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Testimonials

Martinique Rap

Sold To Jessica Elliott, Brentwood, NH

I have owned Ballard Farm Horses for over 17 years- 4 horses in all. My current horse,

Vice Versa Rap is everyone's dream horse. I bought her as a 2 year old and she is currently 7yrs old. She is an appendix cross. Versify is her sire and a Reynold's Rap daughter her dam. At 3 we road the trails in acadia- when we encountered anything "scary" she had to take the lead and get the older horses past the obstacles- we enjoy our trail rides in between shows. We show AQHA shows and have gotten AQHA points- she won the amatuer all around last May. She is a star in the jumping world. Her first real jumping show last October brought a reserve high point horse. Besides all that - she is beautiful- with that great "RAP" head. I look forward to breeding her to Skys Blue Boy this year and should get a great foal.
If you are looking for a great horse who can do it all don't pass up Ballard Farms

Ellen Holmes ..Richmond, Maine

AUBRI writes: "I started riding lessons at Ballard Farms when I was 5. I am 8 now and my mom and I have an open lease at the barn and we can spend time at the barn anytime we want. I love it there. It's so much fun and I have learned so much. Not only am I a great rider now, I also learn how to take care of the horses, like cleaning their stalls, feeding them and grooming them. Everybody is so nice and helpful at the barn and Ruth is the best teacher and is always planning fun stuff for the kids to do and makes us feel special."



JEN writes: "My daugther and I have an open lease at Ballard Farms. I especially enjoy the lease program as we can go anytime we want and do it all. Leasing a horse has helped reinforce the values of responsibilty, respect and confidence for my 8 year old little girl. The one on one time that we have together at the barn will always have a special place in my heart."

AUBRI writes: "Over Christmas vacation, Ruth had a horse camp for us and it was so much fun. We rode everyday, and helped with the chores in the barn, watched lots of horse movies, decorated our very own special t-shirts with our horses on the front, decorated horse shoes and learned all kinds of stuff about our horses. I am so excited for her next horse camp. THANK YOU RUTH!"
I STARTED TAKING LESSONS WITH MY DAUGHTER WHEN SHE WAS 3 AND I QUICKLY REALIZED THAT BOTH MY DAUGHTER AND I
LOVE HORSES. SHORTLY AFTER, I PURCHASED FIRST HORSE FROM RUTH, A GELDING CALLED AN ALL RED RAP (LIL' RED). THERE
IS NOTHING LIKE A RAP, THEY ARE WONDERFUL HORSES. SINCE THEN WE HAVE BOUGHT SIX MORE HORSES FROM RUTH, INCLUDING MORE
RAP'S AND SOME VERSIFIES. RUTH HAS BEEN TERRIFIC WITH HELPING TO MAKE MY HORSE DREAMS COME TRUE, THAT INCLUDES HELPING
ME TO BUILD A BARN AT MY HOME. BEING A NOVICE HORSE OWNER, I HAVE HAD MANY QUESTIONS ALONG THE WAY, AND RUTH HAS
BEEN THERE TO ANSWER EVERY ONE OF THEM. I STILL HAVE A COUPLE OF HORSES AT THE FARM THAT ARE IN TRAINING BY RUTH AND
HER STAFF. I CAN ALSO LOAD UP ONE OF MY HORSES AND GO TO BALLARD'S TO USE THEIR INDOOR ARENA, YOU ALWAYS FEEL WELCOMED.
MY EXPERIENCE WITH RUTH AND HER FARM HAS TRULY BEEN WONDERFUL. THANK YOU RUTH! Linda Gagne

I STARTED TAKING LESSONS AT BALLARD FARM'S WHEN I WAS 3. SINCE THEN I HAVE BECOME THE OWNER OF MY FIRST HORSE
THUMBALENA RAP, A REYNOLDS RAP DAUGHTER. WITH MY HORSE WE HAVE WON MEQHA LEAD LINE CHAMPION AND THIS YEAR,
AT THE AGE OF 7, I RECEIVED CHAMPION IN WALK/TROT HUNTER UNDER SADDLE AND RESERVE IN WALK/TROT HUNT SEAT
EQUITATION. I STILL TAKE LESSONS AT BALLARD FARM'S AND THUMBIE IS BOARDED THERE TOO. I ALSO DO MANY OF THE SUMMER
CAMPS, WHERE I ALWAYS LEARN A LOT AND HAVE FUN. RUTH IS THE BEST TRAINER AND IS ALWAYS THERE FOR ME BOTH AT
THE BARN AND AT MY HORSE SHOWS. SOME DAY I HOPE TO WORK AT BALLARD FARM'S AND BECOME A TRAINER JUST LIKE RUTH.

