Over the past four years, a shift of focus has been underway at Furnace Brook Farm - from competitive/traditional riding to therapeutic services. We are one step closer to launching FBF's mission as a therapeutic riding center. This redirection was announced in September by email from Erin Van Steenburgh, owner and director of Furnace Brook Farm, to our traditional riding lesson students and their families.
"Our traditional program students remain valued members of FBF and although we are no longer accepting new traditional riding student sign ups, we are providing options for current students to remain with FBF," said Erin. Three options are available to FBF traditional students:
Continue taking lessons at FBF: If you are not planning a to pursue competitive riding and would like to remain as a lesson student, you are welcome to do so. We would love if our traditional students would consider becoming involved in our mission to support those riders who will participate in our therapeutic riding program. We will need volunteers to side walk and lead horses during lessons, help clean tack, care for the horses, run fundraisers, help to host community events - and more!
Continue taking lessons at FBF in the short term: You may continue to take lessons at FBF until we can no longer fulfill your goals. Perhaps you have just started riding or maybe you need more miles and more practice ... we are here for you! If in time you decide you want to compete at horse shows or do more than FBF can provide (for example, jumping) then please let us know and we will help you find a barn that will be a better fit. It is okay to decide you need a change if we can no longer offer what you need. We will understand and support you and cheer for you as you progress in your equine endeavors!
Decide now is the time to move on: You have dreams of being competitive in the horse show world or perhaps you're interested in perfecting your horse jumping skills in the arena and you realize it's time to move on from FBF. This, of course, would sadden us - but we would fully understand and will help you find a more suitable barn. And of course, we will cheer for you and support your decision - knowing that we started your riding experience well.
We look forward to growing our therapeutic offerings at FBF and welcome your feedback and questions! Above all, we appreciate all of the support and enthusiasm we've received from our riders and their families. We are deeply grateful!