Latest News

Summer news and what’s on at MRT

Each of our Terms has something unique, and Summer Term is no exception. Everyone enjoys getting out and about more around the Farm on the warmer, drier days – participants, ponies and volunteers.  Being out in nature is great for wellbeing, and we make the most of it during summer sessions, including holding our Quiet Corner sessions outside too.

 

We’ve had some recent exciting news.  The charity is continuing to develop innovative ways of including people with various and complex mental and physical disabilities.  Following the pandemic, our service is in demand more now than ever with both adult and children’s waiting lists growing every week and an increase in mental health related enquiries for support.  Therefore, we’re delighted to share the news that one of the ways we will be continuing to offer high-quality service to the children and adults who apply to MRT, is supporting two of our volunteers, Occupational Therapist, Morven McLelland and physiotherapist Ishbel Benzie, who have both been accepted to undertake a post graduate course of study in Equine Facilitated Therapy through Ulster University.

 

Summer fun

Summer Term also a great time for our fundraising events, and we have some major ones we’d love to invite you to. As we are fully self-funded, our calendar of events is a significant part of our fundraising, ensuring our service remains free-of-charge, so it is accessible for as many people who need it as possible.

 

The Big Barn Dance, Saturday 4th June, 6pm

We are up for a celebrating this summer and invite you all to join us for our Big Barn Dance here at our Arena on a very special weekend – Saturday 4th June. One of Scotland’s busiest and most popular ceilidh bands, Clappy Doo, will be here, along with experienced line dancing instructor, Heather Baxter, taking you through your paces!

Pre-book tickets only – Click here

With a stocked Bar, games, and Mexican food courtesy of the Chef Shack. Boots are recommended as our Arena surface gets messy! Get your friends, family together, and make a night of it, all ages welcome! 

 

Summer Teas & Plants Sale, Sunday 19th June

 

We’re delighted to welcome you back to the garden of Stamford Hall, Gullane, courtesy of the Lang family. This year come and enjoy cream teas on the lawn, our legendary baking & fabulous plants. £1 entry fee at the gate to the Garden at Stamford Hall.  Cream teas on the lawn are £10, payable on the day. Typical cream tea includes cheese or plain and blueberry scones, tiffin, ginger shortbread, strawberry tarts and meringues with cream, plus unlimited tea or coffee.
Bring your picnic rug, or choose to sit at one of our tea tables under our marquee.  There will be fresh punnets of strawberries for sale, as well as a huge array of plants and seedlings, and natural flower bouquets.

 

Summer Show for Horses & Ponies, Sunday 24th July

We welcome our equestrian friends to our 14th annual Summer Show for Horses and Ponies, here at West Fenton. We are delighted to announce the return of our full Show, and our new main sponsor, Andrew Black Haulage Ltd.  Our Show has 46 classes to choose from and is a Qualifier for the Caledonian Showing Championships, and The Showing Register NAF Five Star Showing Finals, 2022!

 

Looking for a Summer Wedding outfit?

Summer wedding to go to? We can help! We have some new beautiful designer dresses, top and trousers and accessories including scarves at absolute bargain prices which were kindly given to us to fundraise. Come and browse at the arena! Get in touch to arrange a visit.

 

Edinburgh Kiltwalk 18 September 2022

Finally, after two years, the Edinburgh Kiltwalk is back, live in-person! We love The Kiltwalk here at MRT, it’s fun, friendly, keeps you fit whether you’re walking rolling, or pushing! We’d love to encourage everyone to take part, especially participants and families, this year, and if you need someone to be your support person on the day, we have lots of willing volunteers to help!  

For more info, to sign up, or if you have any questions, click here.

 

 

Our future as a centre of excellence

Muirfield Riding Therapy has a tradition of breaking new ground with the establishment of our partnership with NHS Lothian in 2009, The Children’s Therapeutic Riding Service, to deliver therapy sessions for patients in the NHS Lothian paediatric physiotherapy department.

