FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE A Leg Up :
YOUNG RIDERS GET AN OPPORTUNITY
THROUGH THE YMCA AND BREK-N-RIDGE FARM IN HARBOR SPRINGS
Anna Haney, seven years old and still growing into her boots, stands beside a pony, ready to mount. Karin Offield, her instructor, encourages Anna to keep the pony still. “Here,” she says, “let me give you a leg up.”
That’s just what Karin has done through her new riding program with the YMCA, by making introductory riding lessons affordable for a wider range of families.
Anna’s mother, Dana Ashton, a middle school teacher in Petoskey, says that her girls had expressed interest in riding for over a year. “No one in our family rides,” she says. “We didn’t imagine ourselves as horse people. But when I heard the YMCA was offering lessons through Brek-n-Ridge Farm, I thought that would be a great way for my girls to get a taste of the sport.”
Abby, age nine at the time, and Anna signed up for eight lessons at a low cost. Karin made sure that the girls did more than just get onto a saddle and ride. They have also learned how to groom and care for horses with Kate Etherly.
“Karin and Kate have both been wonderful,” says Dana. “They are gracious, kind, knowledgeable, and patient teachers. From the beginning, Karin has been in-tune with my daughters’ very different natures and personalities and has naturally brought out the best in each of them.”
The girls have discovered confidence in their skill with St. Nicholas, the Welsh pony. Karin doesn’t talk down to the kids, but offers straightforward encouragement. “You must have been a horse in another life,” she says to Anna, who beams.
Abby was surprised to find how active riding is – how physically demanding. “Find the rhythm,” Karin calls out to Abby. “Up, down, more forward, and back down, up, down. Find your balance.”
It doesn’t matter that the girls wear Western boots for English riding. Karin is looking for their aptitude and commitment. If they show promise, she wants them to continue. One of the ways will be through the United States Pony Club, a national leadership organization that has helped to expand and popularize horse riding. Participants learn about all aspects of horses at an individual pace and they expand their horse knowledge through teamwork and teaching others.
“The YMCA program was Karin’s idea, and it really grows out of her values,” says Larry Wood, executive director of the YMCA of Northern Michigan. “It’s an exceptional opportunity.”
Another family will start this week, and if Karin and Kate like what they see, a young man may have found a passion for a lifetime.
Brek-n-Ridge Farm is located at 7359 S. Lakeshore Drive, on M-119 north of Harbor Springs. For more information, please call the YMCA at 349-8393 or Brek-n-Ridge at 242-0012. The website is www.breknridgefarm.com and the email address is mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org. Release :2012
BREK-n-RIDGE FARM and the YMCA are proud to offer a
Horseback Riding Program 2013
FOR BEGINNER and INTERMEDIATE RIDERS
You’ll begin with two private 45-minute lessons in which you’ll get to know your horses. These individual sessions are held prior to the group lessons by appointment and are included in the 6 lesson session cost. Then, with the instructor’s permission, you will be invited to join a group of other riders, in your age group. You will be introduced to the care of horses and horseback riding.
Lessons will continue throughout the fall, winter and spring. Lesson times are arranged a week in advance and if inclement weather prohibits a scheduled lesson, make -up days are arranged. Two afternoon week day after school lessons are offered and Saturdays will be available for scheduling. No lessons on Sundays.
Sign up now for Fall and Winter Program. First come basis. Limited enrollment.
Visit Brek-n- Ridge Farm, 7359 S. Lake Shore Drive, next to the Birchwood Inn on M-119, just north of Harbor Springs.
Call for costs and to schedule your lesson times
Karin Offield 231-242-0012
Assistance with school buses may be arranged and carpooling is encouraged. Payment plans accepted.
The stable can be a wonderful leadership school. In our society, women and some boys are not always encouraged to participate, speak out, and be in charge. In the barn all those qualities are practiced on a daily basis, perfectly matched with compassion. There is no coincidence that many of the great business leaders in the world have an equestrian background.
THIS YMCA RIDING PROGRAM FOR BOYS AND GIRLS IS BEING MADE AVAILABLE IN FALL, WINTER, AND SPRINGTIME TO LOCAL FAMILIES INTERESTED IN EXPANDING THEIR CHILDREN’S INTEREST IN ANIMALS, HORSES SPECIFICALLY.
Brek-n-Ridge Farm asks that all participants become members of the YMCA. A special YMCA membership limited to the horseback riding program is $30 for one full year. A full membership ($65 for an individual, $100 for a family) provides a full year of discounts on ALL our programs.
Continuation in the riding program is a privilege to be earned. Students who show aptitude and responsibility will be invited to continue at the instructor’s discretion. For more information about the YMCA please call 231-348-8393, or stop by our office, 434 E. Lake Street in Petoskey.