has had a devastating impact on Scottish events and charity fundraising.  The Kiltwalk series is one of Scotland’s top mass participation fundraisers.  In a show of incredible support and kindness, Kiltwalk partner The Hunter Foundation has announced they will continue to donate their generous bonus to Kiltwalkers even if walks are cancelled!

We love being part of the Edinburgh Kiltwalk.  The MRT Team will be part of the Edinburgh Kiltwalk 2020, on Sunday 13th September and we’d love you to join us!  It’s a wonderful way for small charities like ours to fundraise.  The Hunter Foundation, announced earlier this year it will be upping its charitable bonus to every participant’s fundraising total to a whopping 50%!

In 2019 Audrey took part with her son David, who is one of our Riders, and their family,

We had a wonderful time taking part in the Kiltwalk this year. We did the Wee Wander, which is 5 miles, and it was a lovely walk.  The atmosphere was so friendly and we got chatting to lots of people raising funds for other charities too.  It was so rewarding to raise money for MRT,  a charity we love, and an organisation that has given David, and the rest of our family, so much support over a long number of years. We would encourage other families to take part in the Kiltwalk and to support this amazing organisation, which gives so much to all of our riders and their families.

There are three distances to choose from, 5 mile Wee Wander , 14.5 mile Big Stroll, 24 mile Mighty Stride with the shortest distance, the 5 mile Wee Wander being wheelchair accessible, and all ending at Murrayfield Stadium with the Kiltwalk Party!

Shirley is our Office Manager, and was one of our Kiltwalkers last year,

2019 was my second time doing the Kiltwalk for MRT. We did some practice walks before hand which was really nice and great having the time to walk and chat with other fantastic team members from different sessions.  MRT has lots of different fundraisers, but for me, walking, talking and being offered food along the way is ideal!!  While the feet were hot and the hips were a wee bit worn out, it was a great day from start to finish and we all had BIG smiles on our faces at the end of our achievement. 

There are lots of way you can get involved; as a walker, a donor or as a volunteer. Find out how to register to walk, donate or volunteer at The Edinburgh Kiltwalk for Team MRT 





Coronavirus update – We are closed – Muirfield Riding Therapy

Tuesday 17 March 2020

From Michelle Sutton, Chair, Muirfield Riding Therapy,


Hello Everyone,

I am writing to you with a heavy heart to let you know that Muirfield Riding Therapy is now closed because of the impact of the Coronavirus.  This closure includes the cancellation or postponement of all training and fundraising events until the end of May.


As has always been the case the health and well being of our riders and volunteers is the priority in our decision making process. With the recent government announcements we feel we can no longer operate our riding therapy sessions.


I know that this will be really disappointing to those people who will miss the last 2 weeks of their terms riding.  We are already getting calls about when we will reopen – the honest answer is we simply do not know. We will review again on a regular basis but I do not expect to open before the 1st June and so unlikely to offer regular sessions until after the Summer holidays.


To protect our team of volunteers and employees the MRT office will not be manned for the next few weeks.  Instead our admin teams will be working from home as much as they can. If you need to get in touch please drop us an email and we will respond as soon as we can;


Chair, Michelle Sutton: [email protected]

Services, Susan Law: [email protected]

Administration, Shirely Duff: [email protected]

Fundraising, Debs McLaughlin: [email protected]


Thank you for your support and understanding at this difficult time.  Our thoughts are with you all and we look forward to seeing our riders back in the future.


Stay safe!



Coronavirus and Muirfield Riding Therapy

Friday 13 March 2020

From Michelle Sutton, Chair, Muirfield Riding Therapy,

Hello everyone, the health and well being of our riders and volunteers is of paramount importance.  We are continually reviewing our position on the Coronavirus and will be updating on a weekly basis.

For the moment we will continue to offer riding therapy sessions and will do so in line with Government and National Health Authority advice.  If schools decide to close then we would also close – we are not at that stage yet.

  • If you feel unwell please stay away from MRT.   Call the Office and let us know – 01620 842502
  • If you are being tested for Coronavirus, even if you have not had it confirmed, please contact Michelle Sutton on 07888 754995 in confidence. This will enable us to take appropriate action to safeguard our volunteers and riders.
  • If you have been on holiday please check the up to date guidance for travelers before returning to MRT.  Depending on where you have been you may need to stay away from MRT for a couple of weeks.  Based on latest advice If you have visited any of the following areas please don’t come to MRT for 14 days from your date of return:


  • Cambodia
  • China
  • Hong Kong
  • Iran
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Laos
  • Macau
  • Malaysia
  • Myanmar (Burma)
  • Singapore
  • South Korea
  • Taiwan
  • Tenerife – only the H10 Costa Adeje Palace Hotel
  • Thailand
  • Vietnam


MRT Board will continue to monitor the situation and will issue further guidance as required.  If you decide that the best option for you is to stay away from MRT then please let us know so we can adapt sessions accordingly.