In order to continue offering a high-quality service to the children and adults who apply to MRT, the charity is supporting two of its volunteers, Occupational Therapist, Morven McLelland and physiotherapist Ishbel Benzie, to undertake a post graduate course of study in Equine Facilitated Therapy.

Both are already experienced in their own fields as well as being horse riders in their free time. The course of study will see them expand and develop their professional knowledge alongside equine facilitated learning.

Morven has been a volunteer at MRT for 10 years and Ishbel Benzie, for around 8 months. What this investment in their training means to our participants is that in the short term, we can continue to offer a high-quality service to the children and adults who apply to MRT.

Morven said,

After 10 years of volunteering for MRT I am finally embarking on a bit of a ‘dream’ ! My huge thanks to MRT in supporting this training. This will be the first Occupational Therapist trained in Equine Facilitated Therapy volunteering for MRT and I hope to bring a different set of skills whilst at the same time complementing those of our current and new Physiotherapists. I’m glad to have therapy pony Johnny to practice on in my spare time.

And physiotherapist, Ishbel said,

I’m so excited for this opportunity to further my training with MRT and look forward to bringing back new ideas and developing new services with this dynamic charity

MRT doesn’t charge its participants, and has always offered a great holistic service to participants and their families. As Morven and Ishbel progress through their course, it means that we can consider more children and adults with complex needs, and as Susan Law, our Services Coordinator, explains,

By supporting Morven and Ishbel in their learning we will be able to further develop the range of service we offer to people with disability. At the same time their training will enhance the existing activities of the group. Thanks to the support of the community it serves, MRT has been able to build amazing facilities and by investing in the training of our staff, the future of MRT as a centre of excellence is looking rosy!

(Photos: Morven, on the right, looking at therapy pony Johnny, Ishbel on the left with trees behind)

 

Big Barn Dance – join us on this special weekend

Celebrate this summer, join us for our Big Barn Dance on a very special weekend! Ceilidh band Clappy Doo, line dancing, food, bar, and games!

 

We are up for a big celebration this summer, and we invite you to join us for our Big Barn Dance here at our Indoor Arena on a very special weekend – Saturday 4th June!

One of the busiest and most popular ceilidh bands in Scotland, Clappy Doo, will be here. Experienced caller Graeme will ensure you have fun.

Plus, experienced line dancing instructor, Heather Baxter will also be taking you through your paces!

 

Click here to book your tickets

 

Be sure to wear your dancing boots – cowboy, wellies, riding boots – as our Arena surface gets very messy.

 

6pm – 9pm, ticket price includes food from our big food van – boxed, takeaway-style Mexican food (thanks to our friends at Baxter Storey), you won’t be hungry! 

 

With a stocked Bar – this isn’t a byob event – we’ll have beer, wine, summer-themed pitchers & cans of cocktails, plus non-alcoholic beer and soft drinks to buy all night, and lots of games, including a chance to get dressed up and show us your Cowboy-style for a chance to win our prize! 

 

Get your friends, family together. All ages welcome – under 18s must be accompanied by a parent/guardian 18+ at all times.

 

Our Indoor Arena, West Fenton, EH39 5AL is approx one mile inland from the village of Gullane. We are not on a bus route. You may want to book your taxi in advance, there are plenty of local taxi firms. If you want to continue your evening afterwards, you might like to visit one of the local bars in Gullane including The Bonnie Badger, The Old Clubhouse and The Watchman 

 

All proceeds support our work

‘Pick Up a Picnic’ at the Gullane Festival of Food & Drink 2022

Join us for Gullane’s Festival of Food & Drink Community Picnic on Sunday 10th April, pre-order a delicious boxed picnic, which includes our legendary baking, with an Easter theme!

 

Our popular Pick Up A Picnic boxes are back, and we’re delighted to be in partnership with the inaugural Gullane Food & Drink Festival‘s Community Picnic on Sunday 10th April!

 

Click here to order: Indulge yourself, share a treat with a friend, have a family feast!

