Go Ahead and Jump

Candace Wade takes a trip to New York in order to spend a weekend honing her skills and receiving a new assessment of her riding at Fox Run Farm.

Go ahead and jump. Photo courtesy of Candace Wade.

Got jumping in your blood? Want to “bone up” (excuse the expression), advance, or are a solid rider itching to catch air? The New York Training and Trail week and weekend is a gift. I am a later-in-life, ever-student rider whose goal was to advance past some nagging trepidation and to hear a new assessment of my abilities (or lack thereof). The training weekend delivered.

Stacey Adams with Active Riding Trips (ART) was my patient confessor. She listened to my desires, concerns and questions about what to expect. She allayed my hesitations. She clarified the program. She stayed with me through to the day I started to pack. Do check out the array of other mouth-watering adventures for all levels and riding imaginations at ART.

The farm. Photo courtesy of Candace Wade.

Fox Run Farm in Stanfordville, NY has a respected pedigree in training, breeding, showing and fox hunt. USHJA certification. Owner, Lynn Reed and her fellow trainer Tammy Geiger took me apart in the first lesson. They joined forces to cobble me back together in the second, third, fourth. . . . They are both professional members with colors of the Millbrook Hunt.

The field course. Photo courtesy of Candace Wade.

Expect three rides a day. One of those slots could be a trail ride through the alleys and hills of the eastern hunt country landscape. Lovely. Expect no-nonsense, direct instruction with enthusiastic praise when praise is due. Instruction is a clear dissection and explanation of riding performance that cries for improvement. Go with sound riding skills and a desire to work. You’ll have fun succeeding. BTW, the “schooling” horses are fine, smart and challenging. I left pooped and excited to solidify all that I had learned.

On the trail with Gio. Photo courtesy of Candace Wade.

Photo courtesy of Candace Wade.

I stayed in a private “suite” in the house. My bath was attached. Attention to detail included a fridge, microwave and toaster oven. My bath was stocked with fluffy towels and lavender-scented, locally created Hudson Valley soap and body crème. I found a lavish array of breakfast items laid out in the main kitchen with endless coffee. I conked out each night in peace and comfort.

Photo courtesy of Candace Wade.

Photo courtesy of Candace Wade.

You will need a car. Do not miss the short drive to historic Reinbeck. I reveled in yummy Thai food at Aroi Thai. After perusing Reinbeck a short drive takes you to Tops grocery for essentials.

Added pleasantries are chats with Lynn’s “partner-in-farm,” Dennis. Dennis makes a mean English muffin and tells intriguing stories (if you can catch him). You will be greeted by two massive Mastiffs. No worries, they are sweet babies. The barn staff was kind and enthusiastic. Not expected, but I did “buy them lunch” (tip) for four days of saddling and unsaddling my horses.

Solid jumpers and aspiring jumpers, treat yourself to time at Fox Run Farm. Check with Stacey at ART to see if you can join in with something special that might occur while you are there.

Go ahead and jump.