Save our Stables!

by Margaret Haes Riding Centre Ltd in Bury, Greater Manchester, United Kingdom

Total raised £18,920

raised so far

+ est. £3638.50 Gift Aid



Save our Stables! It will be up for sale on open market soon and we have a chance to purchase if we can raise the funds before 31 March

Project by Margaret Haes Riding Centre Ltd

We're still collecting donations

On the 1st April 2022 we'd raised £18,720 with 364 supporters in 65 days. But as every pound matters, we're continuing to collect donations from supporters.

Save our Stables - Horses not Houses!

Margaret Haes Riding Centre



Where we are now is our forever home! It will be up for sale on open market soon and we have a chance to purchase before that happens. Support the charity to stay in its present Centre in Holcombe village. Secure our future and share our mission to benefit the most vulnerable in our society for many more years to come. There is so much more we could do if we owned the Riding Centre. It is urgent- we have to 31 March 2022 to raise the funds.



A little bit about us :

We are a successful small charity that relies on the kindness of others.  A parent of a rider said “My son is profoundly disabled, non-verbal and requires full care. He cannot be entertained with craft, books and games. He loves riding. Just having a focus for the day, something to get up for is massive. Leaving the house and listening to him laugh once he realises where he is going makes my day. So you can see how important this is for both him and me.”

Horse riding is accessible to all and being around horses changes peoples’ lives. Margaret Haes knew this and was teaching disabled riders long before others followed establishing Riding for Disabled Centres across the country. In fact the national Riding for Disabled Association we know today has its origins in the North West, where Margaret was instrumental in its creation .

We support the most vulnerable children and adults in society. All we ask is a donation from our disabled riders. Around 160 riders attend very week and, of those, over half have a disability.  We support those with mental health issues, physical disabilities, complex conditions, visual and hearing impairments, depression, self harm, children and young adults with special education needs, and the lonely and isolated.  

Anyone 4 years and older can ride with us and many young and old simply want to volunteer.  Being active, enjoy the outdoors, socialising and having fun is so important for well being!

All our lessons are inclusive.  No differentiation, other than your riding ability, so it depends on whether you are a complete beginner needing a lead rein or more confident and ready to canter around our arenas and jump!

We offer supported volunteer placements for young people with a disability, we have our first Apprentice on an Equine Course Level 2 and we are excited now to have secured funding to offer a new service, Equine Facilitated Learning aimed at the lonely and isolated.  The Charity continues to reach so many groups in the community and benefits many people by just being involved with horses.

We see the smiles of our riders and the calming impact.  It is not just us saying that being around horses is beneficial!  There is research which highlights the benefits to people with disabilities: huge improvements in their ability to communicate, a marked physical improvement as well as an increased ability to build relationships.  Those suffering with loneliness and isolation are helped to find a renewed sense of wellbeing.


What we are trying to achieve:


We love the Riding Centre and want to buy the property.  When Margaret Haes died in 2008 the stables, land and arenas were up for sale and remained unsold for many years. This was the start of years of uncertainty about the future of the Riding Centre which had no formal tenancy.  It did change ownership in 2015 and the Riding Centre which is now a charity, continued to run on the site and further steps taken to resolve a lease.

The funds we need are to purchase the stables, land and arenas as once again the property is due to be on the open market, up for sale in a few months time. The present owner has agreed to sell to the charity, hold off putting on the open market and allowed us until 31 March to raise the £425,000 needed .

Holcombe is a much sought-after village to live in at the bottom of Holcombe Moor and close to towns and major cities. We are in a conservation area on the edge of the moors which is outstandingly beautiful. There is always the possibility of property development and the legacy of Margaret Haes will be lost forever.  

We do have a short lease ready to go, but after years of uncertainty and limitations on what we can do on site,  it would be so much better if we could buy the stables, land and arenas. Any application for grants or donations to fund major improvements to the site would be view more favourably if the Charity was the owner.

Running a Charity with this uncertainty is like riding a horse with no reins!  It is a challenge  and limits what we can do! We need to secure the future for our vulnerable clients and peace of mind so we can move on and progress even more.


Why stay on this Site?:


No property is perfect but our present site is fairly close!

A local resident in the village said  "The Riding Centre has become after 50 years an integral part of village life and has had a warm and harmonious relationship with residents for years.  The sound of hooves and laughter from the volunteers leading groups to and from the stables is one of the delights of living in Holcombe."

