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74 Hedding Road (Rte 87), Epping, NH, 03042
Riley’s Farm, Epping, NH
Peaceful and welcoming were the first words that came to mind upon arrival at Riley’s Farm. This applied not only to the setting, but also to the owner, Linsay Rich, and the equine residents that curiously peered over fences.
The farm was built in 1784, yet was underutilized for the past 40 years. That changed after Linsay purchased it in 2014, but the 30-acre farm cannot be fully appreciated from the road. Once in the parking area on top of a gentle slope, one can see stalls, turnout pastures, large indoor and outdoor arenas, indoor and outdoor round pens, and a cross-country training course on the quiet hillside.
Although Riley’s Farm is only two years old, Linsay herself is not new to the equine world. Her grandfather and uncle were both jockeys and trainers, and her volunteer work with horses and love of pleasure riding all led to the adoption of Riley—a Missouri Trotter mix—and the purchase of the farm. Rewiring the electrical system and updating the plumbing were only two of the many improvements needed to prepare the farm for the arrival of horses. However, running the farm is not Linsay’s only responsibility, as she also has a corporate job. To help balance the demands of both, she has three full-time employees to assist with the care of the horses and facility.
Riley’s Farm offers boarding, training, lessons, and trail riding services with a variety of options to suit different needs. Looking for a course or class with a little something different? Linsay’s cross country training course or trail riding prep class (called TROT) can help. Both include obstacles and desensitization items to help horses gain more confidence on the trails and in general. Tarps, bridges, sand, water, and scarves and coats that blow in the breeze may seem ordinary to humans, but they can be scary to a prey animal such as a horse. Linsay’s environment allows horses and riders to work on individual or multiple issues at their own pace to increase confidence and reduce fear.
Ready to hit the trails with your horse? Linsay negotiated with her neighbors to establish a bridle path that allows access to over 100 acres of trails. But that’s not all. A variety of clinics are also held at the farm. The range of topics covered by Linsay and other professionals include stress point therapy, ambulatory care for horses, evacuation protocols, aromatherapy, and even a mounted police demonstration to show self-defense on horseback. Of course, these types of clinics are offered in addition to the adoption, fostering, and fundraising events that Riley’s Farm hosts to support the New Hampshire Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (NHSPCA).
Linsay’s background in nutrition and equine training has been beneficial in her volunteer work with horses at the NHSPCA. Many come from unfortunate circumstances, and Linsay has assisted with implementing proper diets to return the horses to a healthy weight, desensitization training, and fostering. In fact, with her assistance, eight horses were adopted in 2015 compared to the typical two or three per year.
Not one to stay idle, Linsay stated that future plans for Riley’s Farm include converting the farmhouse on the premises to a bed and breakfast so people traveling with their horses are able to stay at the same location. However, with such tranquil surroundings, one may want to stay longer than one or two nights!
Riley’s Farm is a “no judgment zone,” as the goal is to create and build positive relationships with horses and riders of all levels. Linsay personifies that philosophy as she offers a quick hello to each of her horses who eagerly watch and nicker to her upon her approach, their actions demonstrating the respect and trust each has for the other. So whether you are contemplating sitting in a saddle for the first time ever or want to take the next step to advance your horsemanship skills, be sure to check out what Riley’s Farm can offer you!
74 Hedding Road (Rte 87)
Epping, NH 03042
Tammy Cloutier is an Environmental Studies PhD Candidate at Antioch University New England. She enjoys writing, loves purchasing locally produced foods, and is excited about the opportunity to be able to combine both for NHFN.
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