 

Sunday 10th April will see the Festival culminating with the Community Picnic. Join friends from around the village and beyond on the Goose Green for a fun filled family afternoon. Enjoy a picnic, without the hassle of making it! Picnics are freshly prepared by volunteers from Muirfield Riding Therapy

 

PRE-ORDER ONLY, BY FRIDAY 8th APRIL, 12noon (No on-the-day purchase available)

Pick up a delicious picnic box and this year collection is from the Gullane Food & Drink Festival Marquee near The Old Smiddy, by The Children’s Golf Course, Gullane.

100% of the proceeds from this fundraiser will support Muirfield Riding Therapy.

COLLECTION, SUNDAY 10th APRIL, 11.30am – 1.30pm

We’re delighted to welcome you to the Gullane Food & Drink Marquee where you will collect your pre-ordered ‘Pick-Up-A-Picnic’!

 

HOW TO ORDER

*Please see important allergen information below*

£10 per person

Each box, per person, contains –

A round of sandwiches – mixed selection (Vegetarian option will be provided when VEGETARIAN is selected at checkout)

2 mini sausage rolls (Vegetarian option will be provided when VEGETARIAN is selected at checkout)

1 scone (with butter and jam)

1 cupcake

2 traybakes

Important Dietary and Allergen information –

* Please note, we’re working with a small team and are unable to accommodate any changes or dietary requests.

* Each picnic includes Gluten, Egg, Dairy and Soya

* May contain trace amounts of nuts or peanuts

Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal support

The whole world has been shocked by the invasion of Ukraine by Russia and in particular the humanitarian crisis that this is creating. Following the flood of donations of practical goods, aid agencies suggest it is financial aid which will be required in the weeks and months to come.

 

We’ve been adding a fundraising activity for Ukraine to each of our own events, with money raised going to support the Disasters Emergency Committee’s Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal 

 

Look out for the blue and yellow buckets. Next event: Fun Dog Show Sunday 20/03 

A visit from the Lord-lieutenant of East Lothian

We enjoyed a visit from Mr Roddy Urquart, Lord-lieutenant of East Lothian this week. Our Chair Michelle Sutton, showed Mr Urquart around our Centre.

 

The Lord-lieutenant was impressed to see some of our participants in action on their therapy ponies, and praised the dedication of our volunteers.

 

Lord-lieutenants are the monarch’s representatives in their respective lieutenancies. It is their foremost duty to uphold the dignity of the Crown, and in so doing they seek to promote a spirit of co-operation and good atmosphere through the time they give to voluntary and benevolent organisations and through the interest they take in the business and social life of their counties.

Celebrate with Spring into Song!

Spring is definitely in the air!  Come and join us at Spring into Song, a  delightful celebration of classical and lighthearted music from members of the Chorus of the Royal Northern Sinfonia & local friends, including Jake Thomson, Finalist BBC Young Chorister of the Year 2021. 

 

Having met many years ago as members of the Chorus of the Royal Northern Sinfonia, our singers have entertained audiences around the world. From The Hong Kong International Arts Festival to The BBC Proms in London and beyond, they are now very much looking forward to adding Dirleton to the list!

 

Joined at beautiful Dirleton Kirk by friends from the local area, including Jake Thomson, Finalist BBC Young Chorister of the Year 2021, for ‘Spring into Song’, the concert promises to be a delightful celebration of both classical and light hearted music. 

 

Saturday 26th March, 7pm – 9pm: tickets must be pre-booked online here 

 

Our Singers

Soprano:  Jo Bruce, Katie Hodgseon, Louise Pickering

Alto: Kathryn Coad, Nicola Stock

Tenor:  Nico Tyak, Chris Vernazza

Bass: Tim Hockin, Orlando Mason

With Jake Thomson (soloist, finalist BBC Young Chorister of the Year 2021) and Phil Coad (accompanist)

 

We welcome you to join us at our reception afterwards, in the Kirk Hall, for refreshments.  We will be following the current Covid-19 Scottish Government health & safety guidance.

