Mead Farm, a Family-Run Business, Offers Riding and Horsemanship to All Ages

Alice Valerio with Joanna

Alice Valerio with Joanna has been coming to Mead Farm for two years. March 9, 2019 Photo: Leslie Yager

A horse enjoyed time outdoors at Mead Farm. March 9, 2019 Photo: Leslie Yager

Mead Farm, located near the Greenwich town line, is one of the oldest horse riding establishments in Stamford, with a history dating back to 1928.

George Mead, who is in the 12th generation of the Mead family, one of Greenwich’s founding families, recently shared the story of the farm, which abuts the Mianus River and the preserve at Newman Mills Park, making for a natural scenic back drop.

The farm has a dozen of its own horses, in addition to horses who are boarded by their owners.

“We have access to over 170 miles of trails,” Mead said. “Greenwich Riding and Trails Association has historic trails that come into Stamford and loop through our property.”

Mead Farm, which has no indoor ring and is more of a lesson barn than a show barn, is one of very few horse barns open to the public. Both horseback riding lessons and horsemanship are offered.

“Show barns are motivated by either selling you a horse or leasing you a horse. And whether you buy or lease a horse, you’re required to take a certain amount of lessons, usually at least two times a week,” he said. “Mead Farm is a place where you’re going to learn how to ride, which involves proper technique and practice.”

“We want to be your first equestrian experience, no matter what age you are,” he added. “We have a lot of adults who have their first equestrian experience at Mead Farm.”

A pony at Mead Farm. March 9, 2019 Photo: Leslie Yager

A pony at Mead Farm. March 9, 2019 Photo: Leslie Yager

Mead Farm, family owned, is one of the oldest horse riding establishment in Stamford with a history dating back to 1928. Photo: Leslie Yager

Indeed, the mission of the family-run business is to provide affordable and challenging riding and horsemanship instruction in a casual yet professional atmosphere.

Resident cat at Mead Farm enjoyed a moment in the sun. March 9, 2019 Photo: Leslie Yager

Resident cat at Mead Farm enjoyed a moment in the sun. March 9, 2019 Photo: Leslie Yager

In addition to lessons for children and adults, and boarding, it is possible to lease a horse. The leasing program gives riders a feel for horse ownership without the full commitment.

“We are very welcoming, family-oriented and kid friendly,” Mead said, adding that in the event of inclement weather, adults and children alike still come to Mead Farm to learn horsemanship.

Mead said the farm operates in seasonal 12-week periods, but some continue all year long.

“Spring season starts on March 17, but people can start any time,” he said.

The Summer Horsemanship Riding Program is open to children of every riding level – starting as young as five, and including those who have never ridden a horse.

George Mead greets a pony at the family run business, Mead Farm. March 9, 2019 Photo: Leslie Yager

In addition to daily English horseback riding lessons, the summer program includes safety procedures, body language, tacking and untacking, stable management, grooming and hoof care.

Tack room at Mead Farm. March 9, 2019 Photo: Leslie Yager

Throughout the year, private, semi-private and group horseback riding lessons are designed for those who want to learn how to successfully communicate with a horse. The instructors and quality horses
ensure the experience is safe, educational and fun.

For those who want a full hands-on equestrian experience, the EXCEL program offers a weekly one to two hour session that includes both a riding lesson and horsemanship.

For more experienced riders Mead Farm offers lessons on picturesque riding trails.

At Mead Farm, there are two tack rooms one for the school’s horses and one for boarders, for people who own their own horses and keep them at Mead Farm. All the equipment is custom sized to fit the horse.

Mead Farm has expanded its offerings to include programs through local Recreation and Parks Departments.

“On Sundays during the school year we usually have ‘Horses 101’ which is offered by the Town of Darien and City of Stamford through their Parks & Rec Dept,” Mead said.

Walking through the barn, the stalls were undergoing their daily cleaning. An electric sifter buzzed away, removing anything larger than a fingernail from the white pine bedding. Aerating the stalls every day ​helps keep them dry.

Merrill McHugh on Bella at Mead Farm. March 9, 2019 Photo: Leslie Yager

Merrill McHugh, 29, who has been coming to Mead Farm for about a year said incorporating horses into her life outside of her full time job has lessened her stress and improved her mood.

Merrill McHugh on Bella at Mead Farm. March 9, 2019 Photo: Leslie Yager

“This is the most peaceful escape,” she said from atop a horse named Bella, who at 10-years-old is the youngest horse at the farm. “Being with her is very calming, even if I just come here and watch her eat hay. The people are great and welcoming, and make you feel part of a family.”

The oldest horses at Mead Farm are Bruce and CoCo, who are 24. Horses can live into their 30s.

McHugh who grew up with two passions – fashion and horses – said she works at Vineyard Vines, but started coming to Mead Farm about a year ago. “I get to have the best of both worlds,” she said.

“This shows when each horse gets their sunshine,” he explained. “It’s called turning out. The horses each get two to five hours outdoors usually onto the grass paddocks or onto rings.”

Mead said the horses enjoy seeing other outside the barn. “There is a lot of camaraderie,” he said. “Horses are herd animals and like playing with each other.”

Walking through the barn, the stalls were undergoing their daily cleaning. An electric sifter buzzed away, removing anything larger than a fingernail from the white  pine bedding. Aerating the stalls every day keeps them dry.

Mead Farm is located at 107 June Road, Stamford, CT 06903

Mead Farm is located at 107 June Road, Stamford, CT 06903

Merrill McHugh, 29, who has been coming to Mead Farm for about a year said incorporating horses into her life outside of her full time job has lessened her stress and improved her mood.

“This is the most peaceful escape,” she said from atop a horse named Bella, who at 10-years-old is the youngest horse at the farm. “Being with her is very calming, even if I just come here and watch her eat hay. The people are great and welcoming, and make you feel part of a family.”

The oldest horses at Mead Farm are Bruce and Cocoa, who are 24. Horses can live into their 30s.

McHugh who grew up with two passions – fashion and horses – said she works at Vineyard Vines, but started coming to Mead Farm about a year ago. “I get to have the best of both worlds,” she said.


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McHugh said that Mead Farm encourages an emotional connection with your horse. “This approach is great because it teaches kids to be a good person and connect to the horse,” she said.

McHugh said her colleagues at work noticed she’s been happier since coming to Mead Farm after work and on weekends. “It’s definitely changed my mood. I feel more energized.”

Indeed, horseback riding fosters discipline and patience, work ethic and the ability to make and accomplish goals.

“Empathy is developed and nurtured here,” Mead added. “It’s important for society.

Mead Farm is located at 107 June Road, Stamford, CT 06903

Registration is currently open for spring and summer programs.

Mead Farm is located at 107 June Rd in Stamford.

Tel (203) 322-4984.

Email: meadfarm@hotmail.com

For more information: www.meadfarm.com

Merrill McHugh on Bella at Mead Farm. March 9, 2019 Photo: Leslie Yager

Merrill McHugh on Bella at Mead Farm. March 9, 2019 Photo: Leslie Yager