ALEXIS age 7yrs

Ruth Ballard is a phenomenal equestrian coach. As a non-rider who at age 50 purchased a 2 year old thoroughbred, I needed a lot of help. Ruth listened to my wishes and after training Allie to ride, worked with both of us novices together. This was more challenging than it would have been to train us separately, but Ruth was, as always, willing to go with my wishes. As a result, my horse and I have developed a rather special relationship. She is more than just my horse, she is my companion.
Ruth has assisted us with every phase of our development and daily maintenance. We've learned grooming, tacking, lunging, riding, non-verbal communication (and for me ... guttural communication...although I'm still not great at it, yet!), medical management, and soon to be breeding.
When we are riding, Ruth always seems to be having as much fun on the ground as we are during the lesson. She is one of the most positive, happy people I know. She is always available for a lesson, or an emergency call regarding veterinary needs. I feel that Ruth really enjoys both my horse and myself and we both feel very much "at home" at Ruth's facility.

Denise L. Obert
John and I couldn't be happier with our purchase of "Good Golly Miss Molly"! Never have I seen my husband bond with a horse, until now! Molly's gentle & loving nature, coupled with her talent for Dressage, Jumping and Trail Riding, make her a perfect fit for my "forever fairytale horse"! Many friends are waiting for first look at this 17.2 Hand BlackThoroughbred Percheron Mare coming!
We can't say enough about your professional and giving nature @ Ballard Farms.It's been a welcome departure from some of our other experiences. You made us feel like family and never limited your time to tell us everything we needed to know or learn about Molly.
I write this to you on the night before Molly is to come live in Kennebunk with me. Although I am excited about this, I will truly miss your Farms "open arms" policy! I know Molly was your "special girl" and I am honored that you trusted her to me. I am over the moon about her. Attached is one of my favorite pictures of her, so far :)
I would be happy to talk to anyone, thinking of buying at Ballard Farms! You're the BEST!

John & Elizabeth Naughton
Kennebunk Maine
 

Ballard Farms is one of Maine’s greatest secrets.  The indoor arena is gigantic and you could never find more perfectly behaved horses on any farm.  The horses used for lessons are nicer than most show horses.  The instructors all have developed riding and training skills under Ruth’s guidance.  The learning environment is safe, nurturing, and most of all, fun!

Ballard Farms will always be one of my favorite places.  I am just one of the many people lucky enough to call Ruth a friend.  Ruth’s magnetic personality and exceptional horsemanship will inspire you.  Once you visit, you will be hooked.
Brenna Watson 

 

We have boarded our horses for the summers at Ballard Farm for the past seven years, and we hope to do so again this summer. Simply put, Ruth Ballard is a credit to her profession. She truly cares about horses whether it be her own or others. She has continuously treated my horses and family with respect and great courtesy. Her personal knowledge of equine care, training, and husbandry is vast. She has forgotten more than I can ever hope to know! She actually saved my mare from certain death when she suffered a freak accident.
My daughter has served under her employ assisting with the summer camp program. This is where Ruth shines! Her love of horses is clearly matched with her love of enriching the lives of the young campers under her care. All children learning to ride are afforded the opportunity to ride top quality horses born and raised with plenty of TLC right on the premises. These beautiful and kind show quality Quarter Horses and Appendixes are a treat for beginners and intermediate riders alike.
It is truly a pleasure to write this testimony for someone for whom my family and I have such great respect.

Beth Ann Hague
Ashby, Massachusetts

For the past fourteen years of my life I have been riding horses at Ballard Farms located in Sidney, ME.  At the age of 22, I can profoundly say that I aspire to own horses and continue to benefit from their unfailing companionship.  Most importantly I will own horses that are specifically bred and raised at Ruth Ballard’s facility.  Ballard Farms has provided me with life long skills and disciplines that have made me the individual I am today. I have had the opportunity to represent Ballard Farms in countless AQHA approved Quarter Horse shows and under the instruction of Ruth I have become a successful competitor.  I believe that my accomplishments at Ballard Farms offer me transferable knowledge that I will utilize for the duration of my life.  

 Ballard Farms is a reputable equestrian center across the United States.  Ballard Farms is home to over eighty horses, which allows every individual to find his/her perfect match.  Ballard Farm’s horses are:  trustworthy, competitive, athletic, and more importantly safe for all levels of riders.  Personally, I benefited from Ballard Farm’s lease program because I was able to ride numerous horses, which isn’t offered in most equestrian facilities.  I have been a student as well as an instructor in Ruth Ballard’s camp and lesson program.  I have witnessed hundreds of children become positively influenced by caring and learning from Ballard Farm’s horses. 