 

Join us for our last event in our Winter Series 2021/22

Equestrians – the last event in our Winter Series Show Jumping 2021/22 is fast approaching! Everyone is welcome, whether you’ve attended previously or not, and especially novice or inexperienced riders and ponies.

 

The final of our Winter Series Show Jumping 2021/22 takes place at our Indoor Arena, here at West Fenton, on Sunday 6th March. We offer a friendly atmosphere and experienced, supportive Judge. The Series is especially suited to those riders and/or horses and ponies who are novice, or inexperienced.

 

SIGN UP HERE: pre-register via horsemonkey.com

 

There are 10 Classes on offer in our Indoor Arena from ‘Intro to Lead Rein’ to ‘Open: jumps not exceeding 75cm’, plus Clear Round in our Outdoor Arena. We also include a Class for Adults (21 years and over) but you are of course welcome to enter other Classes too! Come and make a day of it, our Cafe will be open and you can watch all the action from our cozy Viewing Gallery when you’re not competing!

 

All proceeds support Muirfield Riding Therapy, so by joining in you’re doing some good too.

Young volunteers win £3k award for MRT!

We are delighted to announce that a group of our young Friday session volunteers, who are also students at Knox Academy, in Haddington, have won an award worth an incredible £3,000 for Muirfield Riding Therapy, through the Youth and Philanthropy Initiative (YPI).

 

The independent Initiative, first set up in Scotland in 2008 by The Wood Foundation, encourages active citizenship in young people. Delivered through the Scottish education, schools are responsible for, ‘directing a grant of £3000 to a local charity championed by its students through a unique programme of teamwork, research, and competition.’

 

Students Olivia, Ellen and Kirsty chose to support Muirfield Riding Therapy (MRT). They were up against several other Knox Academy teams, presenting their case for MRT through several rounds, to be successfully voted winners.

Olivia said,

 

We chose to represent MRT as it directly affects local people in our community. As I’ve been volunteering here for so long I knew straight away I wanted to represent MRT as I have seen the importance of the sessions to the children and families.


When asked how they would like to see the award used at MRT, the girls said they,

 

…would love to see all ponies having comfortable and up to date tack, hopefully the money can go towards providing some of this.

 

MRT currently has thirteen specially trained therapy ponies in its herd. Their welfare is paramount, to ensure they are able to do their important work, and part of this is ensuring they each have the right tack, correctly fitted. 


Our Friday riding therapy session leader, Susan Law said,

 

I am very proud of the team of young people who work hard to make riding therapy sessions such a positive experience for the children who attend. Olivia and Ellen have volunteered with us for some time and, like the others, they are so caring and compassionate. It is inspiring. I am sure their enthusiasm for what they do shone through in their presentation.”

Our live Fun Dog Show is back!

Live Show! We are delighted to be back with our Fun Dog Show fundraiser on Sunday 20th March – all sorts of Classes for all sorts of dogs.

Dogs and dog owners of all ages are welcome to our annual Fun Dog Show at our Indoor Arena, West Fenton. We’re delighted to be back to a live event again!

Pre-enter online £2.50+78p eventbrite fee
or
Enter-on-the-day (subject to availability) £3.50

CLICK HERE TO ENTER, all proceeds support Muirfield Riding Therapy


The Show kicks off with Dog Agility which opens at 10am and runs throughout the event – come and have a go, this is a pay on the day Class. All other Classes open from 10.30am, pre-book above.

 

We have rosettes for all Classes, and fab doggie merchandise stalls including NBDogs and Weaver Meadow

 

Come and indulge in all things dog; our main sponsor Barking Cat Pet Photography will be there on the day, Kim will be taking lots of photos of your canine friends in action, and we’ll have a tombola with lots of doggie goodies to win!

 

Plus, for the dog pawrents, enjoy our cafe, bacon rolls, soup, and our legendary home baking!