John & Karen - Farm Owners
Todd Hill Farm is located at exit 7 from the 102 Highway in the community of Oakfield / Enfield (Halifax Co.). It services a wide community base with students coming from as far away as Bridgewater and Eastern Passage. What makes the farm special is its not-for-profit management (all funds are returned to the program to improve fencing, riding areas, paddocks, tack, equipment and new horses. The farm is able to offer much-needed recreation and educational opportunities to the surrounding communities. We think of our students, parents and staff as family!
Karen and her daughter Robyn with the one and only George Morris!
Todd Hill Farm Association (Non-profit Corporation #803619501) opened its doors in 2010. Word-of-mouth and social media have been their primary form of communicating to the public. Their student body has grown every year and currently stands at approx. 150. The farm houses 20 lesson horses and 4 private horses and does not offer boarding. They feel that they can offer a better service to their students by being a lesson-only stable. The feedback seems to confirm this!
Todd Hill Farm students have a strong bond with the horses, staff and farm in general. They are loyal and feel like they are a part of the “family.” Many of the students volunteer without being asked – picking up a shovel when needed, or helping a younger student tack up a horse. Our student's parents have expressed appreciation at how their children have developed a sense of purpose and pride – this positively affects to their relationships at school and at home. Caring for a horse is truly confidence and character-building.
Karen and her favourite trail partner, Finnegan explore the trails at Todd Fill Farm
The name Todd Hill was chosen out of respect for the original – Charles Todd and his family. The Todds, originally from Scotland, land owners were granted a large tract of land in the mid 1800’s. They worked hard, cleared the land, grew crops and raised livestock. Pictured below are Charles Todd and his Son Abijah (circa 1910). The house in this picture is still standing today and belongs to Abijah’s grand-daughter Linda Todd. It is located across the street from the big hayfield out front.
The Gillighans cleared the heavily wooded land by hand (a few good men with chainsaws!) and came across several discoveries including old foundations of barns and out-buildings, stone walls, old bottles and even oxen shoes. It was very satisfying to be able to reclaim the wooded acres and make them into hay-producing fields once again. At the time of purchase, several investors and land developers had approached the executors of the estate. The Gillighans were able to acquire the land only because they had no intention to develop it into a large subdivision of homes. They wanted to return it to farm use – a very rare occurrence in today’s real estate environment!