Being close to local towns and conurbations, we are accessible in reasonable travel times. Our schools and colleges who visit weekly as part of the school timetable need to be back for lunch or home time!  There are no alternative sites available in our locality and if we moved further afield we would lose our established and close-knit community and the travelling distance and times could be a serious barrier to many of our existing riders and volunteers.  

Moving the Riding Centre to another location would badly affect many of the riders. We have many with autism who would be significantly distressed by change.  They need a structure to their week, familiar place and even the same horse every week to ride.

We have a beautiful area to ride just on our doorstep! We are fortunate to be on the edge of the moors around Holcombe which offers safe off-road hacking on quiet tracks and lanes, and, for the more adventurous, gallops over the moors.  Riding in traffic on busy roads can be treacherous.   Being able to avoid riding on main roads is essential .This is a significant consideration for the safety and enjoyment of our riders, instructors and volunteers.  

For those wanting to improve riding and progress, we have amazing indoor and outdoor arenas thanks to the support of Sport England, Bury Council, local businesses and our fundraisers. These facilities were recently refurbished and officially opened by our local MP.

We are a social hub and at the heart of the community . We hold village barbecues and barn dances and local groups use the arenas such as scouts. Many come to the stables just to be with the horses, be that riding, grooming, jobs around the yard or just sharing secrets with their trusted furry friend.


What is next ?:


50 years after Margaret first started the Riding Centre for the Disabled in Holcombe, it is now a successful charity with around 160 riders a week, with and over half having a disability.

If we do raise the funds and own the Riding Centre site we have great plans. We have in mind using an existing building as a new educational centre with accommodation for visiting   students and others, new brew room for volunteers and community use, and new facilities for holding summer camps on site and so much more.


Who we are:


Our Chairman, Andrew Butterworth, is passionate about the Riding Centre being there for those with a disability and being the best it can be.  We have a great Management Committee.  The Charity has amazing British Horse Society Accredited Professional Coaches and wonderful dedicated volunteers.  We have support from our local communities who have run major fundraisers such as our sponsored walks and abseil last year down Peel Tower.

Andrew says “We are a real community at Margaret Haes Riding Centre.  We provide access to horses for many people with additional needs, for whom it is a lifeline.  Our instructors, staff and volunteers work tirelessly together to ensure our clients have the best experiences.  For example, during the pandemic, many of our clients didn’t leave their homes, with the exception of once a week coming to the riding centre.  It gave them something to look forward to and everyone at the stables had their spirits lifted by seeing what a difference being around horses can make to our clients’ wellbeing.

Can you help?1643028356_img_2237.jpg


Please be part of the solution to help us support the most vulnerable in society.  Support, pledge and get involved in our project and its funding to enable us to purchase the stables , land and arenas. If you are not able to contribute but like what we’re doing, please spread the word! It is urgent as we have only weeks to raise the funds. Tell everyone about us on twitter (MHriding) and Facebook(MHRidingCentre), message and whatsapp it and email it to your friends and colleagues. And feel free to get in touch, or better still, come say hello.



What if you do not make the target or make the deadline ? We believe we can do this but if not we need funds to settle and afford the lease going forward and continue the search.

Thankfully the present owner has given us time to make this appeal.








This project offered rewards

£10 or more

£10 Reward

Horse Cuddles! Come and meet our ponies and horses at the Riding Centre. (sorry must be over 4 years old)

£20 or more

£20 Reward

Help feed the horses and ponies their lunch at the Riding Centre (must be over 4 years old)

£50 or more

£50 Reward

Groom one of our lovely horses or ponies. Rosette, hot or cold drink and biscuits. Fridays and holiday times with limited availability on other days.

£300 or more

£300 Reward

Priority booking. A one hour ride (lead rein or walk and trot) for up to 6 people from the Riding Centre to Peel Tower (or ride and fun in the indoor arena if weather extreme!) and simple non alcoholic picnic . Our normal T&Cs apply including wearing an approved riding hat , riders must be 4 years and older and max rider weight of 14 stone. Actual day and time to be mutually agreed. Valid for 6 months from pledge.

£1,750 or more

£1750 Reward

Small stable door supporter plaque with your chosen name or organisation, photograph and thank you on our Facebook and website, if of interest.

£5,000 or more

£5000 Reward

Friday Team Building - full day of activities for up to 12 people with the horses and ponies (non ridden) equine therapy, lunch provided and rosettes. Large supporters plaque in arena and thank you on Website Facebook. Fridays only and mutually agreed date. Valid for 6 months from pledge.

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