Ballard Farms has a history of supporting children across the great state of Maine; however, in recent years it has expanded to kids who reside in New York City.  Ruth Ballard has created an environment that is valuable to all adults and youth groups. The most significant attribute about Ballard Farms is the sense of connection every person feels when they step foot in the barn. 

Cait Blanchard Portland, Maine

My name is Mercedes and I am 6 years old. My mom, Audra and my Auntie Kimmy used to ride and show at Ballard Farms. Now its my turn. I love horse camp. I have gone to several in the summer and the winter. I love all the horses, but I love Rapitity the most. If you really want to ride, you should go to Ballard Farms. Me, Alexis, Taylor and Aubri had fun at the Xmas Camp. We swim at Ballard Farms too. We have fun and you will too.

Mercedes

Farmingdale, Maine

I have been taking lesson at Ballard Farms since I was eight years old. I have learned sooo much about horses and how to ride. The only reason I am doing so well is because I went to Ballard Farms and learned how to ride. When I was ten years old I bought my horse Laury Rap from Ballard Farms. She is the sweetest and the most nicest moving horse I have seen. I am very gifted to have her. Thank you so much Ruth.
sincerely,
shanti Indra Walter

Dresden, Maine

 
I have been taking lesson at Ballard Farms since I was eight years old. I have learned sooo much about horses and how to ride. The only reason I am doing so well is because I went to Ballard Farms and learned how to ride. When I was ten years old I bought my horse Laury Rap from Ballard Farms. She is the sweetest and the most nicest moving horse I have seen. I am very gifted to have her. Thank you so much Ruth.


sincerely,


Shanti Indra Walter

I bought Guana when I was 11 years old. She is the first horse I have ever owned. After we bought her she stayed at Ruth’s for about two weeks then we brought her home after our first show together. I still go up to Ballard Farms every once in a while. I have so much fun when I am there. Ruth is always there to help me and you can never be bored. Guana and I go to one or two Quarter Horse shows per year in Maine. That is one of my favorite shows to go to, because the girls are so much fun to hang out with. Also when I am at these shows I never really feel that nervous because Ruth always has positive things to say. These two years Guana and I have had together have been the best two years of my life. We get along so great. She has the best personality I think mainly because we have the same personality Guana is always excited and playful. She absolutely loves Jolly balls and lick-its. She always wants to run. Guana is so much fun to ride. Right now we are doing pleasure shows, Jumping shows and Dressage shows. We also do showmanship. In 2006 we won Rockingham county overall show champion, along with overall English champion, equitation and pleasure champion. In 2007 we won “My Girl Tara Trophy” Which is the relationship between you and your horse, and we won First place at a Dressage show and also a jumping show. Guana is the best teammate I could ever ask for but more importantly the best friend I could ever ask for. Katie Dibble
 
"Ruth,

I just wanted to thank you for accommodating our daughter with a half day of "camp" while we were vacationing in Maine this past summer. Spending time at Ballard Farms is something that she looks forward to when we are back East. Just like two summers ago, she had a great time, albeit much too short! Our daughter is generally hesitant and uncomfortable about going into settings where she doesn't know people, so it is a testament to your team that she decided to go on her own when her cousin had to cancel unexpectedly. The Ballard Farms environment is obviously a nurturing, positive environment that fosters a great sense of confidence and accomplishment. Framed in a beautiful setting, Ballard Farms' "camp" may be teaching equestrian skills, but, really, I think it is teaching many life skills as well. Thank you again -- we'll be back in a few years!

Sincerely,

Mary Beth M. "
 

Horses have always been the loves of my life. Growing up in rural Nova Scotia, horses and all that comes with them kept me focused and probably kept me out of a lot of trouble. At the age of 13, I yearned for more challenges and opportunities for my horse and I than what were available in the Maritime Provinces. I wanted to compete in bigger shows against more disciplined competitors.
I had always looked up to Ruth Ballard; Combing through magazines for pictures of her and her beautiful horses. Lucky for me, my parents shared in my dream of competing throughout New England and contacted Ruth with the prospective of taking my horse and I for the summer. Although we did not know Ruth, seeing her interact with her students at shows and after speaking with some of the parents of her students, my mother and father unselfishly agreed to send me (with a calling card just in case!) to live with a stranger.
I hitched a ride to Maine with a family friend in his 18-wheeler and did not arrive at Ballard Farms until the middle of the night. I was filled with anticipation, however, I was quite nervous about being away from home for the first time. My nervousness was short-lived when Ruth emerged from the house in her bathrobe while we were backing in. She welcomed me to Ballard Farms with a hug and helped me unpack my things and get settled.
Instantaneously I was a part of the family at Ballard Farms. I never felt like Ruth was a stranger. Although I was one of many kids participating in the program I always felt special- Ruth never missed one of my classes and was always around whether it be to do my hair before a class or to offer some words of encouragement as I rode down the rail.
There are many things I will take with me as a result of the years I spent at Ballard Farms. I learned how to win and lose with grace, I learned to congratulate my friends when they did well, I learned patience when working with young horses, and I learned how to pass on my love of horses to younger kids starting out at Ballard Farms. I often think of growing up at Ballard Farms, the lifelong friends I met, and above all the good times shared. Now married with a child, I hope to give him the same opportunities that my parents gave me- a chance to be a member of a team at Ballard Farms!

