Riding Like the Wind

December 9, 2019

FCHS+senior+Madelyn+Grubbs+pictured+with+her+pony%2C+Piper%2C+at+the+Hanover+Heritage+Summer+show+series.+

Photo courtesy of Madelyn Grubbs

FCHS senior Madelyn Grubbs pictured with her pony, Piper, at the Hanover Heritage Summer show series.

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Have you ever galloped along an empty beach? Nothing but the sound of horse hooves drumming on the sand and the waves crashing on the shore? Many equestrians will tell you it’s the most cherished feeling in the world. Riding gives horse lovers pure bliss, and there’s nothing they would rather do than be in the saddle.

“I’ve been riding since I was 18 months old,” said sophomore Cameron Mayo. “Whether you’re on a horse or a pony, you get a sense of freedom. It can be scary riding for the first time, but the more you ride, the more at ease you’ll find yourself,” she added.

 Horseback riding is not pure fun and games, though. Horseback riding is a sport, and a rough one at that. It takes a lot of leg strength to hold onto the horse, patience when something goes wrong, and teamwork between both rider and horse. Experienced equestrians will tell you that they’ve been thrown from the saddle more times than they can count, but they stand up, time after time, and get right back in the saddle. It can be daunting to be flying across the ground on a 1,000 pound animal and jumping over courses twice your size, or making sharp, tight turns around metal barrels, but good riders will have a connection with their horse that’s nothing short of incredible.

“The thing I love most about riding is the trust and bond I have with my horse, Hero,” said 2019 FCHS graduate Danielle Crawford. 

If you’ve ever wanted to experience horseback riding for yourself, there are several places in and around Fluvanna that you could go for riding lessons. At Fluvanna’s Equus Springs Farms, owner Heather Antonacci teaches hour-long lessons, including both private and group sessions, with group sessions being the cheapest option. Class fees include the horse’s tack and a helmet, so you won’t need to bring your own. 

Two other local places for lessons include Scottsville’s Brookhill Farm and Dogwood Knoll Farm. Dogwood Knoll only offers private lessons, but Brookhill Farm offers private and group lessons. Brookhill includes time during lesson to discuss your goals and abilities, whether you’re a beginner or advanced, and they have instructors who specialize in English riding.  You can bring your own horse, or use one of theirs.

To contact them about lessons, check out these links below.

Equus Springs Farm

Dogwood Knoll Farm

Brookhill Farm

About the Contributors
Photo of Lauren Kreitzman
Lauren Kreitzman, FCHS Journalist

Lauren is a sophomore in her first year of Journalism. She likes to ride horses, spend time with her friends, and read.

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