Author Archives: Michele Shepherd

The Great Barnum


Barnum & Bailey were given to The Carriage Barn Equine Assisted Therapy Program in May 2005. Wendy Llewellyn wanted them to have a good home. They were imported from Belgium as circus ponies. After the original owner lost interest in them, they were left in a large field with Clydesdales; Wendy saved them from the pastures of Connecticut. She bought harness and drove them, a perfectly matched black pair of Shetlands. She wanted to compete with a large horse in carriage driving shows.





Barnum and Bailey were named by the kids in our 2005 Kids Driving Camp. The kids loved to learn how to drive a pair and who could resist a photo opportunity with these adorable ponies, 10 hands, all dressed up with their green feather plumbs. Barnum and Bailey were never separated during their teaching time with us. We know they were clever and knew circus tricks. We did not know whether they spoke Flemish, French, or German, but they definitely drove with no verbal cues. One day we decided to use them for a riding lesson. Two little kids got on and were being led around the ring. Suddenly, both ponies simply laid down. We never figured out the cue, maybe the clowns taught them the trick as part of the circus act. From that moment, they were drive only.


6-25-11 Parade-1Over the years, hundreds of people met our great circus boys; in parades, at camps, and in lessons. Last Summer, they helped a young woman with Spina Bifida who was afraid of heights, speed, and leaving her wheelchair. They were her first driving experience. The indoor arena was filled with aides, sidewalkers, and breathless onlookers. The ponies pulled and we all began to enjoy the moment.

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Sadly, that moment, that Summer, must live with us forever. The great Barnum died in his pasture, with Bailey and his other pasture mates by his side, on New Year’s Day. We think he was very close to forty years old. For the last four years, Barnum & Bailey have lived with their veterinarian, Dr. Janet Wojciechowski and her husband, Mr. Don Haley. Dr. Wojciechowski had diligently cared for the boys’ allergies. Over the years, the grasses and other pollens along with fly bites had compromised their quality of life. Their monthly shots and tremendous care allowed them to productively function until now.





We will ring in the New Year with hearts filled with Joy and Peace. Goodness and Mercy abound around us. To all of you, we are most grateful. To Barnum, we will always remember. To Bailey, we will shower you with love and protect you from loss.

Abbot-Downing Historical Society

We would like to thank the Abbot-Downing Historical Society for a wonderful Fall group outing on November 2nd. Our senior driving class had a fun day looking at great moments of carriage history. The beautiful artifacts showcased next to restored vehicles took our imaginations to Boston, 1880.

Thank you Marsha, Brian & Dottie, and Peter & Verna!



Kenneth Whalen

We are saddened to hear of the death of long time Carriage Barn supporter, Mr. Kenneth J. Whalen. Mr. Whalen, of Dorset, Vermont and Vero Beach, Florida, died in September 2014 in Vero Beach after a brief illness.

He was born in Whitehall, New York in 1923. An accomplished athlete, he attended Whitehall High School, Dartmouth College, and graduated from Union College in 1949. Mr. Whalen was a member of the 1949 Eastern College All Star football team which defeated the New York Giants in the 11th annual Fresh Air Fund Game.

During World War II he served in the U.S. Navy aboard the USS Stockdale, a destroyer escort which saw action in the North Atlantic and Pacific theaters, and participated in the search for Amelia Earhart.

Mr. Whalen retired from AT&T in 1984 as an Executive Vice President after a 34 year career in the Bell Telephone Company. He served on the boards of a number of companies, including Warner Lambert, American Motors, Manulife, and Core Industries.

He and his wife of 65 years, Bette Whalen, were active supporters of numerous civic, charitable, and academic organizations, including Union College in Schenectady, NY and Long Trail School in Dorset, VT.

A lifelong Catholic, he worshipped at St. Paul’s in Manchester, VT and at The Church of the Holy Cross in Vero Beach, FL. Mr. Whelan was a Knight of Malta.

Our thoughts are with Mr. Whalen’s family and friends. He will be fondly remembered.

