Fuzzy ponies trump cold weather at Edgewood Farms
On most Saturdays, Edgewood Farms riding instructor Chloe Desousa expects seven or so kids at Edgewood Farm in Rochester for riding lessons. On December 30, though, only a few braved the cold.
“This is definitely our more competitive group of kids.” laughed Desousa. “No one else wanted to ride in the freezing cold.”
Every Saturday, Desousa teaches horsemanship to kids of all ages in a group setting. Through Edgewood’s program students will learn how to properly care for the horses as well as how to ride them, the more competitive students will even learn showmanship.
“Caring for the horses always comes first,” said Desousa. “That’s the most important part—grooming, feeding, cleaning their feet. Once that’s done, then they get to ride.”
Edgewood Farm owns roughly eight horses, including two rescues, and boards about 11 others. All of the horses used for riding lessons are docile and calm, but full of personality. Most of them are retired show horses as well.
“Francis was ranked in the top 5 in the country when he was with his previous owners," said 13-year-old Geralyn Randall of Mattapoisett, “and Bob was in the top 10 for jumping.”
Randall rides and helps care for the horses at Edgewood every day of the week.
“It’s great for the ORR kids because the bus drops them off right here.” Desousa said.
Edgewood also offers private riding lessons, but Desousa added that students typically have more fun in a group setting.
Every Saturday from 10 to 3 students will learn how to groom, feed, and care for the horses, have lunch, ride at least two different horses, and hang out with their friends. Some days they may even go on a scenic trail ride around the property. The program runs year round, but is typically more popular in the summer when Desousa expects upwards of 20 students.
To find more information on Edgewood and their riding programs, visit their website at http://www.edgewoodfarms.net/the-farm/.