Employing horses in a working farm environment, Ironstone Farm provides beneficial therapy for people with a wide range of physical, emotional and cognitive disabilities. The two primary programs are Challenge Unlimited and Ironstone Therapy – both using the horse’s unique ability to enhance a person’s movements and touch a person’s heart, inspiring strength, hope and encouragement. The farm’s professional staff of over 20 licensed instructors and therapists work with about 30 program horses and about 200 volunteers to serve about 450 children and adults each week, year round. Coming from more than 90 cities and towns throughout Massachusetts and New Hampshire, participants enjoy the aesthetic beauty of the farm while receiving valuable therapy in collaboration with other service providers to best address their physical and emotional needs.
The Ironstone Farm mission statement: To provide therapeutic, educational and recreational opportunities using horses and the working farm environment to help people achieve optimum quality of life.
Ironstone Farm was founded in 1960 by owner Richard Donovan as a breeding, training, and rehabilitative facility for thoroughbred performance horses.
The nonprofit Challenge Unlimited was created out of the Donovan family’s desire to share Ironstone Farm with people whose lives have been challenged by disability. Located more than 18 beautiful acres in Andover, Massachusetts, the property consists of pasture, woodland, ponds, and is home to about 30 horses, donkeys, and a variety of wildlife, making a visit to the farm a memorable experience for all ages. In 2001, after a two-year capital campaign, Challenge Unlimited purchased Ironstone Farm so that the property and programs will be preserved for generations to come.