Horses are a part of Bedford’s DNA
For generations, horses have been a defining part of Bedford’s landscape. Residents have enjoyed the pastoral pleasure of horses grazing on miles of its picturesque land. As the sign on the village’s Bedford Green commemorates, this green is “part of a common laid out March 1681 for cattle, horses and swine.”
One of the first things you may see upon entering Bedford is Sunnyfield Farm, 230 acres of rolling pastures with yellow stables and grazing horses. Sunnyfield houses several barns for lessons and competitive training. It is also a leading thoroughbred breeding farm. Sunnyfield foals have gone on to run in the Kentucky Derby, and in the spring of 2017 welcomed two foals sired by Triple Crown winner American Pharoah.
In the spring, Mrs. Joanne Nielsen, the farm’s owner, welcomes local residents onto the farm to greet the latest group of foals.
Bedford Trail System
For more than 100 years, local residents have been devoted to maintaining an equestrian lifestyle. Back in 1916, a group of local horsemen and large property owners established a network of trails that allowed Bedford fox hunters to ride cross country to their meets. Today Bedford has over 100 miles of trails through conservation land and individual landowners’ properties for riders to walk, trot or gallop on dirt roads, through rivers and streams and across big open fields filled with fragrant flowers and natural wonders.
Backyard Barns: A Bedford Tradition
The existence of the beautifully maintained riding lanes encouraged Bedford property owners to build backyard barns. Dotted along the BRLA trail system, many of our equine enthusiasts keep their horses ‘at home,’ ride the trails, form gatherings for meet-up riding dates, join in BRLA hunter paces, and even participate in competitive events.
Bedford’s Lesson/Competition Barns
An equine enthusiast living in Bedford can enjoy almost any discipline of riding. The local barns include hunter-jumper, dressage, eventing, simple board, indoor rings, Grand Prix courses and open fields. Trainers include former Olympians and those specializing in child and adult beginners. Bedford competition/lesson barns have it all.
Equine Therapy and Rescue
Bedford’s equine focus is not limited to trail riding and showing. It also includes horse rescue and therapy.
Access Equestrian. is an adaptive- therapeutic riding program that provides a
variety of quality individualized programs for children and adults with disabilities and other life challenges. They are also a licensed United State Pony Club Riding Center, welcoming individuals of all ages and abilities to participate. (www.accessequestrian.org)
Endeavor Therapeutic Horsemanship empowers individuals with a
broad range of special needs by providing the highest quality equine
assisted activities and therapies in an inclusive and welcoming
13 Hands Equine Rescue specializes in the rescue and rehabilitation of unwanted, abused and slaughter-bound horses. (www.13handsequine.org) All three organizations heavily rely on volunteers and both are 501 © 3 organizations.
When it comes to things equine, Bedford has it! The perfect place for an equine enthusiast to live out their dreams.
Additional information available at the Bedford Loves Horses website (www.bedfordloveshorses.com).