Fall Open House

IMG_8889Please join The Carriage Barn for their Fall Open House and Fundraiser on Sunday, September 28th from noon to 2pm, at Trundle Bed Farm on Trundle Bed Lane in Kensington, NH. Meet our staff and horses, see demonstrations and learn more about our programs and Fall schedule.


Meet the famous Artful Dodger and play with him in our indoor arena. Raffles and Artful Dodgerauctions as well as lunch will be available. All proceeds from the day will go to support The Carriage Barn’s Equine Assisted Therapy Programs. For more information, please contact the office.

Horseback Riding and Carriage Driving Programs Accepting Applications

IMG_3243-1The Carriage Barn is now accepting applications for its Fall Horseback Riding and Carriage Driving Programs in Kensington, NH. Programs include Therapeutic Horseback Riding and Therapeutic Carriage Driving.

Beginner independent Horseback Riding and Carriage Driving lessons are also available for adults and children.

Group or private Horsemanship, Riding, and Carriage Driving classes are offered throughout the week.

All Carriage Barn clinics are inclusionary. For more information please contact The Carriage Barn.




Adult Horsemanship Classes will run Tuesday evening beginning October 7th for six weeks.





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Adults & Seniors should check out our Sunday morning Carriage Driving classes.




For more information check out our program information page. For clinics dates, please check out our calender or contact the office.

Walnut Hill Driving Competition

Carriage Barn Driver Joan is in Pittsford, NY this week for the annual Pittsford Carriage Association’s driving competition.  Here are some of her photos.  Thanks for sharing, Joan!

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Girls Scouts Attend Carriage Barn’s Horsemanship Clinics

Girl Scouts from Camp Seawood have been attending our Horsemanship Clinics for the last four weeks.  These great groups of young ladies have been learning about safe horse care & management, vaulting, horseback riding, and carriage driving.  Lots of fun and smiles along the way.

Thank you to the girls and Camp Seawood for sharing your summer camp time with us.  A big thank you to all of our volunteers and staff (2 and 4 legged) that have made these clinics such a success!

Next week is an “off week” for Horsemanship Clinics while we host our Kids Driving Clinic.  For those interested, there is one final week of Horsemanship left this summer, August 18-22.  Contact The Carriage Barn office to register.

Summer Horsemanship Classes for Adults

Come join US FOR a fun-filled educational experience – learn to care and communicate with ponies and horses. You are never too old to learn about horses. This class will cover the basics of horse car and riding in a kind and supportive atmosphere in a professional facility with experienced instructors and specially trained horses. Indoor and outdoor arenas and ample outdoor spaces.

Proceeds help support the Carriage Barn’s therapeutic riding and driving programs.

Classes are Tuesday evenings from 6 to 8pm for six weeks, beginning July 8th.  For more information / to register, please click here.

2014 Summer clincs at The Carriage Barn

Spots are available in select weeks of The Carriage Barn’s Annual Summer Horse Clinics.

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Horsemanship Clinics will run weekly late June through late August. These clinics are for beginner and independent riders ages 6 to 15. Learn about horses, their care, handling, nutrition, first aid, and horseback riding.  Click her for more information or to register.

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The Kids Carriage Driving Clinic will run one week only – August 4th – 8th – beginner through advanced levels, in a safe, supportive, & fun team-oriented atmosphere. The clinic is specially designed for drivers who want to know “everything” there is to know about ponies, horses, and carts. Learn all aspects of driving, including harnessing, the history of carriages, and daily driving instruction.  Click her for more information or to register.



Adults also have a chance to attend “summer camp” again this year with our Adult Carriage Driving clinic. This year’s clinic will run August 10th through 12th (Sunday through Tuesday). This is your chance to receive concentrated driving instruction — your horse or ours. A great introduction to the fine art of carriage driving.  Click her for more information or to register.

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Seniors should check out Senior Carriage Driving. Special beginner carriage driving classes just for seniors, given Sunday mornings.  Click her for more information or to register.

Clinic proceeds help support The Carriage Barn’s therapeutic riding & carriage driving programs. For more information, please contact The Carriage Barn.