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.
The nonprofit Challenge Unlimited, Inc. was established in 1983 and began providing programs for children of all abilities. In 2001, Challenge Unlimited took a bold step and purchased the farm to ensure these programs would continue long-term.
Today, Ironstone Farm uses the dynamic power of horseback riding and the environment of a farm to combine several therapies into one highly effective experience. Top doctors and medical institutions refer clients to Ironstone because of its success.
Children with special needs learn to walk. People who did not speak before - including those on the autism spectrum - begin speaking. Additional therapeutic programs improve the lives of others, including veterans who have experienced trauma, survivors of cancer, teens at risk, young adults with special needs who can benefit from learning life skills, and elders with memory issues.
Coming to the 18-acre horse farm, rather than an impersonal clinic, makes therapy a “want to” event rather than a “have to” session.
About 200 volunteers each week come and support our therapeutic riding programs because they know their donated work changes lives.
Challenge Unlimited at Ironstone Farm encourages volunteer services for people of all abilities, bringing together a diverse population in a wholesome environment that encourages self-esteem, well-being and improved quality of life.
Ironstone Farm also offers recreational riding six days a week, 12 months a year in indoor and outdoor riding areas.
There are many ways you can support Ironstone Farm's growing number of programs, projects and herd.