You may not know it, but horse riding is a great workout for the mind, body and soul, physically boosting the cardiovascular system, giving a full-body workout, easing stressors on the mind, along with giving you a soul-to-soul connection with a horse. It’s also an activity that both adults and children can enjoy and benefit from. At Legacy Saddlebreds in Winston-Salem, NC, they see riders every day from the ages of 3 to adult, each coming to riding for different reasons, but all leaving with a love for the sport.
For the past three-and-a-half years, Legacy Saddlebreds has been giving riding lessons in their state-of-the art facility, year round. “With our two indoor and two outdoor riding arenas, we are always teaching, and parents and families of our riders can sit in our climate-controlled lounge and watch, work or get some shopping done online with our wifi. Horse riding is a workout, especially as an adult, you use muscles you didn’t know you had. Not only is riding a great cardio workout, but it helps with posture and balance and is a great alternative for those who may have issues with their knees or other injuries that keep them from running or cycling. For children, riding is a good way to build confidence, as well as exercise; it also helps them to focus. Kids also learn from constructive criticism given by their instructor and adjust to become a better rider. Also, some kids don’t thrive in a team atmosphere, so riding is a way for them to be involved in a sport, and should they choose, be on a team and compete. Many students, after their lesson, go to the barn and just hang out with the horses, cleaning stalls or brushing the horses. When a parent comes to pick up their child, they usually find them in the barn…there’s just something about time with a horse that can clear your mind,” said Sondra Warren, Assistant Manager at Legacy Saddlebreds. It’s that clearing of the mind that draws many adult students to Legacy Saddlebreds.
“Our adult students use riding as a way to decompress from their hectic corporate lives. When you’re here, the worries of the day fall away and it’s just you and your horse. We have adult riding series throughout the year, which is 5 weeks, once a week, of group lessons where you learn the basics of riding, horse care and are given fitness advice on how riding can impact your body. Being here and getting away from the outside world is a good escape, and our adult students like the interaction they have with each other and the horses,” Jeanine Lovell, Riding Academy Manager at Legacy Saddlebreds, commented.
As the summer quickly approaches, maybe you are looking for a new activity for your child, or maybe they have expressed interest in learning to ride. Legacy Saddlebreds offers summer camps for children 3 to 17 years old.
“For children 6-17 years old, our Beginner Camps are Monday through Friday, 9–3pm, always supervised and include riding once a day, a horse-based craft, hands-on interaction with the horses and lunch. Our sessions are filling up quickly, so we suggest you visit our website to see what is available. We also have two sessions of our Small Fry camp for children 3-5 years old, Tuesday-Thursday, 9-noon and this includes riding, a horse craft and time with the horses. It is a one-to-one camper/counselor ratio, so our classes are smaller than those of the older kids’ camps. Safety is our top priority with all our campers, but we make sure they learn and have fun,” stated Jeanine.
Once summer comes to an end, the fun at Legacy Saddlebreds continues with their Open House on August 26th, 2-4 pm. “Our open house is a free event where families can come for pony rides, face painting, games, tours of our facility and meet Picasso, our American Girl horse. We encourage guests to ask about our programs and really get to know what we are all about,” Mallory DeVoll, Riding Instructor at Legacy Saddlebreds, said. A new program that Legacy is starting is their home school series, where riding at Legacy counts as physical education credits.
Legacy Saddlebreds is also active in the community, with attending school and church festivals, sharing the horses and always being available to educate and share information on horses and riding. The youth club at Legacy is also involved throughout the year in meetings and fundraising for St, Jude’s, being recognized in 2017 as the Youth Club of the Year in the country!
As with the past few years, Legacy Saddlebreds is growing and adding to what they offer. “Our show barn is in the process of being transformed into an event center where you can get married, have corporate events, business meetings; whatever you may need an area for, we have it here. We can accommodate up to 600 people and can also have more intimate gatherings. Legacy Saddlebreds is a special place and we love to share what we do with our community,” commented Sondra.