Our History

Celebrating

Our history

We celebrated 30 years of service to the community in 2019, and are celebrating the 10th anniversary of our pioneering partnership with the NHS in 2020.  We’ve come a long way since we started back in 1989. Take a look at our journey.

1989 – Our journey begins with a few riders and borrowed ponies based at Appin Riding School, Drem. Gill and Garth Morrison spend months searching for a place to call our own.

1989 – Gill and Garth decide on West Fenton. So, with a handful of friends, 4 borrowed ponies and 8 riders we move in. The Muirfield Group is officially born!

1990 – At first, there is just a Friday morning session in a muddy field. As word spreads we add a Tuesday morning.

1995 – After much fundraising effort from our fantastic volunteers we raise enough to build our Outdoor School. But sessions often have to be cancelled due to bad weather.

1996Kishmul arrives. He was our longest serving pony, and he enjoyed a well deserved retirement thanks to Friends of Retired MRT Ponies. We’ve had many pony friends over the years.

2000 – John Anderson of John Anderson Butchers hears of our work and asks how he can help. Gill tells him we needed a roof over our heads. John adopts us as his Millennium Project and helps us raise £10,000.

– Susan Law takes over as Chairperson.

2002 – Thanks to more major fundraising plus SportScotland and Lottery funding we manage to increase our total raised to almost £500,000 and building work begins on our Indoor Arena.

2003 – Finally, we get a roof over our heads as the Indoor Arena is officially opened by HRH The Princess Royal.

2009 – MRT Group physiotherapist Heather Falconer, piloted a successful service between NHS Lothian and MRT.  This pioneering partnership becomes the Children’s Therapeutic Riding Service, part of NHS Lothian’s Children’s Physiotherapy Service.

2010 – The Children’s Therapeutic Riding Service officially launches.

– After further mammoth fundraising, the new Extension is completed. It includes an improved Viewing Gallery for riders, parents and carers, with a coffee machine to enjoy while watching sessions; a Physiotherapy Room for our therapists to carry out assessments of new Riders and plan their Therapy; a meeting room used for training, fundraising and social events; and a secure Reception Area. The Extension was officially opened by Mary King MBE.

2010 – HRH The Princess Royal presents Long Service Awards to Gill Morrison, Susan Law, Shirley Duff, Pamela Roberston-Durham and our pony Kishmul.

2013 – The Association of Chartered Practitioners in Therapeutic Riding hold their European Conference here, and plan to come back!

2014 – Centred Riding workshops are held here and the organisers are also keen to return.

2014 – Every year we hold Horse Behavioural clinics for our ponies, sharers and pony handlers to ensure we know how to get the best from our ponies.

2015 – We celebrate our 25th Anniversary!

2017 – We now have over 220 volunteers and run 7 weekly riding sessions allowing 120 riders to benefit from Riding Therapy. We’ve come a long way.

2019 – We celebrate our 30th Anniversary!

2020 – We are celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Children’s Therapeutic Riding Service, our pioneering partnership with NHS Lothian.