Thanks all – take care and remember Catch it, Bin it, Kill it!



Make this your year to volunteer!

A New Year, a new Term and new volunteering opportunities!  Make this your year to volunteer, with Muirfield Riding Therapy.  There are lots of well researched health benefits to volunteering, it might even help you get rid of the January blues!


We are looking for people to join our volunteering team in various riding therapy sessions – especially Tuesday afternoons with our lead physiotherapist Heather Falconer, Wednesday evenings, and as part of our brand new Mechanical Horse session.  If you’ve been put off in the past perhaps due to a fear of horses, or mud, then our new Mechanical Horse session might just be the one for you!

You don’t need any special equestrian skills to volunteer with us at any of our sessions, we’ll take you through our special training, with a training mentor, at your own pace.

We call our Mechanical Horse, Oreo.  This horse-shaped, high tech piece of physiotherapy equipment responds to leg and hand movements like a real horse.  Oreo is an important addition to our Centre, offering benefits to Riders and Therapists.  He helps our Physiotherapists with Riders’ biomechanics assessments, offering top of the range postural analysis to improve muscle tone, strength and symmetry.

In 2019 our team of volunteers gave 16,000 hours of volunteering.  This meant we were able to provide over 3,500 hours of life-changing Riding Therapy to people with disabilities, free of charge.  And we had lots of fun too.  Be part of the team.

Contact [email protected] or download an application form and bring it along to our Indoor Arena.



In pictures: our 30th Anniversary Year

What a difference a year makes!  We would like to thank everyone who has been part of our celebrations, our Riders, friends and families, our volunteer team, our supporters and our sponsors.  You have contributed in so many ways, and we are thankful for each and everyone one of you.

The theme for our 30th birthday year has been all about raising funds for, and awareness of, our work to enable us to deliver projects which will set us up for the next 30 years!  Let’s take a look back at some highlights from a truly fantastic celebratory year.

The past 12 months have gone by at a gallop since we launched our 30th anniversary celebrations back in September 2018 with a special Raceday at Musselburgh Race Course.

In 2019 we’ve provided over 3,500 life-changing therapeutic riding sessions, free of charge, thanks to our volunteer team giving over 16,000 hours of volunteering!  We’ve had so much fun!

We had to say bon voyage to Therapy Pony Tess who is now enjoying retirement, and a sad farewell to Hijarrandi this year.

But we are delighted to have welcomed Lillie, Willis, Callie and Highland pony Kara. MacGregor was especially taken with Kara…

The Rotary Club of North Berwick  are wonderful supporters of the charity, especially marshalling at our events, and honoured us with beneficiary charity status at their sellout annual Classic Car Tour in April 2019.

We are also lucky enough to have the support of many local Rotary groups, not least The Rotary Club of Longniddry and District who this year generously funded the printing of our brand new Volunteer Handbook.

Shout out to all our fantastic pony sponsors and to our Sharers who not only support us in the financial upkeep of our Ponies but, importantly, help us keep our precious Therapy Ponies’ lives enriched.

Our supporters help us in so many ways – Riders’ filling their Coin Boxes, Agnes’ wonderful baking at our Coffee Mornings, Brenda’s beautiful knitting and crafting, June’s gardening skills, Joyce’s wonderful pony photography and Jim’s stunning photos capturing our work, our brilliant event organisers – and so much more.

We welcomed American Master Classical Guitarist Alex Komodore who gave a beautiful Concert at Dirleton Kirk back in May.

Our annual Summer Show for Horses and Ponies back in July was our biggest ever, and our Coaches supported some of our Riders to take part too. Thank you to Lucy from MacGregor Healthcare Ltd our Show’s main sponsor and a great supporter of the charity, and to all our wonderful sponsors and volunteer Judges.  We couldn’t do it without you.

In September, our fantastic Edinburgh Kiltwalk Team which included volunteers, riders and supporters, raised a phenomenal £8,535 – wow, now that’s teamwork!

Later that month we had our very memorable Riders’ Fun Day celebration with families friends and supporters.

There was lots more fun to come in October; we loved having the young student band led by Knox Academy music teacher Liz Woodsend entertaining us all at our Indoor Market!

And we had a swell time at our Blingo By The Sea  fundraiser making lots of new friends!

And speaking of new friends, we made even more at this year’s annual Charity Golf Day at Muirfield Golf Course!  We were delighted to have been chosen as their beneficiary charity.  With very grateful thanks to the Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers, our sponsors – Beatitude, Bravo Whisky Golf, Henry Jewellers of North Berwick and NB Gin – and our Golf Pro Alasdair Good, our guests had a ball!  We even had a Hole In One!  Well done to our deserving winners, Renaissance Braves!  A phenomenal £24,000 was raised.