Jana van den Heuvel

 
I think Ballard Farms is truly one of Maines best kept secrets. We searched for months before stumbling upon Ballard Farms.
It was a pleasure to purchase my first horse from Ruth Ballard. I could not be happier with the purchase of Univeral Rap. He is a wonderful 5 year old Appendix gelding.
Ruth sets the tone at her barn and has a very open door philosophy. She is very knowledgeable, and generous with her time. Her staff is very accomodating and helpful. Even post sale she was very available to take calls and answer any questions. She truly cares about her herd as she continues to stay in touch and checks in on her horses that have moved on to good homes.
I will without hesitation continue to refer others to Ballard Farms for information and those in search of a great horse. Universe is a super boy - very sweet and sensible. We have started full training at a dressage facility on Boston's North Shore. Thank you Ruth! Amy Remondi
 


It is easy to be happy with a farm or business when you buy a horse and are
delighted to find that you have purchased just the right one. It is much
more of a test when you discover that the horse that is living in your barn
is really not the one for you.

I bred my 16 hand mare to a 16 hand Ballard Farm Stallion. The filly that
was born was beautiful moving but very large. She reached 17 hands at the
age of 3. For some people a huge filly would be a wonderful thing but for
me (topping out at 5'3") it was more horse than I needed or wanted. Being
that large and young, she also was a handful. I realized that I had gotten
myself into more than I was ready for.

I spoke to Ruth. She was confident that the skills of her trainers were
more than a match for this big filly and was willing to work with me to find
a horse that would meet my needs.

In this way I was able to find Gage (Engaging Rap). As a sweet, quiet, 16
hand, 4 year old gelding, he was much more suited to my size, interests and
skills.

By working with me in this way Ruth not only helped me out but also put the
filly I had raised into a program in which she could learn and find success.
I send this testimonial to Ruth in thanks for going above and beyond with
her customers until the right match is made.

Susan Oakland

  Greg writes: Kate, my daughter and I have had much fun at Ballard Farms. We started taking lessons in the summer of 2004. Ruth creates a very positive, caring environment conbined with knowledgeable, expert training for both horse and rider. Thank you Ruth! for allowing Kate and I to spend quality time together.

Ballard Farms offers a wonderful camp programs for all rider levels and age groups. Kate has grown tremendously as a young lady: learning responsiblitiy, displine, caring, and confidence with a fun positive outlook. Ruth models these charactor traits and truely brings our the best in Kate as well as everybody she comes in contact with. When you combine horses, girls, great counselors, swimming pool, crafts, horse movies its a recipe for a good time with memories that last a life time.

After 2 years of actively searching for a horse for Kate we found Ironside Rap, a gray gelding fouled April 4, 1998. We purchased him in June of 2005. Iron than and still does fit our needs. He is first of all a very safe horse being of good charactor truely easy going, smart, with really no bad habits. Importantly Iron is a great horse to ride on day in day out basis. He responds well to rider ques, moves smoothly, is athletic, smart minded and is very enjoyable under saddle. As a bonus Iron has a great show history at both AQHA, Silver Spur and other events. Bringing home whites, yellows, reds, and 4 blue ribbons. Kate has bonded with and loves Iron. We look forward to many more years of great riding fun with Iron at Ballard Farms.

After a hard stress filled day at work Kate and I can packup and escape to Ballard Farms. It makes me forget about the worries and pressures of the outside world. I also very much enjoy the friends Kate and I have made spending fun times riding together and showing together. And don't forget the horses because they are truely wonderful. I love everyone of them, learning their names, personalities, and other charactortics. At Ballard Farms its a never ending fantastic adventure. Come join us! Greg and Katie Rabe
  As a young child, I was always drawn to the majesty and grace of horses. It was a love I gave from afar, realizing that owning a horse was probably not in the cards for me. Through the years, even though I have raised 2 children and now have a grandson, I have never lost my affection for those gentle giants. It was not until recently that I gave myself permission to do something I only dreamed of.

