March 5th, 2019
City officials have approved a renovation plan for Trott Brook Farm, bringing youth programs in equine therapy to Ramsey
The Ramsey City Council issued final approval on Tuesday for a plan to renovate the 137-acre Trott Brook Farm, converting the property into a new youth equestrian center. Located on Saint Francis Boulevard, the facility will offer boarding, two new indoor riding arenas and a unique therapeutic focus for students.
Programming at the farm will center on the health benefits gained by caring for and riding horses with classes tailored toward youth struggling with anxiety, depression and Autism Spectrum Disorder.
The redevelopment effort is the brainchild of Centra Homes President Dale and Tammy Wills, an experienced land developer who sought to use their property development acumen and love of horses to help make a difference for children in the area.
“Research has shown improved mental health for children comes by offering safe outlets for expression and exploration,” says Dale Wills, “Horse therapy has proven to be a strong catalyst for this growth.”
Through the new program, participants will have the opportunity to sign up for weekly lessons with a professional trainer as well as volunteer to assist with feeding and grooming the animals. As students transition from care of horses to tacking and riding, the hope is they will pick up more than just riding skills.
“My own family has been impacted by anxiety and depression. I’ve seen the benefits horse care and riding have had in helping. I am excited to bring this program to Ramsey.” Tammy Wills
Wills says that similar programs have been successfully rolled out in other areas and the results have been significant. By caring for and training the animals children are able to learn emotional awareness, problem-solving and build self-esteem in a safe environment.
“Children today face challenges unheard of a generation ago. Our program can offer an outlet to grow and help build resilience,” Dale Wills, Centra Homes Founder and President
Participants will have the ability to pursue riding in either a western or English discipline and will be able to show off their new skills via quarterly shows that will be open to the public.
In addition to the equine facility, Wills also plans to build a new single-family home on the site. Prior to the completion of that new home, his family will move into the existing residence at Trott Brook Farm.
Tuesday’s council approval follows multiple Planning Commission meetings, City Council meetings and an open house for residents. Wills says he incorporated the feedback from those into his proposal and ultimately won unanimous approval from both the Ramsey City Planning Commission and City Council. Construction on the site will begin this spring and plans are to open for business in the fall.
“The City of Ramsey staff have been fabulous partners and we are beyond excited to break ground on this project.”
—Dale Wills, Centra Homes Founder and President
For more information about the benefits of equine therapy or to get involved in the new program, interested parties are invited to the Trott Brook Farm Facebook page.
Posted in Community Outreach