One of our young volunteers, North Berwick High School student Mairi and her team won a £3,000 grant for Muirfield Riding Therapy!

Our annual Christmas Coffee Morning moved to a new venue, Gullane Village Hall!

And we also had a big birthday party!  ‘The Three Chairs’ – our founder Gill Morrison, longstanding former Chair Susan Law MBE and current Chair Michelle Sutton – led the fun at our 30th Birthday Party at Aberlady Village Hall, showing a wonderful presentation of the past 30 years of MRT and cutting our magnificent cake donated by volunteer Wendy!

Look who came to visit the kids at our annual Children’s Christmas Party at The Mallard Hotel, Gullane this year!

We are very grateful to Longniddry Parish Church for hosting their lovely Carol Service for us, and to Heidi Innes and Holly Carter for choosing us as their beneficiary charity for their ‘Songs for Christmas’ concert at Tyninghame Village Hall.

And so we come to the end of 2019.  We raise a festive toast to everyone who has been involved in making Muirfield Riding Therapy what it is today, thank you.

And we also look forward to the next 30 years… we have lots of exciting plans coming up, starting in 2020 by celebrating 10 years of our pioneering partnership with the NHS, thanks to our Group physiotherapist Heather Falconer.

Merry Christmas everyone, see you in the New Year!

We are looking for sharers for our equines – could it be you?

Muirfield Riding Therapy are looking for experienced, confident sharers for their equine team.

You must be able to work on your own and have experience in schooling and handling different types of equines.

Financial contribution per month and a commitment to ride regularly. Also the usual tasks that come with equines ie poo picking your field when you ride and cleaning your tack after.

MRT have a fantastic team of sharers already and there is a great level of support offered.

For enquiries please contact office on 01620 842502 or email [email protected]

Please share this post, thank you.

New to Show Jumping or a nervous Jumper? Our Winter Series Show Jumping Championships is for you!

Our long running Winter Series is back this Sunday 27th October for its 13th year, open to ALL AGES, and we have an improved Arena surface, particularly suitable for jumping. Benefit from an all-round professional Show Jumping experience, but in a relaxed, friendly, encouraging atmosphere with a Grand Finale in March 2020.


We are delighted to be back for a 13th year of our Winter Series Show Jumping Championships, and with a new improved Arena surface too!  Held at our Indoor Arena, West Fenton, the monthly events kick off this Sunday 27th October – click here view our October Schedule and Equine Flu ‘Pony Passport’ requirements– with the Final in March 2020. With a cozy Viewing Gallery and an all day cafe, your support crew can keep warm while you’re in action.  Spectators are welcome, free entry!


As Entry-On-The-Day only events, with affordable fees at just £6 per Class the events are accessible to all.  Plus, all proceeds go to support the work of registered charity Muirfield Riding Therapy, a member group of Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA).


Our 6-event Show Jumping Championships is aimed at riders, horses and ponies of ALL AGES, from lead rein wobblies to adults, but especially less experienced.  Each event is included in the points system for the overall Winter Series and all points earned will count towards your final total.  You’re welcome to just drop in and join us for an event, no need to commit to all 6 in the Series.

o New to riding?
o Getting back into riding?
o Want to introduce your equine, or yourself, to Show jumping?
o Nervous rider, or equine?
o Looking to build up experience over the winter months?
o Don’t have full Showing rider kit to wear?

Benefit from;

o Experienced Judges
o Advice from our Judge and Team on the day
o A supportive approach to you and your equine’s performance
o 40 m x 20m Indoor Arena
o New improved Arena surface, particularly suitable for jumping
o 10 Classes to choose from: lead rein wobblies to adult-only
o Adult Rider-Only Class (21 years+) always included
o On-the-day entry
o Low cost entry fees £6 per Class, and £4 per Clear Round – buy one Clear Round get one free!
o Beautiful rosettes for all Classes
o Three Trophies Awarded at the Series Finale in March:
Wobblies Trophey
Presented to the rider/pony/horse combination which has accrued the most points from classes 1-5.
The Fiona Mossan Trophy
Presented to the rider/pony/horse combination which has accrued the most points from classes 4-9.
The Niven Family Trophy
Presented to the most improved rider of the Series.
o Cozy spectators’ Viewing Gallery
o Outdoor Arena/Clear Round practice
o Undercover Tie-ups for ponies while you wait for your Class
o All day cafe – bacon rolls, soup, our legendary home baking!
o FREE Parking on our concourse, no mud!

Any queries, please contact [email protected] or call 01620 842502