It has been 18 months since my first riding lesson at Ballard Farms. Through a mutal friend, I met Ruth Ballard and it has been a dream come true. A firend of mine knew of my love for horses and suggested that I could go nowhere else but Ballard Farms. The horses are safe and friendly and Ruth is patient, kind and very knowledgeable in all areas related to horses. She has a way of making you feel at ease right away, all the while teaching you all you need to know so you can have the best experience possible.

From the start, I wanted to know all aspects of grooming, saddling and caring for the horses. I think this was my way of making up for lost time. Ruth was glad to share all her experince with me and I look forward to every lesson. You are encouraged to do as much or as little as you want, depending on what you want your experience to be. Beginners or professionals, you are treated with kindness, dignity and no question is too big or too small. If my grandson ever shares in my love of horses, Ballard Farms will be the place I will bring him for his first riding experience.

Cathy Gasper
  I started taking lessons at Ballard Farms when I was about ten, but I'd been riding at a different stable since I was six. I am now fourteen and love to ride. In fact I ride about four to five days a week (more then one ride in a day).Not only have I advanced my skills in being a rider but in responsibility also. I love the facility of Ballard Farms, it's always a nice place to be, with encouraging people all around. Ruth and her staff have all helped me become a better rider in everything I do. Being a soon-to-be owner of a horse next summer, I have to explore the wide variety of horses at Ballard farms with the open lease program. I've never been happier. Riding in whatever lessons I want always gives me the power of confidence and responsibility. I started leasing in September of 09', it is now December of 09' and I've already fallen in love with so many horses! You always feel welcomed and safe. I hope I will become an owner of many Ballard Farm horses someday. Thanks for all your help Ruth!!!
VICTORIA Emery
 
Hi Ruth,
I figured I would give you an update on Mocha, sence it has been almost a year. She has been a great girl and has experinced many new things. She has taken everything in stride and has been an angel off property. We went to several shows this summer and the out come was very good (1- 1st 3- 2nd and 2- 6th outta of 3 shows). I get alot of complemets at show all telling me that she is beautiful and will make a great show horse. I took her on severall trail rides and she loved it never looked twice at anything. She even went on the road and was better the horses that rode on the road all the time. I am currenttly moving her to a new barn where we will be able to ride year round and finish up her schooling over fences. We hope to be doing alot more showing next year mainly in the hunter/jumper ring, though we might try some eventing, she seems to like dressage too. I want to thank you and everyone at Ballard for helping me find the perfect first horses she is defenatly a character and has a wonderful personallity. I attached a video of some of the things we have been up to, thanks again Jess Manuel.
  Hi Ruth,

It was nice to meet you the other day when DiAnne and I stopped by. I have enjoyed leasing Paisley from DiAnne for the past two years. Attached are two pictures of Paisley taken at shows in 2010: one of my daughter at Sunset Farm and one of me at an SMDA show at Hollis. Margaret and Paisley won just about every test they rode and frequently ended up either Show Champion or Reserve Champion Junior Rider. I only rode in the one show, but we won both classes and were High Point Senior Champion that day.

I think we mentioned that her name has been officially changed on her AQHA registration to "Paisley Rapp".

Margaret & Paisley Rapp 2010 Year End Awards:
(It was the first year of dressage for both horse and rider.)
WMDEA: Reserve Grand Ch. High Point Jr. Rider, Reserve Champion Intro Level
MDS(Maine Dressage Society):Bronze Medal, High Point Quarter Horse, Reserve Ch. Introductory Level Junior Rider (71.0%)

We did not show in 2011 due to a combination of illness/minor injuries of both the horse and riders. She is in fine shape now and I am planning to show her in 2012. Paisley has blossomed and matured since then. She has become a dependable and steady companion who wants to please both in the ring and on the trails. She is smart and eager to learn in the ring, knows when she is at a horse show enjoying the chance to "strut her stuff", and is an amazing trail horse: fearless and surefooted having scrambled her way out of a few footing "surprises" with almost cat-like dexterity. She is extremely affectionate and loves her "spa days" (serious grooming on bad weather days when we can't ride outside). Paisley is a solid, good natured and talented mare. I am so pleased to have her in my life.
Thanks again for taking the time to meet with us. Catherine
 

Hi i’m 14 and have had my horse MicMac for about four months now. He's the sweetest horse in the stables and everybody just loves him! He's a joy to ride and has the smoothest gaits ever. He's a great jumper and is super quiet. I would defiantly buy a horse from you again.

Attached is a picture of him the first time I walked him in our ring.